The Michigan roommate agreement (“room rental agreement”) is a binding legal contract that outlines the terms and conditions that must be followed by two or more tenants sharing the same rental property. It also contains information about each tenants’ financial and social obligations.
The actual contract is not between the new tenant and the landlord, so all of the terms of the rental agreement will need to be covered in this document to make sure that all of the roommates are covered if something happens during the rental period. This type of arrangement is often used when a tenant has a multiple room unit that they are renting alone. They may decide that it is too much to handle on their own, so they take on a roommate to split the space and the cost of living there. This means that the rent will be split based upon the amount of space that each roommate has and the utilities will be divided as well.
What to Include in a Michigan Roommate Agreement
- The date of the signing. This will indicate the date that the roommate agreement begins, and the ending date should be included as well.
- The names of the involved parties. This will include the names of the roommates that already reside in the dwelling.
- The address of the unit. Make sure to include the unit number if there is one.
- The amount that each roommate will need to pay for the rent. This is typically based on the size of the bedroom that they have.
- The security deposit and how the payment of it was split. This will help to make sure that when the unit is vacated, the security deposit is returned fairly.
- A breakdown of the utility payments.
- House rules that every roommate will need to know. This can be things like having pets in the unit, smoking in the unit, and eating the other roommate’s food.
- The signature and the date of all of the roommates.
Roommate’s Rights in Michigan
While a roommate in Michigan will have all of the same rights as the original tenant, this will only occur when they have signed a room rental agreement. This is because the agreement that the roommate has is with the original tenant, not the landlord. This document will grant all of the tenants some protection if anything goes wrong with the rental agreement. They will be able to respond to eviction notices, request repairs to keep the unit safe to live in, and take the landlord to court if the need arises.
Required Disclosures in Michigan
Each state’s landlord-tenant laws have different requirements for what needs to be disclosed in a residential lease agreement. Michigan is no different. There are 3 things you NEED to have included.
Truth in Renting Act
In Michigan, landlords are required to include a notice about the Truth in Renting Act in their lease agreements. The notice must state:
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.” This notice must be no smaller than size 12-point type, or be in legible print with letters not smaller than 1/8 inch (Mich. Comp. Laws §554.634).
Rights of Domestic Violence Victims
Michigan landlords must have a provision in their lease agreements stating the following:
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.
If the rental agreement or lease doesn’t have this stated, the landlord must post the provision (in a place visible to a reasonable person) within the landlord’s property management office, leasing center, lobby, etc., or the written statement must be delivered to the tenant when the residential lease agreement is signed.