Access Property Management Group, LLC • Grand Rapids, MI (616) 301-9450

Grand Rapids Access Property Management Group – Tenant Termination Forms

Grand Rapids Access Property Management Group – Tenant Termination Forms

Hi, this is Eddie with Access Property Management Group. Today we are talking about what to do and what notices to send if your tenants don’t pay. There are two forms that you can send out.

The first one is a “Demand for Possession Nonpayment of Rent.”
This is a 7-day notice that can be sent anytime during the month. In essence the tenant has 7 days to pay or vacate. If the tenant pays within the 7 days they can stay in the unit. After 7 days of non-payment you can file for a court date in your local jurisdiction.

The second notice is a “Notice to Quit Termination of Tenancy.”
This is a 30 day notice that can be sent at anytime if the tenant breaks the lease or you want them gone after a lease has expired. After 30 days if they are not out you can file for a court date.

When filling out these forms always add “and all other occupants” in the “To” box so that it covers everyone in the home whether they are on the lease or not.

Both forms have two pages. One’s for the tenant and one’s for you. Make sure you fill them out correctly, send it off in the mail and hopefully you’ll get paid!

If you have any other questions, give us a call at 616-301-9450 in Grand Rapids or 269-220-6033 or www.accesspmgroup.com

Thank you

Property Management Cost and Opportunity in Grand Rapids

Property Management costs can be a controversial expense among property owners. Ultimately, the decision to hire a property manager is a personal choice and the reasons which motivate the decision are diverse.

As with many big decisions in real estate investing, there is usually a catalyst moment or a realization which causes someone to seek out a great property manager. My experience has shown me that most of these decisions are made so that the owner can better use their own personal time.

By identifying and acting upon the best use of YOUR time you will quickly improve your quality of life in a number of ways – stress reduction, more moments of happiness, attainment of personal goals – to name just a few. This also has a positive spillover effect on those closest to you.

If you would like to read more about this topic, please read my full blog post here on Bigger Pockets.

Furnishings and Tenant Leases

Today we are at a house and we are getting ready to lease it. The owners decided to include some furnishings with the lease and we are just here to document those items to make sure they get in the lease, to make sure we have a good record of them at the time the tenant moves out to ensure that none of those items disappear.

So we are just taking pictures and we are going to document them in the lease. We are going to write it all out…how many items, what kind of items and also keep the pictures with the lease so that the tenant is on the same page as we are.

If you have any questions about this or would like some more information about leasing your home, you can contact Access Property Management Group at 616-301-9450 in Grand Rapids or in Kalamazoo you can call 269-220-6033.

Remodeling Tips to Increase Rental Income on Your Property – Management Education in Kalamazoo

When you’re preparing a house for the rental market, there are a couple of things you can do that are inexpensive but will have a lot of value for renters. Doing so will help you increase your rental income because with just a few remodeling details, you can charge more monthly rent. Today, we’re in a house in Kalamazoo that I am rehabbing in preparation to rent out. read more…

How to Complete a Quick Tenant Turnover – Grand Rapids Property Management


A quick turnover is important when you are between tenants in your rental property because it reduces the amount of time that you’re not collecting rent. Have a plan in place for when one tenant moves out so you can get the property cleaned up and back on the market in a matter of days. Today we’re looking at a one bedroom, one-bathroom unit that was recently vacated in the Heritage Hill area in Grand Rapids. read more…

Private Placement Real Estate Investing: What to look out for : How to Vet Out an Investment

