As many people like the freedom of traveling and living in different cities, renting is an ideal opportunity to enter short-term living arrangements around Michigan. However, it is essential for both a landlord and a tenant to understand their rights and the regulations that surround occupancy. Whether you’re considering renting a unit or renting out a property, understanding the rights and responsibilities of landlords and tenants alike is essential. Keep reading to learn each party’s obligations, and contact our firm for further assistance with any questions or concerns you may have.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Landlord and Tenant?
Before you start renting or renting out a unit, understanding your responsibilities and the other party’s obligations is essential.
If you are a landlord, the most essential thing you must keep in mind is that you are required to provide an up-to-code location. This includes registering the unit with your local municipality, fulfilling repairs according to Michigan’s requirements, and providing amenities and services for the occupants of their property. Some of these responsibilities include:
- Handling plumbing issues
- Ensuring that fire exits and staircases are in working conditions
- Providing heating and electricity
- Exterminating bed bugs
Tenants also have responsibilities they must fulfill when occupying a unit. For example, they must ensure the space is well taken care of. This means they must keep it clean, sanitary, and in habitable condition. Occupants must also ensure they do not act in such a way that disturbs the other tenants in the building, if any, and may be required to make minor repairs as necessary around the unit.
What Rights Does Each Party Have?
Aside from familiarizing yourself with the responsibilities of each party, you should also understand the rights that a landlord and tenant have when in an agreement.
Landlords have the right to collect rent on time while using the security deposit to pay for damages that exceed traditional damage. For example, if a tenant’s old door breaks, the landlord would not be allowed to use their security deposit to pay for the repairs. However, if an occupant puts a large hole in a wall, the landlord can use their deposit to cover the cost of mending the hole.
The rights of tenants include the ability to request necessary repairs in a timely manner. Similarly, they are able to send a written notice if they experience constant damage and issues within the unit, and the landlord must respond to the notice promptly. If a landlord does not do anything the tenant may withhold rent payments to cover the damage themself while seeking legal counsel.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Understanding the rights and obligations of tenants and landlords is essential to both parties. However, there are other regulations both should be familiar with, including discrimination and eviction. The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against a protected class.
Generally, eviction may occur for several reasons, and landlords are required to provide a “notice to quit” within a reasonable amount of time. For missed payments, safety violations, and illegal activity, most tenants are only afforded a seven-day notice. If the lease ends or there is a violation, landlords are required to provide a thirty-day notice.
If you have additional questions, our firm can help. Contact Collis, Griffor & Hendra today to learn more.