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Landlord bills for repairs but sends unlicensed friend. Is this legal?

Belleville, MI |

Lease says every repair, replacement or service costs $80. I signed it. But landlord sends his buddy to fix everything. His buddy is one of those all-around-handy-types but only licensed in electrical. I get worried because things aren't really fixed but instead rigged. If they break again, do I owe another $80? Things are breaking every few wks, not due to me but due to age. When he said $80 I thought it would be a real repair person not a drink-beer-with-buddy who lives in same area. Things that broke: hot h2o, roof,

outdoor plug, washroom plug, garbage disp, washer, dishwasher, garage door opener (main unit, not car unit), leak in pipes x 3 (all different areas). Thats all I can think of but I'm sure theres more. The problems seem to never end. Everything is 16 years old.

Attorney Answers 2


Is your lease for commercial space, or residential? If commercial, you may be stuck with this, but I would sure try insisting that your landlord send someone qualified to do the work.

However, if this is a residential lease, your landlord cannot legally charge you for repairs that were not caused by your conduct. You should advise him of this fact immediately. This is one instance where the fact that you signed the lease does not mean that this provision is enforceable. This is an unenforceable lease provision.

Best of luck to you,

John J. Keenan

This response applies to Michigan law only. This initial response to your question(s) is for general purposes, only, and is based upon the limited information you have provided. Therefore, this general answer should not be relied upon as a reason for your action or inaction. This response does not establish an attorney-client relationship; such a relationship may only be established by the signing of a written retainer agreement, and the payment of the agreed upon retainer. Please call me, or another attorney of your choice, with more details, and for an appointment to discuss same. Thank you for this opportunity to address your question(s).

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Do you have a link to a MI law that I can reference? Its residential but in a condo association. But I rent through a private owner. I'd be thrilled to stop paying hundreds a month!

John J. Keenan

John J. Keenan


Exactly how long is your lease?


I agree with Mr. Keenan. This sounds outrageous. I guess it is a nice way to help your buddy pay for his beer. But it is not something you need to put up with. Landlord is responsible for repairs, unless you were responsible for the damages.

James Frederick

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