Michigan, home of Motown and the original Motor City, has many great offerings for the real estate investor. Median monthly rental rate is $1049, and median home value in Detroit is only $140,000.
At a Glance:
Late Fees: No stated limit: Michigan landlord-tenant law is silent on a maximum allowable fee for late rent.
Security Deposit: 1.5 months’ rent: no more than an amount equivalent to 1 and ½ months’ rent is permitted.
Returned Payment Fee Limit: $25 if paid within 7 days; $35 if paid between 7-30 days.
Notice to Enter: No stated minimum notice: Michigan rental laws are silent on how much notice the landlord must provide the tenant to enter the rental unit.
Late Fee/Returned Check Fee:
Michigan’s landlord-tenant act doesn’t expressly place on limits on late charges in a lease agreement. With that being said, Michigan contract and consumer protection law prohibits fees and charges that may be considered penalizing. These fees must be correlated to the actual costs incurred by the landlord when a tenant is late with rent.
Payments returned by the bank in Michigan are governed by Section 600.2952 of the Revised Judicature Act of 1961. This section even includes a sample notice to use.
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Michigan defines a security deposit as any money taken to provide assurance that the tenant must fulfill the lease obligations. These amounts include prepaid rent (not including the first month rent), any amount that is over and above the normal rent during the lease period, any monies that are intended for return such as a pet deposit. These would not include lease option to purchase fees or those in connection with a subscription based service in a cooperative based housing situation. With that being said, anything collected as a security deposit that meets the definition including prepaid rent, and pet or key deposits cannot exceed an amount greater than one and a half months’ rent payment.
With regards to the return of a security deposit, one must first adhere to the procedures in Michigan 554.608 inventory checklists. There are move-in procedures such as that of providing two blank checklists to the tenant at the commencement of the lease. The tenant must complete and return one copy back to the landlord within seven days. Additionally, the security deposit must be returned within thirty days of the end of the tenancy and in accordance with the Section 554.609 of the Michigan Landlord Tenant Act.*
*Michigan is very specific in the language, timing and even the type of font that is used in notices.
Michigan landlords are obligated to keep the residential rental property in safe and healthy condition. The landlord may not retaliate by evicting a tenant when a tenant complains about a needed maintenance or repair item.
Right of Entry:
In order for a landlord to enter the rental unit, the tenant must give permission. Although, there are no specific notice requirement, some type of “heads up” should be provided. The exception to this rule would be in emergent situations.
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Notice to End Lease:
Michigan requires the either party to provide to the other an advance notice of 7 days for tenancies that run week to week; and 30 days for tenancies that run monthly. For leasing situations where there is a written lease with a fixed ending date: the instructions on how to terminate will be as specified in the lease and if it is silent, then the tenant is expected to move out on the date stated in the lease. If there is a problem with regards to domestic violence that forces a tenant to move early, there are specific procedures that Michigan Landlord Tenant act sets forth.
**Please note that a tenant must provide the landlord with a forwarding address within 14 days after he moves out. If the tenant fails to provide a forwarding address, the landlord is absolved from notifying that tenant from damages. However, the tenant must be notified of this rule, in writing, before the end of 14 days of move-in.
Before filing in court to evict a tenant, an advance notice must be given. Self-eviction where a landlord changes the locks or shuts off utilities is not legal in Michigan. For non-payment and most lease violations, 7 days advance notice must be provided.
Important: Michigan’s Truth in Renting Act requires that the landlord must provide in the lease the name and address for where notices are to be sent as well as the prominent presence of very specific language in precise typeface must be in the lease.
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