The Michigan lease agreements are legal documents used by real estate professionals, property owners, businesses, and rental seekers for the purposes of leasing property. When signing a lease in the state of Michigan, you are creating a contract and because of that you are contractually obligated to perform certain duties and to hold your weight of responsibility. The state also grants you certain rights and protections which are written in the Michigan Legislator of Compiled Laws. Residential leasing is fairly straightforward except that mobile homes and subsidized housing have a few more protections and the law if slightly different. Leasing commercial property comes with it’s own set of laws and regulations.
Like most states, Michigan allows landlords and tenants to create leases orally, but like many people in the industry will tell you, it’s a very bad idea because it offers the least amount of protections for both landlord and tenant. There are two types of ways to rent residential property, on a fixed-term basis or on a periodic (Tenancy at Will) basis. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. With fixed term leases, the tenant’s rent is stable and the landlord can not regain possession of the property until the end of the lease term. Periodic leases give the tenant freedom to terminate the lease with proper notice.
Form Description Types
Michigan Leasing Statutes
- Michigan Landlord and Tenant Relationships > Act 348 of 1972 – Discuses all laws and pertaining to the relationship between landlord and tenant.
- Michigan Truth in Renting Act > Act 454 of 1978 – Requires the landlord to disclose certain leasing information while prohibiting certain clauses or provisions and prescribing penalties.
Michigan Leasing Laws & Disclosures
The security deposit is the property of the tenant but remains in the hand’s of the landlord during the course of the lease to unsure the tenant pays rent on-time and protects the landlord if damage or wrong doing is done to their property. The security deposit may not exceed more than 1.5 times the monthly rent. Any fee given to the landlord by the tenant before he or she moves in is deemed a security deposit if it’s refundable. This includes pet fees, cleaning fees, storage fees, etc. Non-refundable fees are not categorized as a security deposits and the landlord may charge however much they would like as long as the tenant accepts and that it’s written in the lease agreement.
Storing the Security Deposit
The landlord is not allowed to keep the tenant’s security deposit in a desk drawer or even their own bank account. The landlord must deposit the security deposit into a separate regulated financial institution or use it to deposit a cash bond or surety bond, to secure the entire deposit, with the Secretary of State.
Return of Security Deposit
It’s the responsibility of the tenant to give written notice to the landlord within 4 days after the termination of the lease a forwarding address as to where the landlord may send the security deposit. The landlord then must return the security deposit within 30 days of receiving the written notice from the tenant.
An eviction is the process of removing a tenant from a property in which they have violated their agreement in a way that can not be restored.The process of the eviction is defined as a Summary Proceeding. Before the tenant can be physically removed (if it comes to that), the landlord must issue a “Notice to Quit”. If the tenant still refuses to leave, the landlord may fight to get a court order and eventually remove the tenant.
Joint and Several Liability
If there are 1 or more people attached to a lease agreement and there is a “joint and several liability” clause in the agreement, the tenants are tied to one another when it comes to paying rent. If one tenant stops paying rent, the other tenant’s are still responsible for paying the landlord the full rent amount. Failure to do so may induce an eviction.
Repair & Maintenance
Under Michigan Statute, the landlord is responsible and has the duty to keep rental property, including common areas with the following: (a) Fit for use, (b) give reasonable repair during the term of the lease, and (c) make sure property is in compliance with health and safety laws.
It’s prohibited according to federal, state, and local laws to discriminate in relation to housing based on race, color, sex, age, disability, and family status.
Landlords may allow or disallow the ability for tenants to live with pets. They may also charge a pet fee if the landlord chooses. If a tenant is impaired and needs a companion dog, the landlord can not discriminate and must allow the dog since companion dogs are not lawfully viewed as pets.
Housing codes are implemented locally therefore it’s important to check with your local unit of government for requirements such as smoke detectors and how they comply with your property.
Residential units built before 1978 must be inspected for lead-based paint considering that it’s very dangerous to young children. Commercial rentals, zero-bedroom efficiency apartments, and rental units certified as lead-free by a qualified lead abatement inspector are not required to be inspected.
- Download > Michigan Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form