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Landlords: Pay Attention to Criminal Activity on Your Leasehold Property

Creditors' Rights Blog Post
August 16, 2013

On July 30, 2013, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion in the case of Bailey v Schaaf, holding that Landlords have a duty to "make reasonable efforts to expedite police involvement" when put on notice of criminal acts occurring in common areas which may cause harm to a tenant or other person.

Key takeaways from the case: 

  • This duty to notify the police does not extend to criminal activity occurring within the unit leased by the tenant (but, the best practice may be to notify the police for any criminal activity anywhere on the property).
  • This duty does not include anything more than notifying the police (e.g., Landlord's employees do not have to break up the crime).
  • The duty is triggered only when a Landlord is put on notice of the criminal activity.

Bottom line:  Landlords should notify police if and when they are made aware of criminal activity on the leasehold property.

If you have any questions, please contact me at rjgroendyk@varnumlaw.com or (616) 336-6573.

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