State Landlord-Tenant Laws For Michigan

Overview

DEPOSIT

  • The maximum allowable deposit is 1.5 times the monthly rent .
  • Landlords have 30 days to return the deposit after move out.
  •  Landlords can deduct repairs beyond normal wear and tear, unpaid rent or utilities, and early lease termination fees.
  • Landlords must provide and itemized list of any deposit deductions.
  • Landlords must hold your security deposit in a regulated financial institution and pay interest.

RENT INCREASE LAWS

  • No rent control laws.
  • Not statute on on rent increase notice requirements but at least 30 to 60 days notices is recommended for fixed term leases.

NOTICES

  • Tenants have a right to privacy as covered in the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment.
  • Although there's no specific statute, landlords should give reasonable notice (at least 24 hours) before entry and only enter during reasonable hours (9am to 5pm).

RE-KEYING LAWS

  • No statute.

RENTAL AGREEMENT

  • Written lease agreements are required and must comply with specific laws.

LATE FEES & GRACE PERIODS

  • No statute.

SMOKING LAWS

  • No statute.

PET LAWS

  • Landlords in Michigan are permitted to collect a fair, nonrefundable pet deposit.

SECTION 1

1. Michigan Landlord-Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

According to Michigan laws, both tenants and landlords are afforded certain rights and responsibilities that guide their relationship during a lease agreement. 

Below is a summary of some key aspects of Michigan's landlord-tenant laws.

Tenant’s Rights and Responsibilities

Rights
  • A tenant has the right to a rental home that satisfies local health and safety regulations and is secure and livable.
  • A tenant has the right to offer a landlord a written notice for repairs needed and having them completed in a "reasonable time.” 
  • A tenant has the right to sue the landlord for not making the necessary repairs and other lease violations. 
Responsibilities
  • A tenant is expected to pay rent on time.
  • A tenant is expected to maintain the apartment's cleanliness, safety, and habitability during the lease period.
  • A tenant is expected to perform minor repairs as required.
  • A tenant is expected to not disturb other tenants or neighbors in the rental unit.  

Landlord’s Rights and Responsibilities

Rights
  • A landlord has the right to collect rent as at when due.
  • A landlord has the right to request for a security deposit to cover unanticipated expenses, such as damage beyond normal wear and tear.
  • A landlord has the right to file for a formal eviction if the tenant violates the terms of the rental agreement. 
Responsibilities
  • A landlord is expected to provide tenants with a rental property that is safe and satisfies the local warranty of habitability. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.139(1))
  • A landlord is expected to carry out repairs in a "reasonable amount of time" following a tenant's notification.
  • A landlord is expected to observe the regulations pertaining to matters such as security deposits and the process of eviction.

Required Notices Before Entry

Are landlords in Michigan required to give notice before entering the property?

Michigan does not have a specific statutory provision on notice of entry. As such, landlords are not required to give written notice to enter the premises, most especially in case of emergencies. However, as a measure of good faith, it is best practice to give tenants reasonable notice before entry. 

The amount of notice that a landlord must offer before entering a rental unit or residence can be subject to the mutual agreement of both parties.

Are landlords allowed to enter the property to conduct maintenance and repairs?

Yes. There are no strict laws forbidding landlords from accessing a rental unit without permission from the tenant. However, if entry is made without authorization other than in an emergency, the renter's right to quiet enjoyment of the leased property may be violated. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(3)(b)

Late Fee for Rent in Michigan

There are no laws governing late fees for rent in Michigan.

Sources 

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.131 – 554.139

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.201 – 554.201,

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.601 – 554.616,

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.631 – 554.641

Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 125.401 – 125.543.

SECTION 2

2. Michigan Rent Increase Laws

There are no restrictions on how much a landlord can increase their rent in Michigan. Additionally, local governments are not allowed to enact local rent control measures under state law. 

However, there are certain rules landlords must abide by when raising rent:

  • Must provide a fair amount of notice to tenants. 
  • Cannot increase rent in an attempt to discriminate or retaliate.
  • Must wait until the lease's expiration date to raise rent, unless the lease specifies otherwise. 

Notice Required to Raise Rent in Michigan

There is no statute or law under Michigan rent increase laws that mandates landlords to provide notice to tenants when they want to increase rent. However, most landlords typically give at least 30 to 60 days' notice of a rent increase out of courtesy. 

Additionally, if the landlord decides to raise the rent in between lease terms, they are not required by law to give the tenant advance notice. The only exception is if the tenant is on a month-to-month lease. 

A rent increase must be communicated to month-to-month tenants with a minimum of 30 days' notice.

