Looking for clear and concise information on Michigan landlord tenant law? Get all your answers from this plain English guide to the Michigan Landlord Tenant Act.
MI Landlord Tenant Law:
The landlord can ask prospective tenants for application fees to cover the costs of background and credit checks. The fee amount should be reasonable - We recommend charging $25 to $30 per applicant. If the landlord did not run any tenant screening checks, the fees should be refunded.
Before running background or credit checks on tenant applicants, landlords must first obtain the applicant's written permission. [Fair Credit Reporting Act § 604(a)(3)(F)]
For landlords to run background and credit checks, the tenant application form needs to ask for the applicant's:
The federal Fair Housing Act disallows landlords from rejecting prospective renters based on their race, color, religion, nationality, sex, *familial status or physical/mental disability. *Familial status means landlords cannot reject someone for having one or more children under 18. Familial status also includes pregnant women and people planning to have (or adapt) children under 18.
In addition, Michigan landlord tenant law disallows landlords from rejecting someone as a renter because of his or her age and marital status (or change in marital status).
A tenancy agreement (also known as a lease agreement or rental agreement) can be written or verbal.
The landlord and tenant can choose between a month to month tenancy or fixed term lease. For a month to month tenancy, the landlord or tenant can change its terms and conditions at the end of every month. For a fixed term lease, the landlord and tenant CANNOT change the lease terms and conditions during its duration... unless there is written consent from both parties.
Michigan landlord tenant law requires all tenancy agreements to contain the following details:
In addition, the lease agreement has to contain the following statement (in 12 point type or bigger) [MI 554.634.(2)]:
“NOTICE: Michigan law establishes rights and obligations for parties to rental agreements. This agreement is required to comply with the Truth in Renting Act. If you have a question about the interpretation or legality of a provision of this agreement, you may want to seek assistance from a lawyer or other qualified person.”
According to Michigan landlord tenant law, your lease agreement CANNOT:
Michigan landlord tenant law allows the landlord to ask for up to 1.5
month's rent as security deposit. [MI 554.602]
Michigan landlord tenant law requires the landlord to hold the security deposit in a regulated financial institution. The landlord can use the deposit money for other purposes IF it is deposited with the secretary of state on a cash or surety bond [MI 554.604.(1)]
After the tenant moves in, the landlord must provide the tenant with the following information (in writing) within 14 days [MI 554.603]:
There are no Michigan landlord tenant statutes on pet deposits, non-refundable fees and security deposit interest.
Michigan landlord tenant law requires the landlord to inform the tenant of the terms and conditions for security deposit deductions.
Valid reasons for security deposit deductions (under Michigan landlord tenant law) include:
The landlord is NOT allowed to take money from the security deposit due to damage from *normal wear and tear. [MI 554.607.(a)] *Normal wear and tear is the natural deterioration of the property (and its contents) from normal everyday use.
Once the lease terminates and the tenant returns the property, the landlord must send the tenant a notice of damages and refund any remaining deposit by check or money order within 30 days. This notice has to individually account for all damages in writing. [MI 554.609] [MI 554.616]
In addition, this notice has to contain the following statement (in 12 point boldface type):
"You must respond to this notice by mail within 7 days after receipt of same, otherwise you will forfeit the amount claimed for damages."
If the landlord fails to follow Michigan landlord tenant law for giving this notice, it shall be assumed that there are no damages and the landlord has to refund the full deposit amount to the tenant. [MI 554.610]
However the landlord won't have to send a notice of damages if the tenant did not give the landlord a forwarding address within four days (of the lease being terminated). [MI 554.611]
If the tenant files a lawsuit to dispute the deductions, the landlord has to win the lawsuit and obtain a money judgment before he or she can keep the disputed amount. If the landlord fails to do so, he or she shall have refund the full deposit amount plus two times the amount of deposit withheld. [MI 554.613.(2)]
If the landlord transfers his or her ownership of the property to another person by sale, assignment, appointment or death, the landlord and landlord's agent shall still be responsible for the security deposit until they do ONE of the following [MI 554.614.(a)]:
Detroit, Michigan MI
The tenant has to pay the rent without demand or reminders. As long as the landlord and tenant are agreeable, they can choose the time, place and method of rent payment.
By default, rent is payable once the tenancy begins and shall be paid on the same day of every month. Rent is to be collected at the rental property.
There are no Michigan landlord tenant statutes on imposing charges for late rent payments. If the landlord wants to impose late rent fees, it has to be specified in the tenancy agreement.
If the tenant's check bounces, the landlord can demand for payment with the following text [MI 600.2952]:
"A check, draft, or order for payment of money drawn by you for $__________ was returned to me/us/our client (client's name) dishonored for:
[ ] Insufficient funds
[ ] No account
This notice is a formal demand for payment of the full amount of the dishonored check, draft, or order plus a processing fee of $25.00 for a total amount of $__________. If you pay this total amount within 7 days, excluding weekends and holidays, after the date this notice was mailed, no further civil action will be taken against you.
If you do not pay the $__________ as requested above, but within 30 days after the date this notice was mailed you pay the amount of the dishonored check, draft, or order plus a $35.00 processing fee, for a total amount of $__________, no further civil action will be taken against you.
