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Michigan Security Deposit Laws

Each state has laws governing the landlord-tenant relationship, which are meant to protect both landlords and tenants. For example, while security deposits are a way to help ensure that a tenant pays all of the rent they owe and cover the cost of repairing any damage they cause to the rental property, landlords can only keep all or some of a security deposit for specific reasons outlined in each state's landlord-tenant laws. Additionally, a landlord must comply with the procedures for returning or keeping the security deposit.

In Michigan, if a security deposit is required, the landlord must make an inventory checklist at both the beginning of a rental period and at the end of a rental period which details the rental property's condition. The tenant is required to review the checklist, make note of the property's condition, and return a copy of the checklist to the landlord within seven days of moving in.

Michigan Security Deposit Laws: The Basics

Getting to the source of a law -- usually the statute -- is the best way to understand what it requires. However, statutes aren't exactly leisurely to read as they're written in dense legalese. To make your research easier, we've prepared the following overview of security deposit laws in Michigan with links to the relevant statutes.


Michigan Compiled Laws, Chapter 554, Landlord and Tenant Relationships, Section 554.602, et seq. (Security Deposits)

Security Deposit Limits

A landlord can require a maximum of one and a half month's rent as a security deposit.

Return of the Security Deposit by Landlord

A landlord must return the tenant's security deposit within 30 days of the move out date.

If the landlord makes any deductions from or keeps all of the security deposit, they must send an itemized list of damages, the cost of the repairs, and the following notice: "You must respond to this notice by mail within 7 days after receipt of same, otherwise you will forfeit the amount claimed for damages."

Deduction from Security Deposit

A landlord in Michigan can keep all or some of the security deposit for the following reasons:

  • Unpaid utility bills;
  • Unpaid rent;
  • Damage* to the rental property; and/or
  • Breach of the lease agreement.

*The damage must be more than normal wear and tear.

Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Michigan Security Deposit Laws: Related Resources

If you'd like more information and resources related to this topic, you can visit the links provided below.

Have Specific Questions About Michigan Security Deposit Laws? Ask a Lawyer

Tenants and landlords each have a variety of rights and responsibilities under landlord-tenant laws. If you feel that your landlord has violated your rights, or if you're a landlord trying to understand your obligations under the law, it's best to speak with an experienced landlord-tenant attorney near you.

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