witholding rent

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witholding rent

Can I withold rent formice and roach infestation in Micigan?

Asked on May 29, 2009 under Real Estate Law, Michigan

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

Michigan law allows a tenant to withhold rent where the landlord does not maintain the rental unit in accordance with the lease agreement and Michigan law.  Most certainly rodent infestation would qualify.  However, before you do so, you must send the landlord a written letter identifying the needed repairs and maintenance and inform the landlord that if they are not made you intend to withhold rent.  If your landlord fails to comply within a reasonable time you can then place the rent money into a separate bank account.  However, the landlord can challenge your action in court by bringing an eviction action.  While the court will not evict you so long as your actions were justified.  Gather any evidence that you can; pictures are always helpful.

To make sure that you are properly complying with the law you should speak to an attorney about this.  If money is an issue, contact legal aid to get their advice.

J.V., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

you need to look at your lease agreement to see if there are any clauses for such a situation. Oftentimes there will be but again there is not many times as well. If you feel there is a problem the first issue should be contacting the landlord about it to remedy the situation. If you have and they refuse to do anything put the request in writing and send certified to rove receipt. If they still do noting I advise speaking with an ttorney

the issue is that withholding rent makes you the one to have broken the contract formed by the lease. It is always best not to damage your side and to follow through as the other party does not. you also can bring suit on your own. If you call the local court a clerk oftentimes will walk you through the process

basically withholding rent should be a last resort because if you do the landlord can now complain about your actions making it less black and white if you do legally pursue the matter. 


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