Tenant Housing Conflict FAQ

There are a countless number of issues that can arise as a result of a Landlord-Tenant dispute. The following options represent some of the most common issues facing renters.

Click on the topics that applies to you for more information.

Non-Payment of Rent

This, far and away, represents the most common source of Landlord-Tenant related conflict. Simply put, if you have not paid rent for a period of time that results in a breach of contract, then that is grounds for eviction proceedings. For instance, if the rental agreement unequivocally states that rent is due on the first of the month, and it is paid on the second, then technically, that is grounds to begin eviction proceedings. More realistically though are contracts that state that rent being 30 or 60 days past due will lead to eviction proceedings.

There are agencies in Michigan who could potentially help you with this issue including the Family Independence Agency and the Michigan Legal Services. Contact them first to see if they can offer you relief. If not, please see below.

Eviction proceedings are expensive, and time consuming. More often than not, landlords would rather resolve the dispute without involving the courts. Please visit the services intake form to see if ESCRO can help facilitate an alternative resolution to your dispute that could potentially save money, as well as a relationship.

Dispute Over Security Deposit

A fact that seems to be overlooked during the course of these types of disputes is that the security deposit must be held in an third party escrow account (note: ESCRO doesn’t offer this) until the dispute is resolved.

Furthermore, Michigan state law allows for “normal wear and tear” to occur over the life of the rental agreement. Normal wear and tear is not grounds for forfeiture of security deposit. Tenants, and a surprising amount of landlords are not aware of these facts.

To see if ESCRO can help avoid unwelcome surprises and the subjective debate as to what constitutes “normal wear and tear”, and potentially the time and cost of litigation, please submit a service intake request.

Landlord Refuses to Make Essential Repairs

This is a common dispute that allows for the tenant to withhold rent in certain circumstances until the repairs are completed. These do not include cosmetic issues such as worn out carpet or a defective window. For the issue to warrant withholding of rent, it must render the property uninhabitable, e.g. inoperable furnace, or flooding in the basement or crawlspace.

The laws that allow a tenant to withhold rent in this case are commonly known as “Right to Repair” or Repair and Deduct.” However, it isn’t as simple as it sounds. Among other things, the repairs in question must be in accordance with the 1968 Warranty of Habitabilty act, the landlord must be properly notified, and the withheld rent must be held in a third party escrow account.

This process can sometimes be as time consuming as litigation. To see if ESCRO can help you avoid that, as well as the expense of litigation, visit our service intake form.


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Renter receiving keys from Landlord