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Michigan Residential Lease Agreement for Rental Properties
Leases are the cornerstone of a successful landlord-tenant relationship, providing a legal framework for both parties to enter a harmonious agreement.
In Michigan, residential lease documents—including their structure, nature, and contents—are regulated by Michigan landlord tenant laws. For this reason, it’s imperative to understand the intricacies of the law before constructing a lease.
This guide will walk you through the crucial components of a Michigan lease, ensuring you’re well-equipped to make informed decisions. And to make your journey easier, we’re offering a free Michigan lease template for download!
A Michigan lease is a legally binding document that outlines the terms and conditions governing the rental of a residential property within the state. This lease adheres to Michigan’s landlord-tenant laws, providing a clear framework for both landlords and tenants to follow and fostering a secure and transparent rental environment.
The following components should be included in every Michigan lease agreement. Note that these components apply primarily to residential leases; a Michigan commercial lease agreement will necessarily have different requirements.
This section specifies the lease’s start and end dates, establishing the duration of the rental agreement.
Here, you’ll find details regarding the rent rate, due date, and the status of rent control. In Michigan, rent control laws are banned. This means that municipalities may not pass any laws that control or restrict what landlords can charge for rent. But although landlords in Michigan can increase rent as they see fit, they cannot do so in the middle of the lease term. Policies and procedures for rent increases should be clearly defined in every Michigan lease agreement (MCL § 123.411(2)).
The penalties for missing rent payments should be clearly stated in the lease, as should any exceptions. In Michigan, there are no statutory limits on late fee amounts or any required grace periods. This means landlords can once again charge any reasonable amount for late rent, as long as it is disclosed in the lease so that tenants know exactly what will happen if they are late to pay rent.
This section of the lease includes details about the security deposit, including its amount, where it will be stored, and how/when it will be returned.
The maximum or limit for security deposits in Michigan is regulated by state law. In Michigan, landlords cannot charge more than 1.5 months’ rent for a security deposit (MCL 554.602). Additionally, those deposits must be held at either a regulated financial institution (a bank) or a cash/surety bond with the Secretary of State.
Michigan law also designates that security deposits must be returned to tenants within 30 days after the lease ends. Since security deposits laws vary widely across the U.S., every Michigan rental agreement should describe the security deposit amount, policies for its storage, and how the tenant will be refunded when the lease ends.
This section encompasses crucial required disclosures in Michigan, which are information that must be disclosed to the tenant in the lease before they agree to rent the property. According to Michigan law, the required disclosures are:
- Lead-based paint – Landlords in all 50 states must disclose lead-based paint hazards in rental agreements for most properties built before 1978.
- Landlord/agent identification – Michigan landlords must disclose the name and address of the owner or agent who receives notices.
- Truth in Renting Act – All Michigan rental agreements must include a prewritten notice stating that the lease is required to comply with the Truth in Renting Act and that the tenant may seek assistance from a lawyer if they have a question about the legality of any provision.
- Security deposit receipt – Michigan landlords must disclose the name and address of the bank or surety company where the security deposit is being stored within 14 days of move-in.
- Move-in/move out checklists – Michigan landlords must provide an inventory checklist at the start and end of every tenancy that requires a security deposit.
- Domestic violence disclosure – Landlords in Michigan must provide a prewritten notice notifying tenants of their right to be released from the lease if they are in danger due to domestic violence.
Landlord Right to Entry
In Michigan, there are no specific laws governing when a landlord can enter a rental property. However, most landlords provide at least 24 hours’ notice before entry for non-emergency reasons. Your lease should describe the landlord’s right to entry and the conditions under which entry is necessary (e.g., showings, inspections, etc.).
Repairs & Maintenance
The lease outlines how and when tenants should submit maintenance requests and clarifies the process for addressing necessary repairs. Every Michigan residential lease agreement should specify which maintenance responsibilities are the landlord’s and which are the tenant’s.
Lease Termination/Renewal Procedures
This section details the procedures for early lease termination and breaking the lease, including eviction processes. Specifically, the lease should clearly state how many days’ notice the tenant needs to provide the landlord to announce their intent to either renew or terminate the lease.
A Michigan rental lease agreement should also clearly describe what happens if the tenant breaks the lease. Before filing for eviction in Michigan, landlords must send eviction notices of specified lengths: A seven-day pay or quit notice for nonpayment, a seven-day (cure or) quit notice for material health or safety violations or violence, or a 24-hour quit notice for illegal drug activity on the premises. These notice periods should be specified to the tenant so that both parties are clear on what will happen if the tenant fails to uphold the lease agreement.
Any specific community rules or regulations, such as policies on smoking, guests, and pets, are listed in this section. You may also include a Michigan sublease agreement if tenants are permitted to sublease their units.
Joint and Severability Clause
This clause is for leases with multiple roommates and explains the legal consequences if one party fails to fulfill their obligations. It ensures that the entire lease isn’t invalidated due to one roommate’s breach.
Both the landlord and tenant will sign the lease either on paper or electronically, ensuring a secure and convenient process.
Michigan Rental Lease Agreement Download
To make your leasing journey simpler, we offer a free, downloadable Michigan lease agreement. This template is tailored to meet the specific requirements of Michigan state law, making it a valuable tool for landlords and tenants.
Understanding the nuances of a Michigan residential lease agreement is vital for a smooth and legal tenancy. We hope this guide has provided you with a clear understanding of the components of a Michigan lease. To get started on the right foot, download our free Michigan lease template and ensure a transparent, lawful, and satisfying rental experience.