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Lsd: Tenants Rights

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In a previous L.S. D„ article (Issue No. 12 ) I talked about the :ennants rights and the proccess oí eviction. This weeks column will cover the respective rights and obligations of fandlords and tenants Your lease will probably include a great many obligations on the tenants part and very few on the landlord's. However, just because the .ease doesn't state the Jandlord's obligations doesn't mean that he does not have to fuif UI them. For example, Michigan state law says that a land.ord must keep the premises fit and in reasonable repair, but the lease probably won't say so. Before you sign a lease you should make sure ;hat there aren't any obligations missing which should be, there. And even ïf your landlord won't modify his ease accordingly, you don't lose your rights. S you should decide to begin a rent strike, the landlord will probably use a number of different tactics to scare you into paying. 1. One tactic is to send letters o parents which threaten to ruin their credit rating and bring them to court. fhey can 't do anything to parents. Note: Landlords often try to make your parents sign the lease. This sn't required, regardless of how old you are. ) 2. Forcible entry. Under Michgan law a landlord cannot enter premises held by a tenant. S he attempts to do so: a. Inform him oí your rights under the above law. b. Physically block the doorway. c. B he threatens you, take note of tthe language and warn him that he may be Hable f or assault. d. Warn him that if he touches you he may be liable íor battery. e. Cali people to your assistance to serve as witnesses or whatever. 3. Forcible eviction. K a landlord attempts to evict you without a writ af restitution, you should follow the procedure above as well as the following: a. Tell him that he has no right to evict you without a writ of restitution and deny him entrance. (He may try to use a subterfuge such as a lease provisión for inspections, in order to gain entrance. ) b. E he threatens to remove any of your possessions, tell him that you will charge him wlth theft, and that he will be liable f or damages to your person or property. 4. Lock out. The landlord may try to enter your apartment while you are absent, remove your possessions, change the lock, and there by lock you out. ff you feel there is any danger of this: a. Arrange for your fellow tenants to guard each others' apartments or houses. b. Install your own padlock which he wlll not be able to open. c. I you are locked out, get in touch with the Tenants Union and they will get you back in. Their number is 763 3102. --