Michigan Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: July 13, 2022 by Elizabeth Souza

The Michigan residential lease agreement (“rental agreement”) is used by a landlord to rent a residential property for a fixed period. The terms are typically agreed upon by both landlord and tenant. The form becomes a legal contract after both parties have provided their signatures.

Michigan Lease Agreement Disclosures

The below disclosures are either required for some or all residential lease agreements in Michigan.

Disclosure Applicable to
Landlord Name/Address All Units
Truth In Renting Act All Units
Domestic Violence All Units
Move-In Checklist/Security Deposit Notice All Units Charging a Security Deposit
Lead Paint All Units Built Prior to 1978
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Landlord’s Name & Address

Applicable to all rental units in Michigan.

Creates a line of communication for important notices and demands between tenant and landlord. Landlords or any authorized individual to act on behalf of the property should provide contact information (including their address) within or alongside the lease.

Truth in Renting Act Disclosure

Applicable to all rental units in Michigan.

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.

This law provides the exact language to be used for this disclosure:

NOTICE: Michigan law establishes rights and obligations for parties to rental agreements. This agreement is required to comply with the Truth in Renting Act. If you have a question about the interpretation or legality of a provision of this agreement, you may want to seek assistance from a lawyer or other qualified person.

Domestic Violence Protection Disclosure

Applicable to all rental units in Michigan.

Michigan requires all rental agreements to include a specific notice on protection from domestic abuse, which allows a tenant with a certified proof of domestic violence victim status to be released of their rental obligation no later than 31 days after the rent is due after the notice is given.

Michigan state law provides the exact language to be used for this disclosure in residential lease agreements:

A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to him or her or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may have special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.

This statement should be placed in a prominent section of the rental agreement and typed in a font not less than the size of 12-point or in a legible print with letters not smaller than 1/8 inch.

Move-In Checklist/Security Deposit Notice

Applicable to all rental units in Michigan.

Michigan landlords that intend to charge a security deposit are required to provide two copies of the inventory of the rental unit’s condition. This checklist, which must be identical to the one used upon move out, does not necessarily have to be attached to the rental agreement, but it does need to be provided to the tenant within seven days of the move-in date.

The move-in checklist should include any present damage or specific furnishings that are included (such as carpeting, draperies, appliances or furniture) that must be returned in the same state they were upon move-in.

Additionally, the checklist is required to have the following notice in legible writing at the top of the document:

You should complete this checklist, noting the condition of the rental property, and return it to the landlord within 7 days after obtaining possession of the rental unit. You are also entitled to request and receive a copy of the last termination inventory checklist which shows what claims were chargeable to the last prior tenants.

It should also include the below security deposit receipt disclosure in at least 12-point, boldface font:

You must notify your landlord in writing within 4 days after you move of a forwarding address where you can be reached and where you will receive mail; otherwise your landlord shall be relieved of sending you an itemized list of damages and the penalties adherent to that failure.

Failure to do so relieves the tenant of their obligation to provide a forwarding address to receive their security deposit.

Download: Michigan Move-In Checklist Disclosure Form (PDF)

Lead-Based Paint Disclosure

Applicable to any rental units built prior to 1978.

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. This law requires landlords in Michigan to:

Download: Michigan Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Form (PDF)

Optional Disclosures & Addendums (Recommended)

The below lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Michigan law. These disclosures can be helpful to include to help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

Optional Disclosure How the Disclosure is Helpful
Asbestos This disclosure informs tenants if there is asbestos at the property. If there is asbestos a tenant can take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers.
Bed Bugs If the rental unit has a history of infestation, landlords should provide information on how to handle a bed bug infestation. This disclosure notifies the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention and immediately report any sign of infestation to the landlord.
Late/Returned Check Fees Landlords should disclose if they will charge a late fee or a returned check fee in the lease agreement. In Michigan there is no limit on late fees. There is a $25 limit on returned checks if paid within 7 days or $35 if paid within 30 days.
Medical Marijuana Use Inform tenants if medical marijuana use on the property is permittable. Some state laws allow landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.
Mold Disclosure Informing the tenant of the current mold status of a property protects the landlord against future liability of mold damages.
Non-Refundable Fees A non-refundable charge must be written in the lease agreement. If a non-refundable charge is not written in the lease, the tenant may be subject to a refund upon termination of the lease.
Shared Utilities Arrangements For rental units with shared utilities, a landlord should disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated. Providing this information to tenants will give them a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
Smoking Inform tenants of designated smoking areas to not interfere with other tenants’ enjoyment of the premises.

Consequences of Not Including Mandatory Disclosures

Disclosures outline the important health, safety, and property information and vary by state. If a landlord does not provide the tenant with the federally or state-mandated disclosures, they could face legal repercussions or monetary penalties.

If a landlord fails to disclose the lead-based paint hazard disclosure, they can face fines of up to $18,364 per violation. (24 CFR § 30.65)

It’s best to check with your local and state laws on which disclosures you must provide to your tenant.

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