We’ve talked about what a private placement is and the benefits of investing in one. This blog will focus on what to watch out for and how to examine an investment opportunity closely. 
Once again, we are not providing legal or tax advice. We ALWAYS encourage you to contact a trusted professional for advice on the legal and tax aspects of Private Placement Investments and to look over any documentation involved.
Who is the team? Who are you investing with?
The team is one of (if not the most important) aspect of the deal. Some of the people you will want to do your due diligence on is the syndicator, their team of advisors, and any other managing partners in the deal. Research their track record. Google their names. The person you will have the most contact with will be the sponsor. Set up an interview to learn more. What kind of experience do they have and what story has it told? What do they have to gain, what do they have to lose in this deal? Do they have skin in the game (this doesn’t always mean money)?
Why is the sponsor presenting the deal?
One reason may be that the sponsor is out of their own funds and are now creating opportunities for others to continue to invest. If a sponsor is out of money, it may not be a bad thing. They may be really great at finding and creating opportunities and are leveraging their experience and skills to continue to invest in deals. Do they have a passion for the deal? What is at stake for them?
Not every deal is a good deal-what is your return?
Just because the deal is a private placement, you know the team and have vetted the documents does NOT mean you should forgo all your goals and invest blindly. Always stick to your investment goals and plans. Understand the returns and how they will be paid out. Know what the investment is and get advice from TRUSTED advisors.
Where does the sponsor and team get paid?
This is an important question. It’s also an answer that must be disclosed. A good deal will be set up to reward the sponsor for their hard work when the deal is made, but will also insure the sponsor has a vested interest in the deal continuing to succeed. The tricky part is that this can be accomplished in a MULTITUDE of pay structures. This pay structure must be disclosed to members of the team. They may include all or some of the following: broker fee, Promotors fee, % of return, cashflow, fee paid upon sale. Some questions to think about when discussing the pay structure… Does the sponsor get paid when deal does well and paid more as deal does better?  Are they only paid up front? Are they paid along with investors? Are there any upfront fees? Upfront fees are not a bad thing, but they must be reasonable.
Have you read the documents?
READ THE DOCUMENTS. Yes, they are long. Yes, they are legal and boring. But you want to invest your hard earned capital into this, right? Don’t be foolish, read the documents. Then after you have read them, have an attorney and even a CPA review them for you. We can’t stress this enough. Know what you are investing in, understand the deal, know the tax implications. There is always some risk involved in any investment, you won’t know this risk if you don’t look over the investment clearly and completely.
This ends our series on Private Placement Investing. If you missed our first two blogs about what a private placement is and the benefits of investing in one, click the links and check them out. If you are interested in learning more about private placement deals, email us at info@accesspmgroup.com.

Private Placement Real Estate Investing: The Benefits

In our last post, we went over the definition of a private placement offer. If you didn’t get a chance to read it, go to our blog post here. In this post we will be discussing the benefits of investing in a private offering. Check them out below:

 

Keep in mind that we are not providing legal or tax advice. Contact a trusted professional for advice on the legal and tax aspects of Private Placement Investments.

 

Private Placement Investing is Relationship Investing

This can be looked at in a couple different ways. First, when you invest in a private placement, you are investing with the team. This team is key to whether the investment is going to be successful or not. The same opportunity can turn into a disaster in the hands of the wrong team. Secondly, private placements are just that, private. The whole world does not have access to the deal presented. The deal is available to potential investors because of their relationships and connections.

 

More Opportunity for Tremendous Yields
Private Placement Real Estate investments often offer returns that are much higher than you would see in the paper markets. On top of that, with real estate offerings, you are investing in a tangible asset.

 

Ability to do More With Less
Private Placements allow smaller investors to be able to get into bigger deals. An investor may have $50,000 or $100,000 to put in a deal, but a $4MM deal is out of their league. The sponsor does the work in a private placement to raise the money to allow multiple smaller investors to receive the returns that a larger deal can provide. Additionally, the investor is also able to get into different niches, product types and markets without having to become an expert. The sponsor and team is relied upon to become the expert and find the opportunities.

 

Limitless
As long as a private placement adheres to state and federal laws, the sponsor and investors can be creative in the way the deal is put together. A private placement can be constructed in a multitude of ways to make the deal the most valuable to all parties involved.

 

Use Retirement Funds
Retirement funds, through the use of a self directed IRA can be used to invest in a private placement. There are certain rules that must be followed in regards to using retirement funds in this type of investing. Talk with a professional to find out more about this.

 

More Efficient than Wall Street
Private placement cuts out the large investment firms and allows you to invest directly in a deal. You can avoid speculation, froth money and REIT investing.

 

Now you know what a Private Placement offering is, and the benefits of investing in one. But not all offerings are equal. Next post we will discuss what to look out for when investing in a private offering to protect your money and lower your risk when investing.

Private Placement Real Estate Investing: Just What is This?

