Landlords Not Required to Lease to Marijuana Users

The Michigan Legislature recently amended the Michigan Medical Marihuana Act to add a provision clarifying that nothing in the act requires "A private property owner to lease residential property to any person who smokes or cultivates marihuana on the premises, if the prohibition against smoking or cultivating marihuana is in the written lease.

In order to effectively bar a tenant from using marijuana on the leased premises, and to have the right to evict a tenant from the premises for using marijuana, the landlord must have a written lease, and that lease must contain a provision prohibiting smoking or cultivating marijuana on the premises.  Since leases for less than one year need not be in writing in Michigan, it is unclear whether this amendment can be construed as requiring landlords to allow tenants to smoke or cultivate marijuana if there is no written lease.

Having a written lease, even if the term will be less than one year, is good business practice for landlords.  

© Steve Sowell 2017