A 2010 Michigan statute permits a tenant who is at risk of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking to be released from a rental obligation. The tenant seeking release must provide notice of "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."
The documentation that may be submitted includes a personal protection order, a criminal "no-contact" order, a police report that resulted in a criminal charge filed within 14 days of the notice to the landlord, or a form submitted by a qualified third party verifying a threat of present danger. A qualified third party includes a domestic violence or sexual assault counselor, health professional (medical or mental health), or clergy member. The statute contains specific definitions of the term "qualified third party."
Once documentation is submitted, the tenant will be released from her obligation to pay rent on the first day of the second month that rent is due after notice is given. The release takes effect when the tenant vacates the premises.
An informative publication prepared by the Michigan Poverty Law Program may be downloaded here. Download LeaseReleaseLawBrochure
A compendium of such laws for all states was published in January 2013 by the National Housing Law Project. It may be downloaded here: Download Natl Housing Law Project Jan 2013
There are many agencies available to help women and their families to escape and/or to prevent family violence. See, for example:
Domestic violence resources ·
Tel. 415-954-9988, ext. 315 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A collection of news articles concerning domestic violence and sexual violence is found here on the website of the National Center on Domestic and Sexual Violence
If you need crisis help:
24-hour line: 888-664-8624
24-hour line: 248-334-1274
24-hour line: 734-995-5444
Detroit Police Department Rape Counseling Center and Domestic Violence
24-hour lines: 313-833-1660 or 313-833-9813
To contact Jeanne Hannah with your questions or to view her Family Law website, click here.