If you fail to pay either amount indicated above, I/we/our client will be authorized by state law to bring a civil action against you to determine your legal responsibility for payment of the check, draft, or order and civil damages and costs allowed by law.
If you dispute the dishonoring of this check, draft, or order, you should also contact your bank or financial institution immediately."
According to the Michigan Landlord Tenant Act, the landlord can choose to raise the rent by any amount.
For a week to week tenancy, the landlord has to inform the tenant of a rent increase at least seven days in advance.
For a month to month tenancy, the landlord must inform the tenant of a rent increase at least 30 days in advance.
For a fixed term tenancy, the landlord isn't allowed to raise the rent until the tenancy expires.
The Michigan Landlord Tenant Act requires the landlord to maintain the property in a safe and habitable condition [MI 554.139]:
Michigan landlord tenant law also requires the tenant to keep the property in a clean and safe condition [MI 554.139]:
After renting the property for one year or more, the landlord and tenant can amend their maintenance duties (as long as both parties are agreeable).
According to Michigan landlord tenant law, the landlord is only allowed to enter the property for the following reasons [MI 600.2918.(3)(b)]:
In the above situations, the landlord should inform the tenant at least 24 hours in advance before entering the property. The landlord can only enter the property with the tenant's consent and during reasonable hours.
According to Michigan landlord tenant law, the landlord may enter the property without permission in the following situations:
There are no specific Michigan landlord tenant laws on subletting.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
Grand Rapids, Michigan MI
Michigan landlord tenant law requires you to give the other party a written notice to quit before terminating a tenancy.
For a tenancy at will or tenancy by sufferance, you must give this notice one month before the termination date. [MI 554.134.(1)]
If the rent payment interval is less than three month, the number of days for giving a notice to quit shall be the same as the payment interval (e.g. You must give a 45 day notice if the rent is paid every 45 days).
For a month to month tenancy, you must give this notice at least one month in advance.
For a year to year tenancy, you have to give this notice at least one year in advance.
If you are the tenant, the following are the minimum number of days for giving your landlord a notice to quit:
Tenant or child is a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking
Property damage due to fire, disaster or unavoidable accident
If the tenant or tenant's child is (OR might become) a victim of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking, the tenant can terminate the rental agreement by giving the landlord a written notice to quit with the following text:
"I am a tenant at [your address]. I have a reasonable apprehension of present danger to [myself or my child] from [domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault]. This is notice that I am seeking an early release from my rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.”
In addition, the notice must include ONE of the following documents:
The tenant shall have to pay the landlord one additional month's rent after moving out. [MI 554.601b]
If the property is badly damaged by fire, disasters or (unavoidable)
accidents, the tenant can immediately move out and stop paying rent. The
tenant must inform the landlord that he or she intends to terminate the
tenancy, and the tenancy shall terminate once the tenant moves out. [MI 554.201]
After the tenant moves out, the landlord must return the security deposit (after any deductions) to the tenant. The tenant won't have to pay rent starting from the date of the fire or natural disaster, so the landlord must also return any prepaid rent to the tenant.
If only part of the property is damaged, the tenant should move out of the damaged area. The rent amount will be lowered based on how much of the property is still livable.
According to Michigan landlord tenant law, the following are valid reasons for evicting tenants and the minimum number of days for giving them a notice to quit:
Tenant did not pay rent
Tenant or related person was involved with controlled substances on property
Tenant caused serious property damage due to abuse or neglect
Tenant or related person threatened or assaulted others on property
If the tenant did not pay rent on time, the landlord can send the tenant a seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy. [MI 554.134.(2)] This notice should state the amount of rent owed and inform the tenant that he or she can choose to pay or move out.
If a police report has been filed alleging that the tenant or tenant's household illegally manufactured, delivered or possessed controlled substances on the property, the landlord can send the tenant 24 hour written notice to terminate the tenancy. [MI 554.134.(4)]
If the tenant's negligence, misuse or abuse caused serious property damage that endangers health and safety, the landlord can send the tenant seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy. [MI 600.5714.(1)(d)]
If a police report has been filed alleging that the tenant or tenant's household threatened or assaulted another person on property, the landlord can send the tenant seven day written notice to terminate the tenancy. [MI 600.5714.(1)(e)]
However the landlord cannot terminate the lease if the tenant or tenant's household was the victim.
According to Michigan landlord tenant law, the landlord CANNOT force the tenant to move out by shutting off utilities (electricity, water, gas, sanitation), changing the locks, taking the tenant's belongings or taking possession of the property by force without a court hearing.
If the landlord forces the tenant to move out with (the unlawful methods above) or shuts off utilities, the tenant can regain possession of the property and sue the landlord for three times the amount of actual damages. [MI 600.2918]
Every time the landlord moves or tampers with the tenant's belongings (without permission or court order), the tenant can sue the landlord for actual damages or $200 (whichever is greater). The landlord must also return all belongings taken from the tenant.
There are no specific Michigan landlord tenant laws on when the property is considered abandoned by the tenant.
We recommend that the landlord and tenant work out the following details and include them in the rental agreement:
Michigan Landlord Tenant Law: Michigan Landlord and Tenant Relationships Act
Michigan Landlord Tenant Handbook: A Practical Guide for Tenants and Landlords