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.