Michigan Landlord Tenant Laws
January 17, 2023
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|Required Disclosures |
Truth in Renting Act
Security deposit receipt
Domestic violence disclosure
Rent and Fees
Application Fees: N/A
Rent Control: Banned
Late Fee Limit: N/A
Grace Period Minimum: None
Amount Limit: 1.5 months’ rent
Return Within: 30 days
|Fair Housing Protections |
Permitted Times of Entry: N/A
Rent Demand Notice: 7 day pay-or-quit notice
Lease Violation Notice: 30-day notice to quit
Notice to Quit for Material Health or Safety Violations: 7-day notice cure-or-quit notice
Unconditional Notice to Quit (Illegal Drug Activity): 24-hour quit notice
Michigan Landlord-Tenant Law
Understand the essential Michigan landlord tenant laws before enforcing your own rental policies. Find more information in the Michigan state law code or this handy guide for Michigan landlords and tenants.
Landlords in all 50 states must include information about lead-based paint hazards in the rental agreements for most properties built before 1978. Sellers and landlords must distribute an EPA-approved information pamphlet called “Protect Your Family from Lead in Your Home” and disclose any known lead hazards in the property. These obligations were established by Section 1018 of the Residential Lead-Based Paint Hazard Reduction Act of 1992.
Landlords must provide the name and address of the owner (or owner’s agent) where notices may be received in the rental agreement or lease.
Truth in Renting Act
A rental agreement or lease should include the following notice, no smaller than 12-point type in a legible font: “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.”
Security Deposit Receipt
Within 14 days after the tenant moves in, landlords are required to provide the name and address of the financial institution or surety company where the security deposit is held.
The notice should also include the following statement in at least 12-pt boldface type: “You must notify your landlord in writing within 4 days after you move of a forwarding address where you can be reached and where you will receive mail; otherwise, your landlord shall be relieved of sending you an itemized list of damages and the penalties adherent to that failure.”
Michigan landlords must provide an inventory checklist both at the commencement and termination of each tenancy wherein a security deposit is required. Both checklists should include the condition of carpeting, draperies, appliances, windows, furniture, walls, closets, shelves, paint, doors, plumbing fixtures, electrical fixtures, and other items. Upon termination of the lease, the landlord should complete the checklist and list all damages found to be caused by the tenant.
The move-in checklist should also include the following notice in 12-pt bold type: “You should complete this checklist, noting the condition of the rental property, and return it to the landlord within 7 days after obtaining possession of the rental unit. You are also entitled to request and receive a copy of the last termination inventory checklist that shows what claims were chargeable to the last prior tenants.”
Domestic Violence Disclosure
Landlords must notify tenants of their right to be released from their lease agreement if they are in danger due to domestic violence. The tenant must submit a written notice.
Rental agreements should contain the following provision: “A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to him or her or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may have special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.” If this notice is not included in the lease, the landlord must post a written notice in a visible place in their office or deliver it to the tenant directly.
Rent and Fees
- Rent Due Date: No statute in Michigan specifies when rent should be due.
- Application Fees: Rental application fees are not regulated in Michigan.
- Rent Increases: Rent control laws are banned in Michigan. This means Michigan landlords may increase rent as they see fit; however, they cannot increase rent in the middle of the lease term (MCL § 123.411(2)).
- Late Fees: There are no statutory limits on late fees in Michigan.
- Grace Period: There is no required grace period in Michigan.
- NSF/Bounced Check Fee Maximum: If the tenant’s rent check bounces, the landlord may charge a maximum fee of $25 if paid within seven days of the due date and $35 if paid within 30 days (MCL § 600.2952).
- Withholding Rent/Repair and Deduct: If the landlord fails to comply with health and safety laws or make necessary repairs, Michigan tenants may either withhold rent and deposit it into an escrow account or pay for the repair themselves and deduct the cost from the rent. In either case, the tenant must first provide a written notice (by certified mail) of the problem and their intent to withhold rent or repair and deduct and wait a reasonable amount of time before proceeding (MCL § 554.139; Rome v. Walker).
