449 E. Front St.

Traverse City, MI

Graff, Graff & Helveston
For rent sign Lease agreement Apartment for rent Commercial building

The attorneys at Graff, Graff & Helveston provide exceptional and affordable legal services for residential and commercial landlords and tenants.  In the State of Michigan, the relationship between landlords and tenants is strictly regulated by statute.  Our attorneys know these laws and use their experience to protect the rights of their clients in and out of the courtroom.  If you are a landlord or tenant and need legal assistance, call us at (231) 947-2540 to set up an appointment at our downtown Traverse City or Beulah locations.

If you are a commercial or residential tenant that is facing eviction or the loss of your security deposit, our attorneys will protect your contractual and statutory rights.  In Michigan, self-help is strictly prohibited.  If your landlord wants to evict you, they must initiate a summary proceeding in the appropriate court and obtain an order of eviction from a judge.  Before your landlord can start an eviction proceeding, they must comply with notice requirements that are set by statute.  The length of these mandatory notice periods vary depending on the grounds for terminating your lease.  If you have received a notice to quit from your landlord and believe you may have a valid defense to a lawsuit for eviction or damages, you should meet with an attorney immediately.  Summary proceedings move very quickly and trials are normally scheduled within two weeks of when a complaint is filed.  

If you are a commercial or residential landlord, we will provide you with the information and documentation that you need to start managing your rental properties in a legal and more efficient manner.  We draft custom lease agreements, checklists and notices for our clients to ensure that they are in the best possible position if legal proceedings are necessary to evict a tenant or to obtain a money judgment for damages or past-due rent.  These documents can be drafted at an affordable flat rate and can save you a significant amount time and money if a dispute arises between you and a tenant. Our attorneys are familiar with the local courts and how these matters are handled.  If you need an attorney to represent you or your business in court, we will use this experience to resolve your matter in an efficient and cost effective manner.  



Landlord & Tenant Representation


The use/retention of residential security deposits is also strictly regulated in Michigan. Your security deposit can only be used by your landlord for past due rent, unpaid utilities and damages to the leased premises beyond normal wear and tear. There are also statutory notice requirements that must be satisfied before a landlord can retain any portion of your security deposit.  If your landlord fails to comply with these notice requirements, you may be entitled to the return of your entire security deposit and damages regardless of the merits of your landlord's claims for damages, past-due rent, etc..  

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