Michigan Residential Lease Agreement

Last Updated: November 23, 2021 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 following 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 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.

Any individual authorized to manage the rental property (including the landlord and owner) must disclose their name and address so future legal notices and demands that are sent by the tenant can be properly delivered. Generally, this information is provided in the lease agreement and shall be provided to the tenant in writing at or before the commencement of the tenancy.

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 the disclosure (below).

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 (below).

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

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 following 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 following lease agreement disclosures and addendums are not required by Michigan law in residential lease agreements, but either help reduce future conflicts with tenants or reduce legal liability for landlords.

  • Marijuana Use – it is recommended to state where marijuana use is and isn’t allowed on the property so that expectations are clear. Michigan law allows landlords to restrict marijuana usage to non-smoking methods only or control where users can smoke so as to not interfere with other tenants.
  • Shared Utilities Arrangements – for rental units with shared utilities, it is recommended to disclose the specifics of how they are shared, and how each party’s bill is calculated, so that tenants have a reasonable expectation of what they owe each month.
  • Bed Bug Disclosure – for rental units with a history of infestation, it is recommended to provide information on the protocol for handling a bed bug infestation. This addendum will notify the tenant of their obligation to cooperate with bed bug prevention by promptly reporting any sign of infestation to the landlord.
  • Asbestos Disclosure – for rental units built prior to 1981, asbestos was a common building material. This disclosure will notify the tenant to take certain precautions to minimize the chance of disturbing the asbestos fibers (i.e. no sanding, pounding, modifications or repairs, without the landlord’s consent). The disclosure will also notify the tenant of their obligation to immediately notify the landlord if any ceilings begin to deteriorate.
  • Mold Disclosure – it is recommended to disclose the current mold status of a property in the lease to protect against future liability of mold damages due to the tenant’s negligence during the lease term.
  • Late or Returned Check Fees – to make sure fees for late or returned checks hold up in court if ever challenged, it is highly recommended to specifically outline them beforehand in the lease agreement. It’s also worth noting that the maximum limit for returned or bounced checks in Michigan is $25 (if paid within 7 days) or $35 (if paid within 30 days).

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