- Deposit Limit: 1.5 months’ rent (MCL 554.602).
- Interest: Michigan landlords are not required to pay interest on security deposits.
- Return Within: 30 days (MCL 554.609).
- Deposit Location: Michigan landlords must deposit security deposit funds at either a regulated financial institution (such as a bank) or a cash/surety bond with the Secretary of State (MCL 554.604).
- Withholding: Landlords may withhold funds from the security deposit as reimbursement for unpaid rent or utility bills due to the premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant OR for actual damages to the rental unit directly resulting from the tenants’ poor conduct (MCL 554.607). In order to withhold funds for these damages, the landlord must provide an itemized list of damages to be mailed to the tenant within 30 days after the lease termination and including this notice: “You must respond to this notice by mail within 7 days after receipt of same, otherwise you will forfeit the amount claimed for damages” (MCL 554.609).
Tenant Screening and Fair Housing Protections
- Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing based on race, color, religion, gender, national origin, familial status, and disability (Title 24 USC § 3601-3607). The Michigan Fair Housing Act adds age and marital status (MCL § 37.2502).
- Michigan landlords are subject to the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 USC § 1681) which outlines the responsibilities of landlords to protect tenant credit information. According to the Act, landlords may not share tenant credit information with anyone without a legal reason to view it. They must also investigate disputed information, dispose of credit reports after use in tenant screening, and notify applicants when their credit score or history was the reason for their denial.
- The use of criminal background checks during tenant screening is not regulated by Michigan state law.
- Michigan landlords should follow HUD recommendations for using criminal background checks fairly. This includes avoiding blanket policies for denying applicants with criminal convictions, assessing applicants and their criminal histories on a case-by-case basis, and only denying an applicant when they demonstrate a risk to the safety of other residents or the property.
- Advanced Notice: There is no state law in Michigan requiring landlords to give advance notice before entering a property.
- Permitted Times: Michigan state law does not designate any time-of-day restrictions for entering.
- Emergency Entry: There are no laws in Michigan regarding emergency entry without notice.
- Rent Demand Notice: 7 days to pay or quit (MCL § 554.134(2)).
- Lease Violation Notice: 30 days to quit. This notice applies when the tenant violates another term of the lease, such as having unauthorized pets or occupants (MCL § 554.134(1)).
- Notice to Quit for Material Health or Safety Violation: 7 days to cure or quit. If a tenant “willfully or negligently causes a serious and continuing health hazard” on the premises or causes “extensive and continuing physical injury” to the property, the landlord may send a seven-day notice to cure or quit. If the tenant can substantially restore or repair the premises, the landlord should give them the opportunity to do so. A seven-day notice to quit should also be provided (without opportunity to cure) if a tenant or guest/household member causes or threatens physical injury to another individual (MCL § 600.5714(1)(d)).
- Unconditional Notice to Quit for Illegal Drug Activity: 24 hours to quit. According to eviction laws in Michigan, if the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household is found to have manufactured, delivered, or possessed a controlled substance on the leased premises, and a police report has already been filed for the same, the landlord may terminate the tenancy with a written 24-hour notice to quit (MCL § 554.134(4)).
- Nonrenewal: A landlord or tenant who wishes to terminate a year-to-year lease may give the other party a notice to quit. After the notice is delivered, the tenancy will terminate when the lease next expires (MCL § 554.134(3)).
Other Laws and Facts About Michigan
- The median rent rate in Michigan is $1,335 per month.
- The median rent rate in Detroit is $1,250 per month.
- Michigan Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance: In Ann Arbor, criminal background checks as part of tenant screening are banned, with a few exceptions. It is illegal to inquire about renters’ criminal histories, require that a tenant disclose their criminal history, or deny housing based on such disclosure. However, some landlords who receive federal funding or accept tenants with federally subsidized housing vouchers must still conduct criminal background checks in order to comply with federal or state laws (Fair Chance Access to Housing Ordinance).