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Renter's Rights in Michigan

By Tiffany Raiford

Renting a house or apartment in Michigan is something many residents do. Some do it because they're not ready to buy. Others do it because they have no reason to buy knowing they'll be moving shortly. Whatever your reason for renting, you should understand that you have rights as a renter in the State of Michigan.

Non-Discrimination

The law states that landlords in Michigan cannot refuse to rent a property to you based on discriminatory reasons. It doesn't matter if he despises Democrats and you are one, he has to rent to you if your background check and credit report come back clean. He cannot refuse to rent a home to you based on your religion, beliefs, sex, race, disabilities, sexual orientation or age. He cannot tell you there are not availabilities in his buildings or that the home at which you were looking has been rented if this is not true.

Repairs

One of the most important rights you have as a renter is the right to live in a home that is safe and inhabitable. If something in your home breaks or is in need of repair, your right as a tenant is to have it repaired in a reasonable time by your landlord. If he doesn't do it, you have the right to pay for it yourself and withhold that amount from your next rent payment.

Quiet Enjoyment

As a renter, you have the right to quiet enjoyment of your home. What this means is that your landlord cannot do anything to prevent you from accessing your home, he cannot enter your house without permission, shut off your services, board up the house without permission, change or alter the locks or remove any of your personal property from the household. Additionally, he is not permitted to cause loud noises such as construction unless he has your permission to do so beforehand.

Your Responsibilities

One thing you have to understand about being a renter in Michigan is the fact that you have no rights if you don't adhere to your responsibilities. Your renters rights coincide with your renters responsibilities. This means that if you don't follow the terms of the lease, you waive your rights.

Renting can be tricky if you've never done it and you're unfamiliar with the way in which renting works. It's imperative that you always read the fine print and that you take the time to consider what it is you are looking for and need in a home and a lease agreement.

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