Michigan Tenant Rights Laws

Whether you live in the heart of Detroit or out in Crystal Falls, no one likes dealing with the wide array of landlord-tenant issues that can come up during a given rental period. Luckily, Michigan has a number of laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship in addition to federal and local laws. Read on to learn more about Michigan's tenant rights laws.

Tenant Rights: Repairs, Security Deposits, and More

Michigan law protects you against discrimination based on race, age, familial status, and other protected characteristics. And once your tenancy begins, your landlord must keep the unit in reasonable repair so that it remains in a habitable condition. However, you and the landlord can agree to other or more specific repair terms if your lease is for at least one year.

Many tenants are unsure about their rights concerning security deposits. In Michigan, your landlord must give you an inventory checklist at the beginning of the tenancy so that both parties can note damage that exists before the rental term begins. You also have the right to request and receive a copy of the inventory checklist from the previous tenants to see what types of deductions were made from their security deposit. At end of your tenancy, the landlord must provide a list with all the damages they claim you caused, and they have 30 days after you move out to return all or part of deposit. You then have seven days to respond to the notice or forfeit the amount claimed by your landlord.

These and other laws are designed to protect you within the landlord-tenant relationship. Therefore, it's also important to note that your landlord may not retaliate against you by raising the rent or evicting you simply because you requested repairs or complained about code violations.

Michigan Tenant Rights Laws at a Glance

The chart below provides a summary of Michigan state laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, including links to important code sections.

Statutes

Security Deposits

  • Limit: No more than one and a half times the amount of monthly rent
  • Must return all or part of the security deposit within 30 days (along with an itemized list of damages and estimated cost of repairs)
  • Part or all may be used for:
    • Damages not reasonably expected in normal course of habitation of a dwelling
    • Past-due rent or unpaid utility bills
    • Rent due for premature termination of rental agreement

Paying Rent

  • May not raise rent during lease term (e.g. 1 year lease) unless lease allows; may raise rent upon lease renewal

Living Conditions

  • With reasonable notice, landlord may enter unit for certain reasons including:
    • To make necessary repairs
    • Inspection
    • Emergency (no notice required)
  • Landlord must comply with health and safety laws and keep premises in reasonable repair, except where disrepair was caused by tenant's willful or irresponsible conduct

Discrimination

  • No discrimination based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial status, marital status, or disability (exceptions apply)

Ending or Renewing a Tenancy

  • Landlord must give notice to terminate the tenancy:
    • Year-to-year (with no fixed end date): one year
    • Month-to-month: 30 days
    • Week-to-week: seven days
    • Eviction: seven days for failure to pay rent
  • Eviction: court order required

Retaliation

  • Landlord may not retaliate against tenant for exercising tenant rights

Note: State regulations are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Michigan Tenant Rights Laws: Related Resources

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