Limitations on Michigan Rent Increase Laws

In Michigan, a landlord cannot increase the rent if: 

  • It is midway through the specified period of the lease (unless the lease specifies otherwise). 
  • One of the protected classes listed in the Fair Housing Act is discriminated against by the way the increase is implemented. 
  • It is carried out in retaliation to a protected tenant action, like making a repair request or lodging a complaint. 

Source: Guide for Tenants and Landlords

SECTION 3

2. Michigan Rental Agreement Laws

Although a formal lease is not required by Michigan law, it must contain certain elements, such as the length of the tenancy, the rent amount, and the obligations of both parties. Landlords and tenants should ensure that their written lease agreement conforms with state regulations and that they are aware of these legal requirements.

The names of the landlord and tenant, the address of the property, the length of the lease, the rent amount, and any other particular terms or conditions that both parties have agreed upon should all be included in a Michigan lease agreement.

Additionally, a Michigan lease agreement needs to specify the security deposit amount, how it will be returned, who will be responsible for repairs and upkeep, what the late fees are, how to end the lease, and how to renew it.

Clauses about utilities, subletting limitations, property inspections, and possible prohibitions on making changes to the property without the landlord's permission should also be included.

Source: LEASES & RENTAL AGREEMENTS - Michigan

SECTION 4

4. Michigan Tenant Deposit Laws

What is the Maximum Deposit Alowed in Michigan?

Security deposits are subject to a cap under Michigan law. A security deposit can only be requested in amounts up to 1½ times the monthly rent. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.602)

Can Landlords Collect Pet Deposits in Michigan?

Under Michigan tenant deposit laws, landlords may ask for an additional sum to cover any damage the tenant's dogs may cause in the form of a “pet deposit.” However, this fee cannot be requested for any service animals placed on the property in cases where the renter has a disability.

It's important to note that the entire security deposit is limited to one and a half months' worth of rent. This means landlords cannot exceed the maximum amount using a different name, such as "pet deposit" or "damage deposit." 

What Can Landlords Deduct From The Deposit In Michigan?

In Michigan, landlords can only deduct security deposits after the lease has expired or been terminated early. The exception to this law is if the landlord have placed a cash or surety bond in lieu of the security deposit. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.607)

Landlords can deduct some amount from the security deposit paid by a tenant to cover the following: 

  • The expenses incurred for repairing a rental property that has experienced damage beyond typical wear and tear
  • Overdue rent
  • Unpaid electric bills
  • Rent that remains owing in the event of an early lease termination

How Must Landlords Hold Deposits in Michigan? 

As per Michigan law, landlords are required to hold the security deposit in a regulated financial institution for the renter's benefit. Alternatively, the homeowner may give a cash bond or surety to the Secretary of State.

To hold a deposit of up to $50,000, the Attorney General will accept a surety bond filed by a licensed surety company in the state of Michigan. Additionally, 25 percent of any amount over $50,000 can be secured using it. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.604)

How Long Do Landlords Have to Return Deposits in Michigan?

The landlord has 30 days from the renter's move-out date  to return the security deposit.

If there are any deductions made on the tenant's security deposit, the landlord must provide the tenant with a notice of damages that contains an itemized list of the reductions along with their expected or actual costs. To complete the itemized statement, a money order or check for the remaining security deposit amount is required. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.609)

Security Deposit Interest

Landlords in Michigan are obligated to pay interest on security deposits, with the rate being set by the State Treasurer. The landlord can choose to pay the interest either annually or at the conclusion of the lease period. However, it is imperative that landlords inform their renters of the amount and when it will be due. 

Source: MCL - Section 554.602 - Michigan Legislature

SECTION 5

5. Michigan Eviction Laws & Notices

Grounds for Eviction in Michigan

Below are some of the legal ground for landlords to start a Michigan eviction process against a tenant. 

Failure to comply with rent deadlines

If a tenant is late on rent, then the landlord can send a formal, documented 7-day Michigan notice to quit to the tenant before they can begin the eviction process. However, if the tenant is able to pay the rent with the allotted seven days, the eviction process stops. 

Otherwise, the landlord retains the right to keep pursuing eviction if they are unable to make payments and continue to occupy the property. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(a))

Violation of the lease/rental agreement

If a renter breaches any provisions of the lease agreement, the landlord is required to provide a 30-day notice to quit before filing for an eviction. However, if the tenant is able to take prompt action to resolve the issues concerning the breach, the eviction process can be halted. 

If the infractions are not remedied or the occupants continues to stay on the property, the landlord may carry on with the eviction process. 

