Drafting and Reviewing Leases

Drafting and Reviewing Leases

There are more issues now than ever before to consider when drafting or reviewing leases. Governmental regulations at both the state and local level have made leases for apartments, condominiums, houses and business more complex. Consequently, you should always consider the involvement of an experienced real estate attorney when drafting or reviewing a lease. Residential leases, in particular, are highly regulated. Laws prohibit certain clauses in residential leases such as waiver of trial by jury and awarding attorney fees while requiring other clauses that inform a tenant of their rights and obligations. Bill Ager has extensive experience with leases and can help you with this important transaction for a reasonable flat fee.

Contact Bill Ager for more details on reasonable flat fees for these services.


Is there a limit to a security deposit in a residential lease?

Yes. Under Michigan law, in a residential lease a security deposit is limited to one and a half times the amount of the monthly rent. Nevertheless, a lease may include a tenant’s obligations to pay fees for late rent and fees for returned checks. A lease may also include a reasonable non-refundable cleaning fee or pet fee. It is also important to recognize that a security deposit paid to a landlord is the property of the tenant. Consequently, a landlord should open a separate bank account to hold the security deposit and not comingle it with other funds. Although the landlord is entitled to the interest on a security deposit in a bank account, the funds remain the property of the tenant until resolution of any issues relating to property damage caused by the tenant which are not related to normal wear and tear.