How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Richard Your Own Question
Richard
Richard, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55716
Experience:  32 years of experience as lawyer in Texas. I'm also a Real Estate developer.
17027240
Type Your Real Estate Law Question Here...
Richard is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

On Saturday, July 22, 2017, my daughter had to leave

Customer Question

On Saturday, July 22, 2017, my daughter had to leave Westland Mi Skygate apartments for fear of her life. She filed a police report and we have copies of what happen because of domestic violence she drove all night to come to my house in Maryland. The lease is over in October and I read she can be released from that if she has a police report. The apartment officials are trying to hold her to buy out of the lease. Can you help me with what the law states in Michigan?
JA: Because real estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: It is in the state of Westland Michigan
JA: Has any paperwork been filed?
Customer: She filed a police report on July 22, 2017 and the other person was arrested. We have copy of police report
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: Yes, how can she get out of that lease because she feared for her life and left the state of Michigan and Skygate apartments are trying to hold her to the lease.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Real Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 2 months ago.

Hi! My name is Richard & I will be helping you today! It will take me a few minutes to type a response to your question. Thanks for your patience!

Expert:  Richard replied 2 months ago.

Good morning. First, let me tell you how sorry I am for the situation in which your daughter finds herself. I will certainly keep you guys in my prayers! As to your specific question, Michigan law does offer protection in landlord tenant situations involving domestic violence. Here is the specific statute which allows her to be released from any obligation under the lease:

554.601b Tenant under apprehension of danger from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking; release from rental payment obligation; written notice; content; documentation; forwarding information; liability of multiple tenants; applicability; remedies against other parties; definitions.

Sec. 1b.

(1) A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to the tenant or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking while that person is a tenant shall be released from his or her rental payment obligation in accordance with the requirements of this section after submittal of written notice of his or her intent to seek a release and written documentation that the tenant has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to the tenant or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Submittal of written notice shall be made by certified mail. A rental agreement may contain a provision stating "A tenant who has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to him or her or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking may have special statutory rights to seek a release of rental obligation under MCL 554.601b.". If the rental agreement does not contain such a provision, the landlord shall post written notice visible to a reasonable person in the landlord's property management office or deliver written notice to the tenant when the lease agreement is signed. The content of the written notice shall be identical to the provision in this section.

(2) The tenant shall include in the submittal required under subsection (1) a written statement that the tenant or a child of the tenant has a reasonable apprehension of present danger from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. For purposes of releasing a tenant from his or her obligation to pay rent, the tenant is released from an obligation to pay rent no later than the first day of the second month that rent is due after notice is given. A release of a rental obligation under this section does not apply to prepaid amounts, including, but not limited to, prepayment of first and last months' rent. A release of rental obligation under this section does not take effect before the tenant vacates the premises. Nothing in this section shall prevent a landlord from withholding security deposits pursuant to section 13(1)(d). This subsection does not affect other sums that may be withheld by the landlord under this act or other applicable law.

(3) The requirement in subsection (1) that a tenant provide written documentation that the tenant has a reasonable apprehension of present danger to the tenant or his or her child from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking is satisfied by providing 1 or more of the following written documents to the landlord:

(a) A valid personal protection order or foreign protection order as defined in section 2950h of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL(###) ###-####, or an order removing an abusive person from a home under MCL 712A.13a(4), issued by a court of competent jurisdiction that remains in effect on the date of submittal.

(b) A valid probation order, conditional release order, or parole order that is still in effect on the date of submittal if the probation order, conditional release order, or parole order indicates that the individual subject to the order is subject to conditions reasonably necessary to protect the tenant or child of the tenant, including a condition that the individual is to have no contact with the tenant or child of the tenant.

(c) A written police report that has resulted in the filing of charges by the prosecuting attorney that has jurisdiction over the matter if the charges were filed not more than 14 days before submittal of the written notice required under subsection (1).

(d) A written police report that has resulted in the filing of charges by the prosecuting attorney that has jurisdiction over the matter if the charges were filed more than 14 days before submittal of the written notice required under subsection (1). A tenant who uses a police report under this subdivision shall demonstrate a verifiable threat of present danger from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking. Filing of the form under subdivision (e) shall be a demonstration of a verifiable threat of present danger from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(e) Submittal to the landlord of a report that is verified by a qualified third party in substantially the following form:

..............................................................