Conducting illegal activity

The landlord is required to give a formal written 7-Day Notice to Quit if the renter has violated any laws while occupying the property. In such cases, at the very least, the landlord is required to report to the police. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(b))

Material health or safety violation

The building, safety, health, and housing requirements are all taken into consideration by Michigan law. A 7-Day Notice to Quit must be given by the landlord to any renter who disobeys any of these rules. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(d))

Non-renewal of the lease after the rental period ends

If a tenant continues to stay in the property even a day after their lease/rental agreement ends and have not negotiated for renewal, landlords can issue a signed 30-day Michigan notice to quit. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(c))

Michigan Eviction Notice Requirements

The amount of time required for a Michigan eviction notice depends on the reason for eviction. Below is an overview of some eviction notice period based on reason for eviction: 

  • Tenant is behind on rent: 7 days notice
  • Home damaged by tenant: 7 days
  • Drug use without authorization on the property: 24 hours
  • Breach of a lease: 30 days
  • Intent to enter, remain, or trespass: No notification needed
  • Tenant remained after expiration of lease: 30 days (If the lease has been in effect for longer than thirty days, notice must be given. If it hasn't been more than 30 days, notice might not be necessary.)
  • The tenant's lease is either month-to-month or non-written: One time only 

Michigan Eviction Process

The landlord can take the eviction action to court if the tenant refuses to vacate after the notification period has passed. Typically, the filing fees in Michigan are $50. The filing fees for money judgments, such as those for rent or damage repairs, normally vary from $25 to $150.

According to Michigan eviction process, a court date for the eviction hearing normally takes place within ten days of the court issuing a summons. To attend the hearing, a tenant does not need to submit a formal written response to the court. But if they so want, they are free to.

The court will give an order known as a Writ of Restitution if the landlord wins the lawsuit. This paper acts as the renter's last-minute notice to vacate the rented property. If the renter refuse to vacate the rental unit afterwards, the landlord can request the help of a local sheriff to evict the tenant

Source: Steps to Eviction | City of Detroit

SECTION 6

6. Michigan Rental Application Laws

There's no restriction on how much a landlord can charge for Michigan rental applications. Also, the fees are deemed non-refundable, regardless of the outcome of a rental application denial. 

Furthermore, with the tenant's express consent, landlords are permitted by Michigan rental application law to run background checks on prospective tenants. 

Credit reports, evidence of income, work history, criminal history, and rental history are a few things that may be checked during these checks. Also, landlords can ask any questions they choose on Michigan rental applications, provided as doing so does not lead to housing discrimination.

Source: Michigan Landlord-Tenant Law - Michigan Legislature

SECTION 7

7. Breaking a Lease in Michigan

In Michigan, tenants are free to break a lease agreement for any reason. However, if it’s not for a legitimate reason, they might be subject to certain penalties. 

Legally Terminating the Lease

Active Military Duty

The Service Members Civil Relief Act (SCRA) provides protection to those beginning active duty in the military. 

When a tenant uses this act to terminate their lease, they have to provide their landlord due notice and provide a copy of the deployment or any other relevant correspondence or documentation. 

In addition, they must demonstrate that they signed the lease prior to beginning their assignment and that they will be on duty for a minimum of 90 days. Tenants are only permitted to break a lease under this protection for a maximum of 30 days from the beginning of the subsequent rent period.

The SCRA applies to members or commissioned corps of the:

  • Public Health Service
  • Activated National Guard
  • Armed Forces
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Landlord Harassment

Tenants who believe their landlords are persistently harassing them may be allowed to terminate their lease. They might be entitled to leave the property without paying fines if they can demonstrate that they are the target of harassment.

The following two situations are regarded as harassment:

  • Changing Locks
  • Entry Without Notice

Uninhabitable Unit

Tenants may be free to vacate the home without incurring fines if the landlord violates the housing and safety rules of the state.

Domestic Violence

Tenants in the US who are victims of domestic abuse are protected by law in many jurisdictions. If tenants can demonstrate that they are the victims of stalking, domestic abuse, or sexual assault, they may be exonerated of all payment responsibilities. 

Tenants who wish to apply for this protection must provide their landlord with the appropriate notice, a copy of a personal protection order, or any other relevant documentation proving the abuser is unable to be in close proximity to either the tenant or their child.

Furthermore, in the event that a tenant has a legitimate fear of any of these scenarios, landlords are required to inform them of their legal right to withdraw from their rental obligations.

Senior Citizen Cases or Qualified Disabilities

If a tenant has been in the apartment for more than 13 months, they can terminate the lease without incurring any penalties if they can demonstrate that they are now eligible for subsidized senior citizen housing. However, in those situations, they will need to give a 60-day notice to begin the process. 

