Renting in Michigan: A Guide for Tenants

October 8th, 2021

Preparing to rent in Michigan for the first time? Renting is a great way to get set up in a new area, save money in expensive regions, or have somewhere to be while you search for the home of your dreams. 

It’s essential, however, to be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant in Michigan. If you weren’t aware, state laws dictate renting rules. This means that even if you’ve rented in another state, you should review the guidelines in Michigan, so you know what to expect.

Living in an apartment in Michigan is very popular, and there are many great options around the state. Major cities like Detroit, in particular, have no shortage of renting options. Today, gain a simple introduction to renting in Michigan through this short guide.

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#1 Choose Your Ideal Areas

Before you start submitting rental applications or getting serious about touring units, it’s vital that you get an idea of where you want to be located. The units that are available will dictate where you can live to some degree, but it is still good to determine which regions would be ideal to live in.

Across Michigan, there are many great regions to live in. One area that you might be considering renting in is Oakland County.

Oakland County, located northwest of central Detroit, offers fantastic nightlife and quality of life that brings the best of the city with the convenience of accessible amenities. Apartments for rent in Oakland County come in various shapes, sizes, and prices, so you can find something that suits your budget no matter what that is.

One specific part of Oakland County that is very popular with renters is Farmington Hills. This community is packed with restaurants, amenities, parks, and even well-ranked school districts. Everyone from young professionals to families looking for a home can find something to love about this part of Michigan.

#2 Be Honest On Applications

Once you’ve found the units you want to apply to, make sure that you are honest while filling out rental applications. It can be tempting to change some details to make yourself a more appealing applicant, or you might not want to ask the questions in your mind for fear of upsetting the landlord.

Ultimately, the application process is a great way to see how well you and the landlord can communicate. If the landlord finds out that you lied on your application, they will likely reject you. Be honest and communicative; this will lead to a better long-term relationship between you and your landlord.

#3 Review The Rental Agreement

It can be tempting to sign off on the rental agreement as soon as it is offered to you by your landlord, but make sure to take the time to read and review the terms outlined in this agreement.

Any parts that are confusing or do not seem to match up with your expectations should be questions. Good landlords will not be bothered that you are asking questions. Instead, they’ll be glad that you are interested in fully understanding and following the lease terms.

The lease agreement will set the stage for how you have to treat the apartment, pay rent, and do a number of other key things. If you sign off on something that doesn’t work for your lifestyle, you might have to live in discomfort for months or longer. It is important to always review the rental agreement carefully before you sign off.

#4 Follow Lease Terms and Live Smart

Once you’ve signed the lease agreement and moved into your apartment, make sure that you continue to follow those rules and make your rent payments on time. If you break the lease agreement, the landlord can ask you to change what you are doing or even to leave the property altogether. Since you have read the agreement in detail, however, this should not be an issue.

Additionally, you’ll want to think about how to live most comfortably in an apartment. Being smart about how you live when living in an apartment ensures that you won’t feel like you are living in a temporary dorm-like space. Instead, you can make it as comfortable and home-like as possible. After all, it is your home now!

#5 Plan Ahead

Finally, renting is typically a temporary situation. You likely won’t live in the same apartment forever, and you should be thinking ahead at least three months before your lease agreement ends. Keep in touch with your landlord about your plans, extending your lease, or otherwise how things will process at the end of your lease term. 

Planning ahead ensures that you won’t be left scrambling to move out, find a new apartment, or make other big life changes on short notice. This is key to keeping your living situation comfortable long term.


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