Michigan Landlord Retaliation Laws

Michigan Landlord Retaliation Laws

Last Updated: May 12, 2023

Tenant Protected Actions
  • Health/Safety Complaints
  • Joining/Starting Tenants’ Organization
  • Asserting Lawful Rights
  • Lawfully Withholding Rent
Landlord Retaliatory Actions
  • Eviction
  • Increasing Tenant Obligation
Penalties for Retaliation
  • Tenant Retains Possession

When Is It Illegal for Landlords to Retaliate in Michigan?

It’s illegal for Michigan landlords to retaliate with eviction or increased obligations under the rental agreement, against tenants who have taken one of the following protected actions within the last 90 days:

  • Reporting health and safety violations.
  • Attempting to secure rights under law or lease.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.
  • Withholding rent for a lawful reason.

The law allows an exception when the landlord can prove a non-retaliatory, good-faith reason for the alleged retaliatory action. For example, a landlord who raises rent proportionately in response to a large increase in property tax is not retaliating, even if a tenant has recently complained about maintenance.

What Can Tenants Do in Response in Michigan?

In Michigan, a claim of retaliation is the tenant’s defense to a landlord who is attempting eviction. If the court finds the landlord is retaliating, the landlord will lose the eviction suit. Judges also have the power to order other relief for the tenant, like rent reductions or injunctions.