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Can a tenant withhold rent in the State of Michigan during

Customer Question

can a tenant withhold rent in the State of Michigan during the month a Certificate of use and occupancy was processed ?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my very best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can. There may be a slight delay in my responses as I research statutes or ordinances and type out an answer or reply, but rest assured, I am working on your question..Are you saying that the landlord did not have the property properly permitted and approved for occupancy prior to letting the tenant take possession?..thanksBarrister
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
yes I am the landlord, I completed all the improvement required for the COO in November,we signed a lease the tenant paid and Occupied partially month of January , One of the requirement for a COO is Rental Dwelling Insurance which cant be covered without a lease, that takes up to 10 days to be processed with an insurance company which is a requirement to receive a COO. She owes rent for the month of February but I didn't get the COO until Feb 17th. is there a law that state the as long as she occupied the property she is held for financially responsible for that payment on the lease or is there a law that counter her reason for no COO
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
I am going to have to opt out as I will be away from my computer for a while..
Expert:  Attorney 1 replied 1 year ago.
Hello, and welcome. I am a licensed attorney and happy to assist since the prior attorney opted out of the question. This is a good question, and I'm glad you asked. I'm sorry to hear this landlord/tenant relationship is off to a rocky start. Since a COO was required, any rent collected prior to its finalization is technically "illegal rent." If the matter was brought before a judge, the court would allow the withholding of rent and would not allow you to evict on the basis of unpaid rent for that month. That said, the tenant made a deal and received the contracted benefit for that month, so I would think the writing would be on the wall if the tenant asserts the unfinalized COO as reason to withhold rent. This is reason to be concerned that you may have a contentious tenant, so be vigilant about compliance issues to avoid potential trouble in the future. I hope this helps. If you need additional information or clarification, just let me know. If I have addressed your issue and/or pointed you in a positive direction, please let me know that, as well. Also, please remember to leave a positive rating when prompted, as that is the only way attorneys on this site are credited for the help we provide​. Good luck! Best,Attorney 1
Expert:  Attorney 1 replied 1 year ago.
Is there anything else I can do for you? I'm here to help. Best,Attorney 1