Rental Repairs

Repairs to Rental Property

Caring for Rental Property

Both the tenant and the landlord are responsible for keeping rental property in good condition. The tenant must take care of the property day to day, keep things clean and prevent unnecessary damage. The landlord must keep the appliances, furnace, plumbing and other systems in good repair and make sure the property is safe and liveable.

Asking for Needed Repairs

If a property needs repair it is the tenant’s responsiblity to tell the landlord about the problem. Once the landlord knows about the problem, the tenant must give the landlord a reasonable amount of time to make the repair.

Withholding or Deducting Rent for Repairs

If the landlord does not does not make the repair within a reasonable amount of time, the tenant may withhold rent to make sure the landlord makes the repair or the tenant may make the repair. The tenant should notify the landlord in writing if they withhold rent or decide to make the repair. If the tenant decides to withhold rent for repairs, the money must be put in an escrow account and the amount should be reasonable and connected to the cost of the repair. If the tenant decides to make the repair, the cost of the repair can be deducted from rent. The tenant should notify the landlord of the cost of the repair before the repair is made and get more than one estimate if the project is complex or expensive. The tenant should give the landlord copies of any repair receipts and proof of payment.

For Informational Purposes Only:  This summary is provided for basic informational purposes only. It is not legal advice. For legal advice about your situation, you must talk to a lawyer.

Forms & Case Packets
  • Eviction notices and forms are available at the Legal Assistance Center and form the Clerk of the District Court.
Additional Resources
  • Michigan Legal Help offers articles and forms creation at no cost.
  • Free legal advice for renters through the Grand Rapids Urban League. All are welcome and no appointment is needed. Bring any paperwork with you. HOURS:
    2nd and 4th Tuesday of each month from 5 pm to 7 pm
    at the Grand Rapids Urban League at 745 Eastern Ave SE, Grand Rapids
    1st and 3rd Monday of each month from 12 pm to 2 pm
    at Steepletown Neighborhood Services at 671 Davis Ave NW, Grand Rapids
  • The Grand Rapids Bar Association Lawyer Referral and Information Service offers a 30 minute conference with a lawyer for $25. Call (616) 855-0273 for an appointment.
  • Visit or call the Legal Assistance Center.
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