Posted in Blog  
  on Dec 09, 2015

The Key Points of Michigan Renters Rights

Once a rental agreement is assigned, the household which occupies a rental unit becomes a tenant. This gives them access to all of the renters rights they are allowed under Michigan's landlord tenant laws. In basic terms, this means that renters are allowed to live in a place that is habitable. This includes the actual property in addition to the structure being occupied. Common areas should also be maintained for normal use. Here are the key points of Michigan renters rights to consider in addition to the rights that are listed above.

1. Renters Generally Have a Right To Receive Repairs In a Reasonable Time.

Renters can ask their landlord to make a needed repair in writing. Landlords must generally then make this repair in a reasonable amount of time. Renters have the right to request a deadline. The exception to this rule is that Michigan allows this right to be waived for leases that last longer than 1 year. If the repair is not made, then renters have the right to place their rent into an escrow account or pay for the repairs and deduct the cost.

2. Renters Have The Right To Have a Quiet Enjoyment Of The Property.

Landlords are not allowed to do anything that prevents a renter from having access to their home. This means renters must not be threatened, have force used against them, or have personal property removed, withheld, or destroyed. Locks may not be altered without tenant permission. Landlords may not even enter without permission unless they've offered previous notice for an inspection or sales tour or there is an emergency repair which must be made.

3. Renters Have The Right To Change The Terms Of The Lease.

If a tenant and a landlord mutually agree to change the terms of a lease while it is still active, then Michigan allows for this to take place. Any changes should be in writing, signed by all parties, and made as an addendum to the lease. There are some reasons why a landlord could make changes to a lease without the agreement of a tenant, including the need to raise rent to meet raises in property taxes, utilities, or insurance costs.

4. Renters Have The Right To Hold Over After An Expired Lease.

When a renter's lease ends, they are allowed to keep living in the rental property if this is also agreed upon by the landlord. Both parties can either negotiate a new lease or the tenancy can become month-to-month instead. Some leases offer an automatic renewal, so renters must pay close attention to what their lease says when they initially sign it.

5. Some Renters Have The Right To Break Their Lease.

If a renter fears that they might become a victim of domestic violence, then there are circumstances which allow them to break the lease and move to a new location without having an obligation to pay rent through the end of the lease. This includes stalking or various types of assault.

6. Renters Have The Right To Receive a Full Security Deposit Refund.

Landlords are allowed to keep a portion of the security deposit when there are damages to a rental unit which must be repaired. Damages cannot be charged when what needs to be repaired is normal wear and tear. If a rental unit has a carpet which is 20 years old and it needs to be replaced because it has just worn out, the last tenant to occupy the space doesn't foot the bill. Normal wear and tear can be different for different households as well. A family with 3 kids and 3 dogs will have a different level of wear and tear than a newlywed couple renting their first property together.

7. Renters Have The Right To Have a Capped Security Deposit.

Michigan allows landlords to charge a security deposit that is 1.5x the amount of rent they charge in their lease. If the monthly rent on the property is $1,000, then the maximum security deposit would be $1,500. This cap applies no matter what a landlord may try to call this deposit and applies even when the first and last month's rent is requested to begin the tenancy. These key points cover just a few of the renters rights which are provided by the state of Michigan. If your question was not answered here, then be sure to consult with the specific state statutes which govern your situation under local landlord-tenant laws or ask a knowledgeable attorney.


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