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Tenant’s Right to Repair at the Landlord’s Expense

09.08.2016 by Law Firm of Seglund Gabe Pawlak & Groth in Legal Updates, Litigation, Real Estate Law

Every lease of residential property in Michigan includes a requirement on the part of the landlord to keep the premises in reasonable repair and to comply with applicable health and safety laws during the term of the lease. This requirement of the landlord is supported by statute.  See MCL 554.139(1)(b).

Unless the lease provides otherwise, the tenant may make repairs and recover their cost from the landlord or deduct the cost from the rent. However, the tenant may not repair at the landlord’s expense without giving the landlord a reasonable opportunity to make the necessary repairs.

The courts in Michigan have held that repairing at the landlord’s expense is a privilege rather than a mandatory duty. Alternatively, the tenant may terminate the lease when the landlord fails to make necessary repairs; however, the right to abandon the lease may be denied when the cost of the repair is trivial.

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If you are either a landlord or tenant and have questions or concerns regarding residential leases, please contact our experienced attorneys who are committed to providing our clients with the guidance and support that they need to resolve their legal issues.  With over five decades of experience serving clients in Southeastern Michigan, the attorneys of Michigan Legal Solutions have the experience and resources to resolve your legal issues.

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