Michigan Security Deposit Limits and Deadlines

A breakdown of Michigan landlord-tenant laws on security deposits.

By , Attorney

Most residential leases and rental agreements in Michigan require a security deposit. This is a dollar amount, usually one month's rent, that's intended to cover damage to the premises beyond normal wear and tear, and to cushion the financial blow if a tenant skips out early on the lease without paying. Here's a summary of Michigan landlord-tenant laws that cover the use and return of security deposits.

Does Michigan law limit how much a landlord can charge a tenant for a security deposit?

Yes. Under Michigan landlord-tenant laws, a landlord may charge a tenant the equivalent of one and one-half months' rent for the security deposit.

To learn more about steps that tenants can take to protect their security deposit after they've paid it, check out Nolo's article Protect Your Security Deposit When You Move In.

What about when a tenant moves out? What is the deadline in Michigan for returning a security deposit?

Under Michigan law, a landlord must return the tenant's security deposit, with an itemized statement of deductions, within 30 days after the tenant has moved out.

Tenants in Michigan must dispute the landlord's stated deductions within seven days of receiving the itemized list and balance, if any, or give up any right to dispute them.

Learn more about tenants' rights and landlords' obligations when it comes to the return of the security deposit in Nolo's chart Cleaning and Repairs a Landlord Can Deduct from a Security Deposit and Nolo's article Get Your Security Deposit Back.

Is there additional information that Michigan landlords must provide to tenants when it comes to security deposits in Michigan?

Yes. Landlords in Michigan must, within 14 days of the tenant's taking possession of the rental, furnish in writing the landlord's name and address for receiving communications and the name and address of the financial institution or surety where the deposit will be held. Landlords in Michigan must also provide tenants with advance notice before taking any deductions out of the security deposit, such as for the cost of repairing damage to the property caused by the tenant.

Michigan landlords must also alert tenants to their obligation to provide in writing a forwarding mailing address to the landlord within four days after termination of occupancy. The notice shall include the following statement in 12-point boldface type that is at least 4 points larger than the body of the notice or lease agreement: "You must notify your landlord in writing within 4 days after you move of a forwarding address where you can be reached and where you will receive mail; otherwise your landlord shall be relieved of sending you an itemized list of damages and the penalties adherent to that failure."

Does Michigan law require landlords to put deposits in a separate account?

Yes. Landlord must place deposits in a regulated financial institution, and may use the deposits as long as the landlord deposits with the secretary of state a cash or surety bond.

Where can I look up Michigan law on security deposits?

If you want to go right to the source and look up Michigan law on security deposits—or if you're writing a letter to your landlord or tenant and want to cite the applicable law—the relevant statute(s) can be found at Michigan Compiled Laws sections 554.602 to 554.616 (2020). To access Michigan statutes, visit the Michigan Legislature's website, or check out the Library of Congress's legal research site.

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