Detroit, MI asked in Landlord - Tenant, Real Estate Law and Environmental for Michigan

Q: Do I have a right to request termination of lease, before my move in date, if landlord is not responding to concerns?

Do I have a right to request termination of lease, before my move in date, if no one is responding to these concerns? I found pests(bedbugs) of what I believe to be an infestation as I was cleaning the unit. I have proof and I’ve contacted the agent and the Property Manager and sent them pictures. They are pointing at eachother with the problem instead of resolving. I called the city and they sent a letter to the property manager of the apt/unit . This is a pre existing issue and this place will be condemned if they don’t get to the problem. I, myself sent out a letter to both the agency and to the property manager about my concerns and request to terminate my lease before my time starts. Am I wrong for demanding my money back and asking to be released from the lease? I asked the agent where I should return the keys and she says she is trying to contact the office and it’s been hard because of Covid so there’s nothing she can do right now. But I still have these keys. What should I do?

1 Lawyer Answer
Michael Zamzow
Michael Zamzow
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Licensed in Michigan

A: There's quite a lot of misconception around landlord and tenant laws. The Michigan Landlord Tenant handbook should be easy to find and will have some helpful information in it.

Anytime you break a contract, with a complete defense or not, you're risking retaliation (balance that against the cost of an attorney or filing suit against the landlord). But you can always try with or without a defense, so you aren't wrong to try. But whether or not you will get a response from the landlord or payment back, is impossible to predict. You might find an attorney who will help you understand the risks and defenses you might have. Detroit might have several tenant attorneys, or the State Bar of Michigan referral service.

Kenneth V Zichi agrees with this answer

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