Let's Move to Detroit: Landlord-Tenant Law | Goodwin & Scieszka

Let’s Move to Detroit: Landlord-Tenant Law

by / Wednesday, 19 February 2014 / Published in Goodwin & Scieszka

It just seems like everyone is moving downtown. I want to move downtown. Maybe I’ll see you down there. In any event, let’s talk about more landlord-tenant lease agreements and their terms and conditions.

Obviously, you should always look to your own lease, but these are common provisions you should know about.

If you don’t pay your landlord, there are two options: they can sue you for the back-rent or evict you.

When you rent a space, you are entitled to possession on the day  your lease begins. At common law, all that was needed to be provided was legal possession to enter the property, which means that you could rent a place with a squatter and it was your problem not your landlords. Oh how the times have changed…

All leases come with an implied agreement of quiet enjoyment:
1. If you’re completely evicted, your obligation to pay rent is terminated
2. If you’re partially evicted, you can remain on the premise and no longer have to pay rent
3. If a 3rd party comes to the property with superior title than your landlord, property payments will be apportioned

A constructive eviction occurs when a basic necessity is deprived. If this happens and the property is uninhabitable,  the tenant can either: 1) terminate the lease agreement, 2) make repairs and offset their rental payments, or 3) remain in possession while paying full rent and suing for damages.

If your landlord tries to evict you out of spite (also known as a retaliatory eviction), courts will presumptively favor your happenstance and it’s on the landlord to point to the actual reason for eviction.

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