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Rental property ban sparks legal debate

In many states, including Michigan, renting from a property owner requires that certain documents be filled out and that appropriate identification be presented. Real estate attorneys across that states all agree that it is important to read through lease agreements thoroughly before signing them.

But what happens when a landlord tries to evict you or ban you from a residence when there is no clause in the lease agreement that says they can? What should someone do in a situation such as this?

Many real estate attorneys will tell you that disputes can lead to legal expenses and unnecessary hassles that can frustrate and annoy all parties involved. Most of the time, the advice is to try to avoid this sort of situation, but sometimes it's inevitable. Such is the case for one Texas town whose decision to ban illegal immigrants from renting homes has landed them in the middle of an expensive legal battle.

This is a particularly difficult case because many states have anti-discrimination laws under specific housing acts that prohibit rental properties from discriminating against current or future renters. In the case of a rental ban, many argue that this is a clear case of discrimination and encroaches on the territory reserved for federal authorities.

According to the rental ban above, the ordinance allowed the city building inspector to evict any suspected illegal immigrant renters. It is important to point out that though Michigan may not have a specific law regarding illegal immigrants and renting, there are laws that protect renters from being evicted for reasons not specified in their lease agreements. Instances such as this can lead to sometimes messy legal disputes that can be costly in the end.

Knowing the specifics of the law and how it relates to your lease agreement can be a difficult matter to attend to. Speaking with a skilled real estate attorney may help in situations such as this.

Source:, "Texas town's rental ban to get second hearing," Nomaan Merchant, Sept. 18, 2012

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