Michigan Landlord Tenant Law

Michigan Landlord Tenant Law

by / Tuesday, 04 February 2014 / Published in Goodwin & Scieszka, Personal Injury

When you rent property, there are rights and duties each party undertakes. A landlord has a legal obligation to provide you with a residence (actual possession) at the beginning of the leasehold, and you agree to pay your landlord a set amount of money each month.

But what happens if there’s a dispute after you take possession? Referencing your contract/lease agreement is a good start. But here are some Michigan default provisions absent an agreement between you and your landlord.

All residential properties come with an implied warranty of habitability. Your leased property must be reasonably suited for residential purposes. This duty belongs to your landlord. For example, your landlord can’t create an uninhabitable situation that interferes with your livelihood; like billowing smoke into your apartment every morning.

If a landlord breaches his or her duty, the tenant has two options: 1) move out and end the lease, or 2) sue for damages and remain on the property.

There’s a covenant of quiet enjoyment. Your landlord can’t just evict you or take away a portion of property from you. An entire eviction, obviously, ends the obligation to pay rent. A partial eviction, like your landlord not allowing you to access your basement, means that you can remain on the property and don’t have to pay rent. Why? Because you leased a specified property and aren’t getting the full benefits you originally agreed to.

If your landlord fails to provide a service, there could be a constructive eviction. Failing to provide the service must amount to substantial interference, like having no hot water for 3 weeks. If this happens then you, as a tenant, can leave within a reasonable time.

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