This is a summary of Michigan Landlord-Tenant laws that apply to residential (non-commercial) rentals. These references were compiled from the Michigan Compiled Laws and various online sources to serve as a reference and for people wanting to learn about Michigan landlord-tenant laws, Michigan eviction laws, and Michigan renters’ rights.
However, this guide is not comprehensive and PayRent does not warrant the accuracy of this information. Statutes can change any time the state legislature passes a new law. Additionally, counties and cities may have different regulations. Given its limitations, this guide is not an adequate substitute for legal advice from a knowledgeable lawyer. If you are dealing with a landlord-tenant issue, you seek guidance from a qualified attorney. If you need help finding an attorney, we’ve included a list of attorney referral services in this guide.
Rules and Regulations Governing Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.131 – 554.139 – General Provisions
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.201 – 554.201 – Untenantable Buildings
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.601 – 554.616 – Landlord and Tenant Relationships
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.631 – 554.641 – Truth in Renting Act
- Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 125.401 – 125.543 – Housing Law of Michigan
Michigan Lease Terms Provisions
- What is the maximum allowable security deposit?
The security deposit cannot exceed one and ½ month’s rent. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.602)
- Are security deposits required to earn interest?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring security deposits to earn interest.
- Do landlords need to store security deposits in a separate bank account?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring security deposits to be stored in a separate bank account. However, security deposits must be deposited in a regulated financial institution. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.604)
- Are non-refundable fees, such as pet fees, prohibited?
No. There are no Michigan laws forbidding non-refundable fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- How long do landlords have to return security deposits?
30 days. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.609)
- Can landlords withhold security deposits?
Yes. Landlords can use the deposit to cover actual damages that are the direct result of conduct not reasonably expected in the normal course of habitation of a dwelling and to pay the landlord for all rent in arrearage under the rental agreement, rent due for premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant, and for utility bills not paid by the tenant. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.607)
- Are landlords required to itemize damages and fees deducted from security deposits?
Yes. The landlord must provide an itemized list of damages claimed, including the estimated cost of repair of each property damaged item and the amounts of and reasons for the deductions. The list shall be accompanied by a check or money order for the difference between the damages claimed and the amount of the security deposit and shall not include any damages that were claimed on a previous termination inventory checklist prior to the tenant’s occupancy of the dwelling unit. The notice of damages shall include the following statement in 12 point boldface type which shall be at least 4 points larger than the body of the 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 (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.609)
- Do landlords have to issue receipts upon receiving security deposits?
No. A receipt of the deposit is not required, but within 14 days of move-in the landlord must provide the tenant in writing the name and address of the financial institution where the security deposit is held, as well as the name and mailing address of the landlord. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.603)
- Are there any specific requirements for record-keeping for deposit withholdings?
Yes. Such record keeping is required as part of statutory move-in/move-out process. The landlord is prohibited from withholding any damages from a tenant’s deposit that were claimed on a previous tenant’s move-out checklist. The landlord must also notify each tenant that he or she is entitled to a copy of the previous tenant’s move-out checklist that includes claimed damages. (Mich. Comp. Laws §§ 554.608, 554.609)
- What happens when a landlord does not return a security deposit within the required timeframe?
If the landlord does not provide an itemized list of damages within 30 days, the landlord forfeits any claim to the deposit and must immediately refund the entire deposit. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.610)
- Is there a cap on how much landlords can charge for rent? (rent control)
No. There are no rent control laws in Michigan.
- Does rent need to be paid using a certain method of payment?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring a certain payment method for rent.
- Can landlords charge late fees when rent is late?
Yes. There are no Michigan laws forbidding late fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Do landlords have to allow for a grace period for paying rent before charging late fees?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring a grace period before assessing late fees.
- Can landlords charge application fees?
Yes. There is no Michigan law forbidding application fees or limiting the amount that landlords can charge.
- Can landlords charge returned check fees?
Yes. Landlords can charge a returned check fee of $25.00 if paid within seven days and $35 if paid within 30 days. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2952)
Michigan Landlord-Tenant Relations
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of rent increases between lease terms. However, landlords cannot raise your rent in the middle of your lease.
- Are landlords required to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the property?
No. There is no Michigan law requiring landlords to provide tenants with notice of pesticide use on the rental property.
- What notice is required to terminate a fixed-end lease?
No notice is required — the lease ends on the date stated in the lease.
- What notice is required to terminate a tenancy at will?
When the rent is payable at periods of 3 months or greater, either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with 1 month’s notice. When the rent is payable at periods of less that 3 months, either the landlord or the tenant can terminate the lease with notice equal to the interval between the times of payment. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.134(1))
- Is notice of the date and time of the move out inspection required?
There is no statute in Michigan law covering this issue.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises with notice?
There is no statute in Michigan law covering this issue.
- What notice must a landlord give a tenant before entering the rental unit?
There is no Michigan statute requiring landlords to give tenants notice of entry.
- When can landlords enter the rental premises without providing notice to their tenants?
- Under court order (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(3)(a)).
- As necessary to make needed repairs or inspection. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(3)(b))
- When the landlord believes in good faith that the tenant has abandoned the premises, and after diligent inquiry has reason to believe the tenant does not intend to return, and current rent is not paid (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(3)(c))
- When the landlord believes in good faith that the sole tenant is deceased. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(3))
Landlord’s Duties (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.139(1))
- Landlords must ensure at move in that the premises and all common areas are fit for the use intended by the parties.