[Name of organization, agency, clinic, professional service

provider]

I and/or my .......(child) have/has a

reasonable apprehension of present danger from

... domestic violence as defined by MCL(###) ###-####

... sexual assault as defined by MCL 750.520a to

750.520l.

... stalking as defined by MCL 750.411h or 750.411i.

Briefly describe the incident giving rise to the

reasonable apprehension of domestic violence, sexual assault,

or stalking: ................................................

..............................................................

The incident(s) that I rely on in support of this

declaration occurred on the following date(s) and

time(s): ........ and at the following location(s): ........

..............................................................

The incident(s) that I rely on in support of this

declaration was/were committed by the following person(s), if

known:

..............................................................

I state under penalty of perjury under the laws of the

state of Michigan that the foregoing is true and correct.

By submitting this statement I do not waive any legally

recognized privilege protecting any communications that I

may have with the agency or representative whose name

appears below or with any other person or entity. I understand

that my obligation to pay rent will end no later than the first

day of the second month that rent is due after I give notice.

My obligation to pay rent does not end until I vacate the

premises. I understand that my landlord may keep prepaid

amounts, including first and last months' rent and all or part

of my security deposit or other amounts as allowed under law.

Dated at ......... (city) ..., Michigan, this ... day of ....,

20...

..........................

Signature of Tenant or

Household Member

I verify under penalty of perjury under the laws

of the state of Michigan that I have provided services to

the person whose signature appears above and that, based on

information communicated to me by the person whose signature

appears above, the individual has a reasonable apprehension

of present danger to the individual or his or her child

from domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking, and

that the individual informed me of the name of the alleged

perpetrator of the actions, giving rise to the apprehension if

known. This verification does not waive any legally recognized

privilege that I, my agency, or any of its representatives

have with the person whose signature appears above.

Dated this ... day of ...., 20...

............................

Signature of authorized

officer/employee of

(organization, agency,

clinic, professional

service provider)

............................

License number or organizational

tax identification number

............................

Organization name

............................

Printed address

(4) The landlord shall reveal forwarding address information submitted by the tenant to other individuals only as reasonably necessary to accomplish the landlord's regular and ordinary business purpose. The landlord shall not intentionally reveal forwarding address information or documentation submitted by the tenant under this section to the person that the tenant has identified as the source of the reasonable apprehension of domestic violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

(5) If a rental agreement obligates multiple tenants to be liable for rental obligations and a tenant is released from his or her rental obligations under this section, all other tenants who are parties to the rental agreement remain subject to the rental agreement.

(6) This section applies only to leases entered into, renewed, or renegotiated after the effective date of the amendatory act that added this section.

(7) Nothing in this act shall prejudice a landlord's right to pursue available remedies against other parties under this act.

(8) As used in this section:

(a) "Child" means the minor child residing with the tenant or an adult child who is a legally incapacitated individual as that term is defined in section 1105 of the estates and protected individuals code, 1998 PA 386, MCL(###) ###-####

(b) "Domestic violence" means that term as defined in section 1 of 1978 PA 389, MCL(###) ###-####

(c) "Qualified third party" means 1 or more of the following:

(i) A sexual assault or domestic violence counselor.

(ii) A health professional licensed or registered under article 15 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.16101 to 333.18838.

(iii) A mental health professional as defined in section 100b of the mental health code, 1974 PA 258, MCL(###) ###-####.

(iv) A member of the clergy, if the clergy member is affiliated with a tax-exempt religious institution under section 501(c)(3) of the internal revenue code that is listed in a telephone directory.

(d) "Sexual assault" means conduct described in sections 520a to 520l of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.520a to 750.520l.

(e) "Sexual assault or domestic violence counselor" means a person who is employed at or who volunteers service at a sexual assault or domestic violence crisis center and who, in that capacity, provides advice, counseling, or other assistance to victims of sexual assault or domestic violence and their families.

(f) "Stalking" means that term as defined in section 411h or 411i of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.411h and 750.411i.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your question. I have done my best to provide information which fully addresses your question. If you have any follow up questions, please ask! If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service as Good or Excellent (i.e., 4 or 5 stars)(hopefully Excellent/5 stars!). Otherwise, I receive no credit for assisting you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Expert:  Richard replied 2 months ago.

Good afternoon. I'm just following up with you. My screen indicates that you have not reviewed my response. Please let me know if you did not receive it so I can re-send it if necessary. Thank you! Richard