Tenant Rights and Responsibilities

writing lease

When you decide to move off campus, you should be aware of your rights and responsibilities as a tenant. In addition to understanding your rights pursuant to state and local laws, you should read your Lease Agreement carefully to be aware of your rights, obligations, and responsibilities, under the lease. Check out some examples below of Tenants' Rights and Responsibilities, as well as a few recommendations from Student Legal Services' own Gayle Rosen. For more information, contact Student Legal Services at 734-763-9920 or visit their website (https://studentlegalservices.umich.edu/)

When choosing to move off campus, you should be aware of your rights as a renter under local and state laws. In the most basic terms, your landlord is obligated to keep your home in good repair and in compliance with all housing codes. It is also important to remember that you have certain responsibilities as a tenant, roommate, and member of the Ann Arbor community.


Landlords may not refuse to rent to you or discriminate in your rental agreement because of your identity, ability, marital status, family responsibilities or source of income.

Your landlord may not increase rent during the lease term, unless the lease contains a provision for rent increases.

Your landlord must provide a clean, sanitary residence when you move in.

In most cases, your landlord does not have the right to enter without your permission. You should, however, grant them entrance to make repairs, show the dwelling to prospective tenants, and permit Ann Arbor officials to perform routine inspections.

Pay rent on time (unless your landlord has violated some obligation which excuses some or all of the rent).

Do not unreasonably damage the property.

Do not carelessly store flammable liquids in your house or apartment.

At the end end of your lease, vacate the property in a timely manner.


To maintain a good relationship with your rental company throughout the year, you should also keep these recommendations in mind:

  • Promptly report (in writing, if possible) any problems or repairs needed
  • Do not remove anything from the unit that is not yours
  • Use electrical and plumbing fixtures properly
  • Empty trash only into containers provided by your landlord
  • Park only in designated areas