- Landlords must keep the premises in reasonable repair during the term of the lease or license, and to comply with the applicable health and safety laws.(Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.139(1))
There is no statute in Michigan law covering this issue.
Required Landlord Disclosures
- Rental agreements must state the name and address at which the landlord can receive notices. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.634(1))
- Rental agreements must include a written disclosure regarding the Truth in Renting Act, in the following form: “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.”. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 554.634(2)).
- Before renting pre-1978 property, landlords must disclose all known lead paint hazards. Landlords must also provide tenants, as an attachment to a written lease, with an information pamphlet on lead-based paint hazards. (16 CFR 1303, 42 U.S. Code § 4852d) . If the landlord fails to disclose all known lead paint hazards, the landlord can face fines of up to $19,507 for each violation (24 CFR 30.65).
Michigan Renters’ Rights
- What are Michigan renters’ rights if landlords breach their duties? (See Landlord’s Duties)
If conditions exist which constitute a hazard to health or safety, the tenant may pay rent into an escrow account until the issue is corrected. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 125.530)
- Are tenants allowed to withhold rent for needed repairs or other breaches of their landlords’ duties?
Yes. There is no statute regarding this issue, but a tenant’s right to repair and deduct rent was established in the case Rome v. Walker, 198 N.W.2d 458 (1972).
- What are the protections for tenants against retaliation from their landlords for exercising their Michigan renter’s rights?
Michigan law prohibits landlords from evicting tenants as retaliation for attempting to assert their rights under the lease or law, complaining to a governmental authority about a health and safety code violation, or joining a tenant organization. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5720)
Michigan Eviction Laws
- What are the reasons that landlords can evict tenants under Michigan eviction laws?
- Nonpayment of rent (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(a))
- Material health or safety violation (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(d))
- Illegal drug activity (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(b))
- Threat of physical harm or physical harm (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(e))
- The tenant remains in possession without the landlord’s consent after expiration or termination of the term of the rental agreement (holdover tenancy) (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(c))
- For evictions based on non-payment of rent, a material health and safety violation, or a threat of physical harm or physical harm, the landlord must give a 7-day notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(a)), Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(d), Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(e))
- For evictions based on illegal drug activity, the landlord must give 24 hours’ notice of termination of the lease before starting the eviction process. Landlords do not have to permit the tenant to cure these types of breaches. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(b))
- For evictions based on a holdover tenancy, landlords must provide the notice required to end the tenancy. If the tenant remains on the rental property after the termination date, the landlord can begin the eviction process without providing additional notice. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.5714(1)(c))
- Do Michigan eviction laws allow landlords to use “self-help eviction” methods, such as locking a tenant out of the rental unit or shutting off the utilities?
No. If a landlord evicts a tenant using self-help methods, the tenant is entitled to recover 3 times the amount of his or her actual damages or $200, whichever is greater, in addition to recovering possession. (Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.2918(1))
COVID-19 Changes to Michigan Landlord-Tenant Laws
- The CDC’s national eviction ban was effective through August 26, 2021, and is no longer in place.
- The federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is no longer effective.
- Michigan issued Utility Assistance resources.
Squatter’s rights in Michigan
Under Homestead Act of 1862, individuals (squatters) can possess the property if they have lived there for a specific period of time, done so publicly, made repairs to the property, have deed to the property and have paid rent or taxes on this property.
Michigan has no specific laws recognizing squatters.
The squatter can claim adverse possession after exclusive use and uninterrupted possession on the property for 15 years. When the squatter claims title to the land in question by or through some deed made upon the sale of the premises by an executor, administrator, guardian, or testamentary trustee; or by a sheriff or other proper ministerial officer under the order, judgment, process, or decree of a court or legal tribunal of competent jurisdiction within this state, or by a sheriff upon a mortgage foreclosure sale the period of limitation is 5 years. When the squatter claims title under some deed made by an officer of this state or of the United States who is authorized to make deeds upon the sale of lands for taxes assessed and levied within this state the period of limitation is 10 years. (Mich. Comp. Laws. § 600.5801).
- U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Michigan
- Fair Housing Center of Metropolitan Detroit
- Fair Housing Center of Southeastern and Mid-Michigan
- Fair Housing Center of Southwest Michigan
- Fair Housing Center of West Michigan
- Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services
- Michigan Information on Purchasing Home and Renters Insurance
- Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
Attorney Referral Services
Realtor and Landlord-Tenant Associations
- Michigan Realtors
- Detroit Association of Realtors
- Grand Rapids Association of Realtors
- Central Michigan Association of Realtors
- Southwestern Michigan Associations of Realtors
- Greater Metropolitan Association of Realtors
- Greater Lansing Association of Realtors
- Northern Great Lakes Realtors MLS
- West Michigan Lakeshore Association of Realtors
- Grosse Pointe Board of Realtors
- Apartment Association of Michigan
- Detroit Metropolitan Apartment Association
- Washtenaw Area Apartment Association
- Genesee Landlords Association
- Jackson Area Landlords Association
- Rental Property Owners Association
- Rental Property Owners Association of Mid-Michigan
- Port Huron Area Landlord Association
- Albion Landlord Association
- Real Estate Investors Association of Oakland
- Michigan Real Estate Investment Association