Warranty of Habitability in Michigan

Last Updated: May 12, 2023 by Elizabeth Souza

In Michigan, a landlord’s obligation for providing a habitable living space is primarily governed by Michigan Comp. Laws § 440.2314. This legal requirement, commonly known as the “implied warranty of habitability,” also outlines the rights of tenants when repairs are not made in a timely manner.

Quick Facts Answer
Landlord Responsibilities Roof/Walls, Hot/Cold Water, HVAC, Toilets, Plumbing, Electrical, Stairs/Railings, No Combustible Materials.
Time Limit for Repairs “Reasonable” Time Frame (24 hrs for emergencies)
Tenant Recourse Options
  • Withhold Rent: Yes
  • Repair & Deduct: Yes

Applicable Dwelling Types in Michigan

The implied warranty of habitability in Michigan does not apply to all types of dwellings. See the table below for which are and aren’t included.

Dwelling Type Landlord/Tenant Laws Apply?
Single family Yes
Multi-family Yes
Fraternities/Sororities/Clubs No
RV parks Not addressed
Mobile home parks Yes
Condos Not addressed
Hotels/Motels No

Landlord Responsibilities in Michigan

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

Note: Some of the below items may not be addressed at the state level but may be addressed on a county or city level. Check your local housing codes to see which additional requirements may apply.

Habitability Issue Landlord Responsibility?
Provide windows and doors that are in good repair. Not addressed
Ensure the roof, walls, etc., are completely waterproofed and there are no leaks. Yes
Provide hot and cold running water. Yes
Provide working HVAC equipment. AC not required
Provide working plumbing and electrical wiring/outlets/ lighting. Yes
Provide working gas lines if used for utilities/cooking Not addressed
Provide working sanitation facilities (bathtub/shower, toilet). Toilets only (bathtub/shower not addressed)
Provide a trash can (for trash pickup services). Multi-family units only
Ensure that any stairs and railings are safe. Yes
Ensure that all floors are in good condition and safe. Not addressed
Provide fire exits that are usable, safe, and clean. Yes
Ensure storage areas, including garages and basements, do not house combustible materials. Yes
Provide working smoke detectors Yes
Provide a mailbox. Not addressed
Provide working wiring for one telephone jack. Not addressed
Provide working kitchen appliances. Not addressed
Provide working carbon monoxide detector. Yes
Provide a working washer/dryer. Not addressed

All common areas of the premises must be kept in a fit condition.

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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.”

Repairs, Recourse & Retaliation in Michigan

If a rental property is in violation of the implied warranty of habitability in Michigan, state laws outline how the repair process works, what tenants can do if repairs aren’t made, and how tenants are protected against retaliating landlords.

Requesting Repairs in Michigan

Michigan tenants aren’t required to request repairs in a particular manner, so both written notice as well as verbal forms like phone calls and personal conversations are acceptable. Written notice is usually safest since it permits wording and timing to be proven precisely.

Renter’s Rights if Repairs Aren’t Made in Michigan

Michigan renters have the right to repairs for issues that affect health and safety, unless they caused the issue themselves. The landlord must repair any issues within a reasonable time after notice.

If an issue isn’t fixed, the renter can withhold rent, repair and deduct, terminate the lease, or ask a court to order repairs or other compensation. Read More

Landlord Retaliation in Michigan

Michigan landlords aren’t allowed to retaliate with eviction or increased obligations under the rental agreement, against tenants who have taken one of these actions within the last 90 days:

  • Reporting health and safety violations.
  • Attempting to secure rights under law or lease.
  • Participating in a tenant organization.
  • Lawfully withholding rent.

Non-retaliatory, good-faith motivations fall under an exception. For example, a proportionate increase in rent following an increase in property tax isn’t retaliation.

Retaliation is primarily a defense against eviction. Michigan judges also have the power to order other relief for the tenant, like rent reductions or injunctions.