Michigan Habitability Laws

Michigan Law governs landlord/tenant issues in the state. Read further to learn what landlords are responsible for providing and how long they have to make repairs. Learn how tenants should request maintenance and how habitability applies to damages and security deposits.

Quick Facts for Michigan

Who Does The Warranty of Habitability Apply To?

The Warranty of Habitability in Kentucky applies to short-term and long-term rental properties that are single-family or multi-family dwellings. It also applies to RV parks, mobile home parks, and condos.

How Long Do Tenants Have to Make Repairs?

N/A

What Are Tenants Responsible For?

Tenants are required to keep the rental reasonably clean; landlords can ask a tenant to clean up if they are not doing so. Tenants are allowed to deduct the costs of any repairs they make from their monthly rent.

What are Landlords Responsible For Providing?

Plumbing, runing hot and cold water, electrical, sanitation facilities, and elevators (in buildings that have them), as well as a trash can (for trash pickup services).

How Long Do Landlords Have to Fix Something?

24 hours in an emergency situation; a “reasonable time” in non-emergency situations. Tenants do not have to give landlords access to the rental unit.

The following chart lays out which types of rental units the law applies to.

Understanding the Law

For all residential properties, landlords are required to ensure the property complies with any and all Michigan health and safety laws as they relate to the safety of the building and/or the health of the residents.

Landlords are also required to perform any repairs necessary to make the unit livable, which are not caused by the tenant. 

Tenants are required to pay for any repairs caused by their own negligence or intentional acts, which may come out of the security deposit.

Landlord Responsibilities

The following chart lists common landlord responsibilities when it comes to habitability.  Not all of them are requirements in Michigan, as indicated below.


Lead-based Paint 

For all properties built prior to 1978, landlords must disclose the potential for lead-based paint before tenants sign the rental agreement.  Landlords must also provide tenants with a booklet titled, “Protect Your Family From Lead in Your Home,” prior to signing the lease.

Additionally, a written lead-based paint disclosure must be issued to the tenant.  However, the landlord is not required to remove any lead-based paint on the premises. 

Pest Control

Landlords are responsible for ensuring rental properties are free from “vermin.”  

Addressing Habitability Issues

For any repairs the landlord makes due to the tenant’s actions, the landlord can:

  • Use the tenant’s security deposit to pay for any damage to the property when the tenant moves out.
  • Evict the tenant through a court proceeding.

Tenant Repair Requests

Tenants may request repairs orally or in writing.  The landlord will then have 24 hours for emergency repairs, or a “reasonable” time to make any non-emergency repairs after receiving notice.

If the landlord fails to make the requested repairs, a tenant has the right to:

  • Withhold rent and deposit it into a separate account (to pay the landlord later) until repairs have been made.
  • Pay for the repairs themselves and deduct the cost of the repairs from their monthly rent payment.

Landlord Access

Tenants are not required to give the landlord access to the property to make necessary repairs under Michigan law except in an emergency.

Failure to Provide the “Essentials”

If a landlord intentionally or negligently fails to provide heat, water, electricity, and/or other “essentials,” tenants are allowed to:

  • Terminate the lease.
  • Pursue legal action. 

Retaliation

Retaliation against tenants for requesting repairs that affect habitability is illegal under Michigan law.

Security Deposits and Repairs

Finally, the landlord is required to provide an itemized list of the costs for any repairs that will be withheld from the tenant’s security deposit within 30 days of the lease’s termination. 

Sources

  1. Michigan Legislature, “A Practical Guide for Tenants & Landlords.”
  2. Michigan Legislature, Act 348, Landlord and Tenant Relationships.
  3. Michigan Legislature, Act 167, Housing Law of Michigan.
  4. Michigan Legal Help, “Tenant Rights and Responsibilities.”

Read About the Warranty of Habitability in Other States