Illegal Terminating the Lease 

These are some additional grounds that renters could violate their lease. However, as they don't constitute sufficient grounds in and of themselves to violate a lease, these explanations frequently don't shield against penalties:

  • Acquiring a new home or asset.
  • Moving to live together with a spouse, family member, or close friend.
  • Relocating due to a separation or divorce.
  • Criminal activity in the neighborhood.
  • Improving or decreasing the value of the asset.
  • Moving to a new workplace or school.

Renters who wish to avoid facing legal repercussions for violating a lease in this manner can attempt to work out a mutual termination arrangement with their landlord.

Lease Termination Notice Requirements

If a tenant in Michigan wishes to terminate a lease for whatever reason, they must give written notice to their landlord. Below is an outline of the relevant lease termination notice required under Michigan law:

  • Notice to terminate a weekly Lease: 7 days notice (§§ 554.134(1))
  • Notice to terminate a monthly Lease: 30 days notice (§§ 554.134(1))
  • Notice to terminate an annual Lease (non-terminable): One year's prior notice (§§ 554.134(3))

Conversely, fixed-term leases terminate on the last day of the lease, therefore tenants are not required to give any notice.

Source: (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.134(1))

Notice to terminate a tenancy with cause requirements

  • Notice of Termination for Nonpayment: Seven-day written notice (§§ 554.134(2))
  • Termination for Property Damage, Health Hazard, Physical Violence or Threat of Violence by Tenant: Seven-day written notice (§§ 600.5714)
  • Termination of Tenancy with 24 Hours' Notice: A 24-hour written notice to vacate may be issued if a tenant remains on the premises after the lease has been terminated due to a lease violation involving illegal drug-related activity. The landlord must first file a formal police report alleging the drug-related activity. (§§ 554.134(4))

SECTION 8

8. HOA Laws in Michigan

There isn't a specific statute that controls Michigan HOA laws. In Michigan, a homeowner association is governed by its own set of bylaws. However, there are some state laws that are applicable to HOAs in Michigan.

Michigan Condominium Act

In accordance with the Michigan Condominium Act, documents including the disclosure statement, purchase agreements, escrow agreements (if any), and condominium buyer's guidebook must be disclosed. Before buying a condominium, it is advised that sellers provide financial documents and the ordinances of the community.

Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act

The Michigan Elliot-Larsen Civil Rights Act establishes civil rights; forbids discriminatory acts, policies, and practices in the exercise of those rights on the basis of national origin, age, sex, height, weight, marital status, race, or religion; and protects the privacy of information pertaining to arrests, detentions, or other.

Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act

Enacted in 1976, the Michigan Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination against citizens of Michigan who have disabilities in the following areas: housing, employment, public accommodations, public service, and education.

Michigan Land Division Act

Michigan Land Division Act is a law that controls how land is divided and used. The statute applies to any land divided into two or more portions, at least one of which must be 40 acres or less. The law was first implemented on January 1, 1968, under the Subdivision Control Act.

Source:MCL - Section 450.2304 - Michigan Legislature

SECTION 9

9. Squatters Rights in Michigan

Michigan adverse possession laws

Squatters in Michigan do not automatically have the right to occupy a property; however, by adverse occupation, they may be able to acquire legal ownership. 

According to Michigan squatters rights, a person may eventually be able to claim a piece of property as their own if they reside there and take care of it for a sufficient amount of time.

In order to prove adverse possession in Michigan, a squatter needs to fulfill the following requirements:

Continuous possession

The occupant must have spent at least fifteen years living there without interruption. This implies that they were unable to spend a lot of time away from the property during that time. 

Actual possession

It is necessary that the squatter regarded the land as their own. As a result, they maintain the property, make modifications, pay property taxes, and manage it like a legitimate owner would.

Open and notorious possession

The genuine owner and the public must be able to see and know that the person is occupying the property; it cannot be kept a secret. They shouldn't try to disguise their existence; instead, they should maintain the yard and live in the house openly.

Exclusive possession

The property had to be completely occupied by the squatter, with no other people—not even the legal owner—sharing possession.

Hostile possession

This does not imply that the occupant must behave in a conventionally hostile or aggressive manner. It denotes that they are occupying the property against the owner's rights and without the consent of the rightful owner. The squatter's presence would still be regarded as hostile possession even if the owner is blind to it.

Source: MCL - Section 750.553 - Michigan Legislature

SECTION 10

10. Michigan Landlord Tenant Legal Resources

Below, you’ll find some helpful Michigan landlord–tenant law resources:

Documents and Forms

Legal Resources

DISCLAIMER: This article is designed to convey information, and not to provide legal advice. You should not consider any information in this article to be legal advice. Readers should consider obtaining specific legal advice from an attorney for any decision or course of action contemplated.