What is rental licensing?

The City of East Lansing’s effort to hold property managers accountable for the quality and safety of their properties, which many MSU students rent.

Rental licensing in East Lansing is related to the city’s zoning efforts. Occupancy levels of rental properties are determined by zoning laws, and do not necessarily equal the number of bedrooms in the rental property.

  • If your basement or attic has a single means of exit, it cannot be used as a sleeping room. The rental license indicates which rooms are sleeping rooms.
  • If found responsible for over occupying, you will pay fines and be forced to find different housing, both of which turn into costly, disruptive experiences that are certainly not worth taking the risk.

For more information and clarification about rental licensing, please call the City’s Code Enforcement office at (517) 319-6801, or visit the City’s Rental Housing Information page.

The City of East Lansing has a lease addendum that outlines the responsibilities of tenants and landlords, including license and inspections, occupancy limits, sleeping rooms, parking, trash, recycling, noise, fireworks, party litter, snow shoveling, grass cutting, leaf raking and pets. To view the City’s lease addendum, please visit the City’s Building & Code Enforcement webpage.

What is the importance of rental licensing?

Rental licensing is important for both MSU students and the City of East Lansing. For both MSU students and the City of East Lansing, rental licensing helps ensure safe, secure, and adequate housing is available.

As a student, you have the right to ask your property manager/landlord if your rental unit is rental licensed approved and what is the maximum number of occupants.

In the event you feel your right to safe, secure, and adequate housing is compromised, please see the Human Relations Commission resource on the Fair Housing Act.