Laws & Rules


At the national level it is the International Property Management Code (IPMC). While this is somewhat removed from everyday operations of the average rental property owner it is nevertheless worth noting and something of with which to become aware. In fact of recent there has been consideration of certain revisions of the IPMC which are being monitored by the Michigan rental property owners Legislative Council (see the Legislative section of this Website)


A must read (albeit not a fun task) is the Housing Law of Michigan (Public Act 167 of 1917, as amended in 2016)

Note when navigating through the law the columns listed with “Documents” have active links taking you to another series of sections in the act, for example the most recent amendment to the Housing Law is located by going to the Website and selecting Article VII of those listed; then from that listing select, for example Section 125.526 and that then takes you to the amendments that became effective May 16, 2016 within Section 126 about “Inspections.” Begin with the “definitions” section, being 125.402 Housing law of Michigan; definitions first of all note the act defines “private dwelling” and differentiates it from “2 family dwelling” and that from “multiple dwelling”

Landlord/Tenant Handbook

The very best quick read (68 pages) reference regarding legal and logical operations for rental property owners is the LANDLORD TENANT HANDBOOK – You will want to keep this manual readily filed for reference in your own library.

Download a copy of the landlord/tenant handbook, A Practical Guide for Tenants & Landlords


The most apparent “force” regarding regulations associated with the operations of your rental property is the local jurisdiction in which the rental is located. You should be very familiar with the ordinances in the jurisdiction of your rental property (ies). Google – the jurisdiction name /”MI” / “rental housing ordinance” … and that should take you to the relevant information.

First of all you must be sure the location of the rental property is in a local zone in which rental housing is authorized. Then you must note if registration or licensure of rental housing is required by the local ordinance … from which the local jurisdiction acquires enormous rights under the auspices of public health and welfare to establish fees for such registration/licensure (first time and probably annual thereafter); to require inspections of the rental property and under what criteria and stipulations and for what fee; and other such requirements locally imposed on the rental property owner.

Additional Information

1. The landlord-tenant relationship is founded on duties proscribed by either statutory law, the common law, or the individual lease. What provisions may be contained in a lease is normally regulated by statutory law.  Landlord-tenant law governs the rental of commercial and residential property. It is composed primarily of state statutory and common law. The basis of the legal relationship between a landlord and tenant is grounded in both contract and property law.

The landlord-tenant agreement may eliminate or limit these rights. The landlord-tenant agreement is normally embodied in a lease. The lease, though not historically or strictly a contract, may be subject to concepts embodied in contract law.  Basic to all leases is the implied covenant of quiet enjoyment. This covenant ensure the tenant that his possession will not be disturbed by someone with a superior legal title to the land including the landlord.

2. The lease is a critical component of rental property ownership. Besides spelling out the stipulations of your rental agreement with the tenant(s) it also establishes essentially “the law” between the owner and the resident.

While a lease is an agreement it nevertheless is somewhat different from traditional contracts for purposes of real estate law. For example one can extend an agreement for most things my merely a memo of understanding, an email or text or both just going forward with business as usual. Not necessarily so with a lease. If you wish, for example, to extend let’s say one year lease with a tenant and do so by email or such it is not a binding extension of the lease. Under terms of real estate law you must engage an entirely new lease document signed by all parties.

This is but one simple example of why it’s so important for the rental property owner to be knowledgeable about how real estate laws and regulations impact you.

That is why RPOAMM membership is so important …. the Association keeps members informed on the facts and developments associated with being a rental property owner. And RPOAMM serves a very critical role in monitoring the actions of local jurisdictions considering adverse changes to their ordinances and, through its membership in the Legislative Council monitors and advocates for rental property owners in the Michigan legislature.

Upcoming Events

Hosted By Doug B.

Rental Property Owners Association of Mid-Michigan

July Membership Meeting

July 18th 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm

Sidebar East Lansing – 246 E. Saginaw St. Ste 2 East Lansing Mi. 48823

Guest Speaker is Jennifer Burnette – Director of Housing Programs at Lansing Housing Commission


  • Housing partnerships with local landlords
  • Voucher Programs Available
  • Housing needs in the Lansing and surrounding area.