A legal contract between a landlord and a tenant is put in place as a means of protecting both parties. In Michigan, a lease is the most common document used and is key to both ensuring clarity and preventing landlord tenant disputes from arising. Unfortunately, even after signing a lease, a dispute can still occur and legal action may become necessary. By following a few simple tips, both tenants and landlords can minimize the chances of disputes and also be more prepared to defend their rights should one occur.

The most common reason for disputes is the non-payment of rent. Often this type of dispute is the result of the tenant having a problem that he or she feels is not being handled by the landlord. However, regardless of whether the landlord is living up to his or her end of the lease, the non-payment of rent is typically seen as a breach of the lease. It is always recommended that a tenant continue to pay rent as an issue is dealt with legally.

A paper trail is important for both parties should a dispute end up in court. If a landlord has a tenant who has fallen behind or who is refusing to make rent payments, requests for rent should be made in writing and saved. Having a paper trail will prove most beneficial in court as it will show when rent was not paid and help establish a pattern of non-payment. Without written proof of rent requests, it may difficult to prove that a landlord has provided proper notification of pending legal action.

Landlord tenant disputes often become complicated, particularly when it is one person’s word against another’s. When a dispute has continued for a long period without resolution, it may be necessary for the party who is suffering from the breach of contract to take legal action. As Michigan court procedures are complex and may be difficult for non-lawyers to navigate, the assistance of an experienced legal professional may be beneficial.

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