       Private funding of real estate deals has been BLOWING UP this year. You just have to scan the headlines to see the words “private equity” and “private funding” everywhere.  This article from NREI.com is titled “Opportunistic Real Estate Funds Hit Cyclical Record”. Another article says, “Private Equity Racks Up Checkered Record in Retail Buyouts”. If you read through our local news like Grand Rapids Business Journal, you will see a lot of movement in our local apartment market as well. Over the next few blogs, we will be defining private placement, asking why to invest using this vehicle and discussing what to look out for before investing in a deal.
       Before we get into defining private placement, we must inform you that we are not attorneys or accountants. This blog is here for your information and is not intended to be legal or tax advice.
What is a Private Placement?
       A private placement is a private offering where investors put money in a deal that is presented by a sponsor. Accredited and/or non accredited investor’s funds are compiled together to invest in larger deals. It should not be mistaken as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT). Although the term Private Placement can be used in a variety of investments, for this blog series, we will discuss Real Estate only, so the investment vehicle could be multifamily, office, retail, resort property, group of single family homes, etc. In the next blog we will discuss the benefits of private placement over other real estate investment vehicles.
Keywords:
       These are terms that are often used when describing and discussing a private placement. Many of these terms are interchangeable between other types of investments, but it’s important to understand what they mean when pertaining to private placement in real estate.
      • Sponsor: Also called a promotor or syndicator. This is the entrepreneur or team putting together the investment.
      • Executive Summary: Also called a Prospectus. This is the initial Marketing tool presented to prospective investors about a deal. It describes who the players are, what the deal is, the yield, the market, etc. It’s important to note that this is not a legal document. It doesn’t contain the full set of risk disclosures, but it still must avoid anti fraud provisions (misrepresentation, “pie in the sky”). This introduces the deal without providing every detail about it.
      • Private Placement Memorandum: First of all, this is NOT an exciting marketing document. With this document, you can tell if they hired the right attorney because it will be boring, detailed, and contain disclosures and legal wording that is required by federal securities law. It tells all the ways you could lose your money. It is important to read and understand this document, but don’t waste your time with it unless you liked the Executive summary and want to move forward.
      • Accredited Investor: This is defined by federal securities laws. Seen by the government as a less risky investor. They are considered more sophisticated, seasoned investor. They have a net worth of over 1 million excluding the value of their primary residence. OR they have income of at least $200,000 each year for 2 years and will make the same amount this year. You can also include a spouse in this amount and the number jumps to $300,000 year.
      • Non-Accredited Investor: Seen as a higher risk investor because the investment is most likely a higher percentage of their income. They could be more problematic in a deal because they are less sophisticated and less practiced.

Stay tuned for our next blog on the benefits of investing in Private Placements!

What is Going on In the Real Estate Market?? Rents Up, Homeownership Down, Inventory Low?

What is going on in the real estate markets? Every day there seem to be headlines about the housing market. The trends both nationally and locally are at historic numbers that we haven’t seen in a long time. Let’s look as some recurring headlines and stats from the real estate market:
  • Rental rates are rising
  • Homeownership is dropping
  • Home sales inventory is at a historic low
  • Fewer people can afford to own
Rental Rates Are Rising
According to an article in The New York Times, the national vacancy ratio is the lowest it has been in 20 years. This and other factors caused national rental rates to rise 3.2 percent last year. Locally, Access Property Management has seen an increase in rental rates also. Like in any market, some neighborhoods rise while others fall, but in general, we have seen 5-10 percent increases in rent rates. Some areas increased as much as 15 percent!
Homeownership is Dropping
In the same article from the New York Times, it states that homeownership has been falling for the past 8 years, reaching 63.7 percent this year. Another article in the Wall Street Journal forecasts this rate to continue to drop to 61.2 percent in 2030, below the lowest since records began in 1965.
Homes Sales Inventory is at Historic Low
In Grand Rapids, our current housing supply is at 2.3 months. A healthy market that is moving along smoothly has 6 months of supply. In this news article from WZZM 13, GRAR Executive director, Julie Rietberg, says that when inventory is that low, you have double digit appreciation in the market. Ask any realtor in the area and you will hear about multiple offer situations, offers above asking price, and impatient buyers. The article states, “The average price for a home sale around Grand Rapids was $176,020 for the first six months of this – that’s up 9.6 percent from the same period last year.”
Fewer People Can Afford to Own
What is attributing to less people being able to own a home? According to the Wall Street Journal, a few reasons are tougher mortgage qualifications rules, higher rent to income ratio, slow wage growth, and student debt. When will our economy be able to overcome these factors to increase homeownership rate again? That’s where the experts are on opposite ends of the spectrum. What do you think?

Don’t you Wish your Property Manager Did This? ACT PROFESSIONAL

A couple days late of June, but this post completes our June series, “Don’t you wish your property manager did this?”.

