What is the Eviction Process in Michigan

In Michigan, the only legal eviction that can take place is one that is ordered by the court. A landlord cannot force a tenant off of the property or attempt to repossess it on their own. That action allows a tenant to be entitled to damages. A county sheriff or an authorized police officer can legally remove an evicted tenant and only when there is a court order to do so. There are three reasons available to a landlord that will allow them to file a petition with the court system to request an eviction order.

1. Not paying the rent, whether done on purpose or not.

2. The creation of a health hazard on the property in question.

3. A termination of the tenancy.

Each eviction process starts with a specific Notice to Quit that must be given to the tenant. Tenants do not need to move when they are given this letter. It is the first step in the eviction process and landlords are required to be specific about why the notice has been given. Health hazards and a failure to pay rent have a 7 day deadline. A termination of tenancy, which is used on carryover [month-to-month] tenants or a major breach of a lease [such as having a pet when none is allowed] requires 30 days.

A Summons and Complaint Is the Next Step

During this process, a tenant may pay their rent or fix the issue at hand at any time and this will cancel the notice. If the notice requirements are not met, then the landlord must file for a Summons and Complaint with the court to be awarded a hearing. Tenants who do not show up for a summons will automatically lose their case, even if they have a valid defense.

If not settlement can be reached, a trial may take up to 6 weeks to complete from the date of the original Notice to Quit if all extensions and schedules are granted. A settlement can occur at any time during the process. Even if a tenant loses the eviction case, they still have 10 days in which they can pay the past due rent and court costs to nullify the court order. They may also pay rent at any time plus costs as a settlement to remain. If no settlement or payment is received, then the order to move will be enforced.

Posted on Mar 16, 2015


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