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Does a landlord out of possession have a duty to inspect the premises? Court of Appeals says “Yes”

Premises Liability / June 15, 2018

Sherman v Israel Bros, Inc., unpubl per curiam decision of the MI COA, issued May 24, 2018 (Docket No. 333514), (author Sidney Klinger for appellee), highlights a lack of clarity in the law concerning the duty of a landlord out of possession. Our Supreme Ct clearly holds that premises liability is conditioned on possession and control of the premises. Yet, the COA in this case, citing Grandberry-Lovette v Garascia, 303 Mich App 566 (2014) abrogated on other grounds by Lowrey v LMPS & LMPJ, Inc., 500 Mich App 1 (2016), apparently imposed a duty to inspect on such a landlord. The Court compounded the confusion by treating a premises claim identically to a statutory claim under MCL 554.139, notwithstanding its own observation that the statute “does not impose a duty upon the landlord to inspect the premises on a regular basis to determine if any defects exist.”

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