Owning investment properties in Michigan can be a source of supplemental income for landlords renting out to tenants. With this benefit, however, comes the responsibility to take care of the property and meet all maintenance requirements and liabilities. If properties are not maintained, landlord-tenant issues may ensue or there could even be lawsuits filed on behalf of the city, as seen in recent news.

The city of Detroit is serious about cleaning things up, and property owners who do not take proper care of their houses could be faced with legal action. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is apparently looking to bring back a program from his time as a prosecutor that would strongly encourage land owners whose properties have fallen into disrepair to clean up or head to court.

Some of these so-called blighted properties include abandoned buildings and houses. According to estimates, the city of Detroit’s 139 square miles is home to almost 80,000 vacant properties. Land owners who do not abide by the requests to fix up the properties may be forced to relinquish them. General Council for the Detroit Land Bank says that he intends to file 50 such lawsuits each week if the City Council approves.

If damage to a property, whether inside or out, is caused by a tenant, it is possible that the person could be held liable for the expense of the property repairs if the lease terms include the expectation that the home will be kept in good condition. For those dealing with these types of issues, or other landlord-tenant disputes, having a thorough understanding of the laws and expectations involved can help achieve a desirable legal outcome.

Source: CBS Detroit, “Detroit plans to force action on blight removal” Vickie Thomas, Feb. 13, 2014

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