Your rental is a BUSINESS. Yes, you deal with people and people’s lives, but your rental properties are a BUSINESS. If you don’t treat it like a business, the IRS and legal system will hold you PERSONALLY responsible. Which is one reason to hire a property manager.

As your property manager, we take our business seriously. We treat our residents, our clients and our units under management professionally. Here are some ways that we design and implement our professional decisions and standards:

 

  • Annual Fair Housing Training: We require each team member to attend annual fair housing training. Our team members bring back what they learn and work to make our screening, managing and maintenance teams better.
  • National Association of Residential Property Managers (NARPM®): The team at Access took the initiative to start the first NARPM® chapter in Michigan. We still have active roles on the board and the chapter continues to grow. This organization is the most professional organization available to third-party  managers of single family homes and small apartment communities. Check out more about their code of ethics here.
  • We Are Investors: How can a manager possibly know how to manage a rental property without owning one? Our team members own single family homes and small apartment communities throughout the Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo markets. We know them because we invest in them.
  • Professional systems: Another reason to hire a property manager is because of their systems. This can mean anything from their accounting software to their Move-Out  process. With Access, you can be assured that we follow the legal rules involved with rentals. We are not tax professionals, but we provide you with the information needed to use the tax laws to your advantage. We put the complicated and time consuming systems in place to manage your property the professional way.

Don’t you Wish your Property Manager Did This? EDUCATE!

Have you ever talked with a “professional” and knew more about their profession than they did?  Just this week I spoke with a customer service representative at the post office and found myself educating THEM on a new service the post office has out! Frustrating!

Here are a couple things we do to make sure we keep and maintain our status as experts:

  • Continuing Education: For most property managers, this means the 6 hours a year that are required to have a real estate license. Besides those hours, we attend seminars, read books, listen to podcasts, go to conferences, join organizations, watch webinars, and learn from people. Here are just a few of the recent topics we have explored: Marketing to tenants, leasing and lease renewals, foreign investors, taxes and investment properties, laws relating to investment properties, team building, leadership.
  • Professional Designations and organizations: We seek out the designations that provide our company with the greatest credibility and give us the most “bang for our buck”. What’s the point in getting a few letters behind your name if they don’t actually bring in value to our clients?
  • Constant Improvement: In our company, we NEVER accept the answer “because that’s how it’s always been done”. We are constantly looking to improve our communication, procedures, software systems, and team. We bring in outside experts to assess our processes because a fresh look can bring a new perspective. When are are hit with a problem, we huddle as a team and find the best solution. This will be our culture forever, we will not settle and let the world pass us by.
  • Client Education: In order for us to work at our best potential, we need educated clients. We spend countless time improving our communications to our clients. The more they know, the better decisions they can make. We work with first time investors that have a multitude of questions, to seasoned investors that bring us the problems that they aren’t able to solve. We are ready to be a partner with you through it all.

Don’t you wish YOUR Property Manager did this? COMMUNICATE!

For the month of June, we are starting a series of blogs about what you wish YOUR property manager did. When it comes to property managers, your options are vast for your rentals: large property management firms, small local companies, the One-person-show property managers, even some realtors manage rentals on the side! This series will explore what sets Access Property Management Group apart from its competitors.

 

Tell us! What do you wish your property manager did? Return your voicemail before you forget what you called about? Give you access to their cell phone? Reply to your emails?

 

We pride ourselves on great communication. Our team has some of the most dedicated members in town. Here are just a few ways that we rise above the rest on communication:

 

  • Cell Phones: When managing rental properties, issues don’t only occur during business hours. Access provides cell phones to our managers to allow them to get messages wherever they are and respond to emergencies whenever is needed.

 

  • Voicemails: Quick response needed! Call us early enough in the day and we respond the same day. Our policy is a 24 response time!

 

  • Emails and messages: Remember those cell phones? They help us to respond to your emails and messages promptly. As property managers, we spend a lot of time in the field, mobile devices help us to manage our workflow even when we aren’t in front of a computer.

 

Ask yourself, does your property manager do these things?

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of our series next week!

The Real Estate Investor End-of-Year Planning Guide

The end of year is approaching quickly. As a real estate investor, there are a few more details to consider to plan, do and review for the next year. We put together this guide to help you with your end of year planning.

