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My landlord is going to keep my security deposit, can he? (MI)?

Having a dispute with a tenant or landlord? Rental Law discussion

My landlord is going to keep my security deposit, can he? (MI)?

Postby jan46 » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:22 am

Back in November I signed a renewal agreement to renew my lease, but when it came time to resign the lease, me and my roommate decided it was not a good idea (mind you, they had us sign the renewal agreement 3 months in to a year lease). Now, my landlord is saying that because we signed the renewal agreement we don't get our security deposit back... After reviewing Michigan state law, I believe this is illegal, is it?

Here's the law (the applicable parts):
LANDLORD AND TENANT RELATIONSHIPS
Act 348 of 1972

554.605 Security deposit as property of tenant.
Sec. 5.
For the purposes of this act and any litigation arising thereunder, the security deposit is considered the lawful property of the tenant until the landlord establishes a right to the deposit or portions thereof as long as the bond provision is fulfilled, the landlord may use this fund for any purposes he desires.

554.607 Security deposit; permissible uses.
Sec. 7.
A security deposit may be used only for the following purposes:

(a) Reimburse the landlord for actual damages to the rental unit or any ancillary facility that are the direct result of conduct not reasonably expected in the normal course of habitation of a dwelling.

(b) Pay the landlord for all rent in arrearage under the rental agreement, rent due for premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant and for utility bills not paid by the tenant.

554.606 Waiving requirements of act.
Sec. 6.
The requirements of this act may not be waived by the parties to a rental agreement except as specifically provided herein. (I have not violated any of the exceptions, FYI)

So regardless of my lease agreement or what the apartment complex says, I am entitled to my lease agreement, right? Thanks for your help!

Link to Michigan Law (official and abbreviated):

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(vtprhzy1xj4pbv55v0u3d3bx))/mileg.aspx?page=GetMCLDocument&objectname=mcl-act-348-of-1972

http://www.michiganlegalaid.org/library_client/resource.2006-01-10.0288515769/html_view
jan46
 
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Joined: Thu Mar 31, 2011 9:22 am

My landlord is going to keep my security deposit, can he? (MI)?

Postby rickie » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:32 am

The landlord will have to show his losses in order to retain the deposit.

A renewal agreement is NOT a lease, however, it is a binding contract. The reason they do renewal agreements is so they know if they need to have someone ready to move in at the end of your lease.

I would wait a month, and then take it to small claims court, if they cant show expenses then you are going to get your deposit back. For instance, if they moved someone in to the apartment two weeks after you moved out... but were painting, cleaning carpet and performing ruotine maint. that they would normally do between leases, then they have no loss and no entitlement to your deposit.

Also important, were there any changes on the new lease agreement that were not listed on the renewal agreement... for instance, was the rent 50 dollars higher on the new lease..and the renewal agreement didnt say the lease would be 50 dollars higher. A renewal agreement means you agree to renew your original lease, if there are any changes to the lease that are not listed on the renewal agreement, then they can not hold you liable for not signing a new lease.

This next one is the most important one,

Does the renewal agreement attach your previous security deposit to the new renewal agreement...in other words, does is specifically say that your previous security deposit would be reattached to the new renewal agreement. Your security deposit is attached to the original lease, it cannot be transfered to a new agreement unless you specifically signed it to the new agreement. As long as all of the provisions of the original lease that the deposit is attached to are met, then the security deposit attached to the original lease must be returned.

If they wanted the new agreement to be secured, they would have to have you agree to attach the previous deposit, or collect a new deposit to secure the new agreement.
rickie
 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 5:11 am

My landlord is going to keep my security deposit, can he? (MI)?

Postby kenway » Mon Oct 31, 2011 2:33 am

Seeing as you prematurely terminated your rental agreement, it would appear the landlord is entitled to keep the security deposit. The language is clearly stated in the statute above: A security deposit may be used only for the following purposes: (b) Pay the landlord for...rent due for premature termination of the rental agreement by the tenant....
kenway
 
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Joined: Fri Apr 01, 2011 2:02 am


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