Michigan Rental Lease Agreements
The Michigan Rental Lease Agreements grant a landlord with the legal grounding to lease their residential rental property to a tenant. The rental contract establishes set obligations that each party must uphold, of which relate to the following areas:
- Utilities and Services;
- Rent Amount ($);
- Evictions; and
- Maximum number of guests
The provisions in the contract should accurately reflect state landlord-tenant laws. To avoid any confusion or ambiguity about the legality of the terms, parties should refer to relevant statutes prior to signing.
What is a Michigan Lease Agreement?
A Michigan Lease Agreement is a contract applicable to landlords seeking to lease a residential dwelling and tenants seeking to rent it from them. While not mandatory, it is highly advisable that landlords require prospective tenants to fill out a rental application form. This will help to vet tenants, particularly when high volumes apply for the lease.
State Definition (Section 554.601(b)) – “means an agreement that establishes or modifies the terms, conditions, rules, regulations, or any other provisions concerning the use and occupancy of a rental unit.”
Types of Agreements
College Roommate Agreement – Created and signed by college students sharing the same dorm room, this agreement helps to promote a positive environment for all roommates to enjoy.
Commercial Lease Agreement – A legally-binding document signed by two parties—a business wanting to rent a property for commercial usage, and a landlord who allows for their property to be used for such purposes.
Lease to Own Agreement – This contract is suitable for landlords who would like to set legal conditions for their tenants to eventually buy the rental property from them.
Month-to-Month Lease – Allows for a rental property to be lease by the month, rather than for a fixed term.
Roommate Agreement – Only involving roommates—not the landlord—this document provides guidance on matters concerning the lease, ranging from the number of guests allowed to how rent is paid.
Standard Residential Lease Agreement – Based on Michigan state laws, this lease agreement is entered into by a landlord with a residential property to rent and a tenant wishing to reside in it.
Sublease Agreement – Outlines all of the necessary provisions related to the specific circumstances of a tenant subleasing a rental dwelling to another party.
When is Rent Due?
Michigan law does not specify when rent is due, therefore, this should be clearly stated in the lease agreement. Similarly, state law does not specify about a grace period.
Emergency: Michigan state law is silent on the issue of landlord access in emergency circumstances. Federal law, however, establishes that landlords may enter without notice during emergencies.
Non-Emergency (§ 600.2918(3)(b)): State law allows for landlords to temporarily interfere with the tenant’s possession of the property to make needed repairs or to inspect the premises. There is nothing stipulated about a required notice period prior to entry, although at least twenty-four (24) hours notice is recommended.
- Domestic Violence (554.601b): Landlords are required to provide tenants with the following notice regarding situations of domestic violence: “A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to him or her or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may have special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.”
- Lead Paint Disclosure: As dictated by federal law, landlords must disclose if a rental property built prior to 1978 has any known lead paint hazards. The Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home pamphlet must also be provided to tenants.
- Inventory Checklist (§ 554.608): Landlords who demand a security deposit from tenants must use a checklist at both the commencement and termination of the tenancy to detail the condition of the property in these respective circumstances. The checklist must be provided to tenants for review, and returned to the landlord within seven (7) days of occupying the rental dwelling.
- Name and Address (§ 554.634(1)): The lease agreement must state the name of the landlord as well as their address.
- Truth in Renting Act Disclosure (§ 554.634): The lease agreement must state, in a prominent place, a notice regarding the Michigan Truth in Renting Act. The exact text and specifications can be found in Section 554.634 of the Truth in Renting Act.
- Security Deposit Receipt (§ 554.603): Landlords who demand a security deposit from tenants must provide their name and address for the receipt of communications, the name and address of the financial institution the security deposit will be held, and the tenant’s obligation to provide in writing a forwarding mailing address to the landlord within four (4) days after termination of occupancy. A specific notice regarding what a tenant must do if they terminate the lease must also be included, of which can be found in Section 554.603.
Security Deposit Laws
Maximum (§ 554.602): The landlord cannot charge in excess of one and a half (1.5) month’s rent.
Returning to Tenant (§ 554.609): The landlord must return the security deposit, minus any deductions due to damages, to tenants within thirty (30) days after the termination of occupancy. If there are any damages, the landlord must provide an itemized list of damages including an estimation of how must each damaged item will cost to repair, in addition to “the amounts and bases on which he intends to assess the tenant”.