  • Prepare For Tax Season
    • Taxes are not scary! If you do these items, you will be much more prepared for tax season.
        • Organize and Label Expenses. If you have been doing this all year long, good job! If not, now is great time to get started.
        • Find a great CPA. Ask for referrals. Check out your local investor organizations for accountants. Interview and choose the best.
        • Learn about taxes . Our founder, Justin Bajema, always says, “If you want better answers, ask better questions.”. How can you do this without knowing about the subject itself. A great book to get you started is Tax-Free Wealth by Rich Dad advisor Tom Wheelwright.
  • Analyze Your Property Numbers
    • You will need these for the next steps. Now is the time to look back over the past year, notice the trends, unexpected expenses, and get the big picture of what happened. Correct any mistakes you may have made and dig into the financial statements.
  • Goal Planning
    • Most people experience a lull during December. We encourage you to think of it as a time to review and plan. Without a roadmap, you can’t expect a result. Goal planning is different for everyone, so find out what works best for you. Write them down? Type them out? Private goal planning trip? Attend a goals retreat?
  • Set up Replacement Reserves
    • This is an area that can kill an investment. You HAVE to plan for repairs. Every item in a home has a useful life. How many years are left on the roof? appliances? flooring? What will need to be replaced in the next 12 months. Budget for these expenses.
  • Budget
    • I know we are talking business here, but we believe that you will only be given what you can manage responsibly. It’s important to budget in both a business and in your personal life. This is part of your roadmap. There are plenty of great ways to do this, so choose an expert and learn how to do it.
  • Education
    • The most important things to invest in is yourself. You will only get as far as you take yourself. Start to look at what conferences are coming up. Are there any books that are on your reading list?  Is there a speaker that you want to hear? Do you need to start taking people out to dinner to learn about them? Add these items to your budget. Make it a priority to become a better investor.

 

The Top 4 Reasons to Rent Your Home This Fall!

Have you been contemplating whether to rent your home now or wait until spring? Do you think you missed the summer renting frenzy? We want to share with you the top 4 reasons why NOW is a great time to rent out your home.

1. Millennial Home Ownership is DOWN
According to the US Census Bureau, only 36% of Americans under the age of 35 own homes. This is the lowest since 1982! Why is this? According to CNN Money, astronomical student loan debt, tight lending standards and stiff competition are causing millennials to hold back from buying a home and renting instead.

2. Snow is Coming!
Have you tried moving into a home with a foot of snow on the ground? Not easy! People in Michigan already have this in mind and are looking to move before the massive snow hits in January and February.

3. Happy Holidays!
Life slows down for nearly everyone between Thanksgiving and New Years. Although we expect to see a bit more activity due to the low rate of homeownership, now is definitely ideal to get your home listed before the holiday fever starts.

4. Increasing Rent Prices!
Basic economics says that when supply is low and demand is high, prices are driven up. Time Magazine states that rent prices have risen 14% since the end of 2009. Second quarter of 2014 was the 18th consecutive quarter of rent increases! 

Click here for a free quote to see how much your home will rent for! Or call us 616-301-9450

New in August! Service Request Priority Guidelines

In July, two of our team members attended an industry conference that was held by our property management software company in Chicago. One of their take-aways from that conference was the concept of Service Request Priority. Why is this important, you may ask? Imagine these, very typical, scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Resident Joe calls in on Monday afternoon, one of his toilets is not working, but he has two bathrooms in the house. We get the call and assign the work order to the vendor. The vendor is working, but gets the email that evening. Tuesday, Resident Sue calls and says her toilet in her bathroom is not working and she only has one toilet. We get the service request and notify the vendor that this is high priority. The vendor can get to Sue’s toilet that day, but has to wait until Wednesday to fix Joe’s toilet.

  • Without Priorities, Resident Joe is mad because his expectations were to have it fixed immediately (not fun, but manageable). If we don’t let the vendor know the priority, he will fix it in the order received and Sue will not have a working toilet for 2 days (Not fun and no where to go…).
  • With Priorities, we can manage both the vendor and the expectations of residents.

Scenario 2:

February 4-It’s 15°f outside and the Joe’s heat stops working. Resident Joe calls in and a service request is created. The service request is sent to the vendor with High Priority and the heat is back on within a few hours. March 29-It’s 50°f outside and Resident Joe calls in with the service request on a Saturday evening. If we send a vendor for an after hours emergency, the cost will most likely be double the amount. A service request is sent to the vendor on Monday and addressed within a few hours.

  • Without Priorities, Resident Joe is upset that no one responds to his call right away like the first time and proceeds to call 5 more times until 3 am and 6 more times on Sunday. By Monday morning, he is fuming.
  • With Priorities, Resident Joe understands that we will be in contact with him on Monday and puts on another sweatshirt.

