Landlords in Michigan Facing Increasing Restrictions and Responsibilities

While Detroit, Michigan may have gained a poor reputation as both industry and residents fled the city in the aftermath of the Great Recession, today, that appears to be changing.

  • Tuesday, May 12, 2015

  General   Rental Market   Michigan   

While Detroit, Michigan may have gained a poor reputation as both industry and residents fled the city in the aftermath of the Great Recession, today, that appears to be changing. According to recent reports, not only is the demand for multifamily properties on the rise in Midtown and downtown Detroit, but it is also increasing in inner ring suburbs, such as Macomb, Wayne, and Oakland counties, where both interest and rents are steadily rising. Apartment vacancy rates in areas such as Dearborn and Royal Oak are now below five percent. In addition, rents in those areas have increased by as much as 4.5 percent year-over-year. The average asking monthly rent in the largest Detroit suburbs continue to increase. For instance, in Royal Oak, the average asking monthly rent is now $784, while the average monthly rent in Ann Arbor is now about $1,065.

Renters in Michigan Required to Keep Homes Free of Crime

According to Insurance Journal, a new ordinance was recently passed in Saginaw, Michigan requiring renters to promise to keep their rental homes crime free. While the passage of this new ordinance would certainly seem to be good news for landlords who are concerned about their properties being damaged to criminal activities, property owners are also made responsible for ensuring their tenants actually obey the rules. Nicknamed the "crime-free lease addendum," the new ordinance was passed on April 20, 2015, and requires that tenants agree that neither they nor any guests staying in their home will engage in any type of criminal activity. Should a renter violate that ordinance, they could be at risk for eviction.

Michigan Landlords Held Responsible for Actions of Tenants

Landlords also face stiff consequences, including fines ranging between $300 to $500 for such violations. According to the Saginaw City Council, the purpose of the new ordinance is to provide a method that allows the municipal government to make local neighborhoods a safer place to live. The city council has also stated that passage of the new ordinary will increase property values in Saginaw.

Whether or not the new ordinance will actually result in increasing property values and make code enforcement easier remains to be seen. Yet, property owners and managers in Saginaw as well as other locations throughout Michigan must ensure they are in complete compliance with all regulations in order to protect their investments. As experienced property owners know, it can be difficult to screen prospective tenants properly. Although a prospective tenant may complete a rental application, he or she could just as easily lie on that application. The only way to know for certain whether a tenant is being truthful and whether they have a past that includes criminal activity is to conduct a comprehensive tenant screening with a background check.

In order for a landlord to conduct a background check and tenant screening on their own, the process can often be time-consuming. The good news is that it is possible to conduct a background check not only in Michigan but also across multiple states through a service like VerticalRent.


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