Detroit Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: January 8, 2024 by Savannah Minnery

A residential lease agreement in Detroit is a binding document between a landlord and a tenant. This agreement outlines the terms and conditions surrounding the use of a rental property in exchange for payment.

Residential Lease Agreement Requirements in Detroit

Detroit has no city-specific residential lease agreement requirements or disclosures. As such, landlords and tenants in Detroit follow Michigan requirements for lease agreements.

Landlord-Tenant Rights and Regulations in Detroit

When it comes to landlord-tenant rights, landlords should be aware of the following:

Fair Chance Ordinance

Detroit’s Fair Chance Ordinance prevents landlords from conducting a criminal background check on an applicant before they have completed all other aspects of the application process. Landlords are prohibited from rejecting an application based on the following circumstances:

  • Arrest that did not result in a conviction
  • Participation or completion of a diversion or deferral of judgment program
  • Juvenile record
  • Misdemeanor conviction over 5 years old
  • Information regarding other violations such as civil infractions
  • Convictions that have been expunged or invalidated by a court or pardon

If criminal history is shown on the applicant’s background check, the landlord must allow the applicant to provide evidence of rehabilitation. If evidence is provided and the landlord still chooses to deny the application, then the applicant may file a civil rights complaint to the City of Detroit’s Civil Rights, Inclusion, and Opportunity Department.

Lead Ordinance

In 2010, Detroit’s property maintenance code was updated to include additional requirements for landlords regarding lead-based paint. This lead ordinance requires all rental properties to have both a lead inspection and a lead clearance report before they can be rented out to tenants.

Certificate of Compliance

The City of Detroit’s rental ordinance requires all residential buildings to obtain both a certificate of compliance and a certificate of registration. A certificate of compliance shows that a rental unit has been inspected and is safe for occupancy. Buildings that do not meet these guidelines cannot legally be occupied or rented out.

Optional Lease Agreement Disclosures and Addendums in Detroit

While not mandatory, landlords can add specific disclosures and addendums to their leases. This helps outline the responsibilities of the tenant and can prevent future liability issues.

Crime-Free Addendum

Due to Detroit’s very high crime rate, it would be in the landlord’s best interest to include an addendum stating that engaging in criminal activity, including drug-related activity, is prohibited on or near the property.

Pest Control Addendum

Since Detroit is known for its high rat population, landlords may want to include a pest control addendum in the lease agreement. This agreement should highlight the tenants’ responsibilities related to pest prevention—including reporting any signs of pests to management as soon as possible.

Mold Addendum

Due to the humid climate in Detroit, landlords may want to include a mold addendum. This will prevent landlords from being liable for future mold-related damage.

Summary of Required Lease Disclosures for the State of Michigan

  • Landlord’s Name and Address – Oregon leases must contain the name and address of the landlord or authorized agent.
  • Truth in Renting Act Disclosure – As part of the Truth in Renting Act, all residential rental agreements in Michigan must include a general statement of the rights a tenant has under state law.
  • Domestic Violence Protection Disclosure – Michigan rental agreements must include a notice that a tenant with certified proof of domestic violence victim status may cancel the lease without penalty by giving appropriate notice.
  • Move-In Checklist/Security Deposit Notice – Michigan landlords collecting a security deposit must provide two copies of a checklist that takes inventory of the rental unit’s condition, along with a security deposit notice.
  • Lead-Based Paint Disclosure – It is a federal law in the United States that any home built prior to 1978 must disclose the risks posed by lead-based paints.