How does this help you, the client?
Happy Residents = Long term residents. Simple as that. More lease renewals and less turnover costs.

How does this help us, the management company?
Happy, informed residents = less phone calls (when will someone fix my toilet?), less exasperation (I put in a service request yesterday and no one is here yet!) and clear expectations (Oh, my service request is medium priority, that means it will get fixed in 2-3 days).

How does this help the resident?
Clear expectations = less stress, easier to plan. Residents will know when to expect phone calls and service and can plan accordingly.

 

Below are our new service request guidelines with examples of each priority level that are now being communicated to residents and vendors for each service request.

Service Request Priority Guidelines:
After a service request is submitted, it is reviewed and a priority is given to it as follows:

  • High – 24 hours. Examples: Power outage, A/C or Heat out in Extreme temperatures, No hot water, Sewer Backup, Flooding, Toilet out-only 1 bathroom.
  • Medium – 48-72 hours. Examples: Appliance issues, A/C or Heat out in moderate temperatures, Small leaks, Toilet is broken with more than 1 in house.
  • Low – 1-2 weeks. Examples: Blinds broken, shelving broken in appliance, pests(ants, spiders, etc)
  • Low (Cosmetic) – Up to Owner Approval or Rejection. Examples: Painting, Updates to home, Flooring replacement.

Deposits, Damages, and Charging Tenants

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Anyone who has ever rented — or rented to someone — knows that there can be a lot of negativity surrounding the security deposit. As a landlord, knowing what goes into it can save you some bickering or even a lawsuit.

We’ve assembled some quick-hit facts according to Michigan state laws about security deposits in every step of the process — from signing the lease to move out day.

What is a security deposit?

The first thing to know about security deposits is that, according to law, they are the property of tenants held by landlords to ensure rent is paid, utility bills are paid, and the property is kept in the same condition in which it was first rented. After a lease is up, the tenant is due back their deposit unless they (1) owe unpaid rent, (2) owe unpaid utility bills, or (3) caused damages — other than wear and tear — to the property.

The beginning

In order to understand what landlords can charge for once the tenant is out, it’s first important to understand the legality of collecting a deposit. First of all, a landlord cannot ask for a deposit that is larger than one and a half month’s rent.

While there can be fees for things like pets, credit checks, storage, mailboxes, and keys, all of these fees are still considered a security deposit depending on certain verbiage. If fees are labeled “refundable fees,” they are considered part of the security deposit. If they are labeled “non-refundable fees,” they are additional to the security deposit.

Proper notices

There are three notices landlords and tenants are both required to provide regarding security deposits. Generally, these notices are in the lease.

  1. By 14 days after the tenant moves in, the landlord must provide the name, address, and receipt of communications regarding the tenancy.
  2. The name and address of the bank where the deposit is being held or who filed the bond with the Secretary of State.
  3. The landlord must tell the tenant it’s their obligation to provide a forwarding address within four days after move-out date.

The Inventory Checklist

While it’s not illegal not to have an inventory checklist done for your property, it can save some trouble in disputes over deposits. If a checklist isn’t done, it becomes one person’s word over another.

It must state on the first page of the checklist that the tenant is required to return the filled-out list to the landlord seven days after moving in. The checklist should include everything that is in the unit — such as appliances and carpeting.

It is also recommended that the tenant and the landlord both take photos or video of the property prior to when the tenant moves in. It’s a good idea to have a newspaper with the day’s date in some of the shots.

A landlord’s responsibility when the lease is up

Thirty days after the tenant moves out, the landlord must:

  1. Return the entire amount of the deposit by mail — which the tenant should have provided four days after moving out. OR
  2. Mail a list of damages and the remaining security deposit or additional charges. The notice has to state the tenant has seven days to respond to the receipt, otherwise the amount for damages will be forfeited.

If a tenant chooses to dispute charges, the landlord must either negotiate them or decide to go to court.

What is wear-and-tear vs. damages?

Things like smudges on walls as well as the wearing of appliances are considered normal wear and tear. The landlord cannot charge for things like painting walls or shampooing carpets — unless excessive cleaning is needed in which it is then considered damage.

An example of things that a landlord can charge for, however, would be holes in walls, broken windows, broken blinds, or a broken appliance that is relatively new.

For more information on deposits, you can read more on Michigan’s government website.