When a landlord wishes to proceed with evicting a tenant in Michigan for nonpayment of rent or noncompliance they must present the tenant with a written notice to quit. If the tenant does not respond to the notice, the landlord files a Summons and Complaint with the local District Court in the county where the property is located. The court will then schedule a hearing date within ten (10) days and issue a judgment. If the judgment is in favor of the landlord, the tenant then has ten (10) days to move out of the rental unit. If the tenant fails to vacate the premises in that time, the landlord can file for a Writ of Eviction from the court. This gives the local Sheriff authority to physically remove the tenant and their belongings from the premises.
Laws – Chapter 57 (Summary Proceedings to Recover Possession of Premises)
How to Evict
- Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
- Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
- Step 3 – File in Court
- Step 4 – Set a Hearing Date
- Step 5 – Appear in Court
- Step 6 – File Warrant of Restitution
- Step 7 – Repossessing the Property
Step 1 – Send Eviction Notice to Tenant
Before beginning any formal eviction proceedings, the landlord has to first provide written notice to the tenant of their intent to evict. A landlord can evict a tenant on the grounds of failure to pay rent, breach of lease agreement, or engagement in illegal activity. They can deliver a copy of the notice to the tenant in person, post a copy of it on the main entrance of the rental unit, or leave a copy with a family member of the tenant.
- Illegal Drug-Related (24-Hour Notice): The landlord can terminate the lease agreement with one (1) day notice if the tenant is conducting illegal drug-related activities on the property.5
- Material Health/Safety Violation (7-Day Notice): If the tenant violates a building code or creates an unsafe environment for themselves or other tenants, the landlord may serve this notice. They may give the tenant the option to cure but it is not required.6
- Non-Payment (7-Day Notice): If the tenant does not pay rent by the due date established in the lease agreement, the landlord can serve a one (1) week notice to quit.4
- Non-Compliance (7-Day Notice): The landlord can also serve a one (1) week notice if the tenant violates a provision of the lease agreement.4,6
- Month to Month (30-Day Notice): This is used to terminate a month-to-month- tenancy.
Step 2 – Wait to Hear from the Tenant
The landlord waits the number of days on the notice to give the tenant an opportunity to respond, cure the breach or pay overdue rent. It is preferable to come to a compromise outside of court if possible
Step 3 – File in Court
- Average Processing Time: Two (2) weeks to two (2) months
- Filing Fee: $45.001
- Where to File: District Court local to the property address
If the tenant does not answer the notice, the landlord can file for a formal eviction with the District Court local to the rental property in question. They must file a Complaint (DC 102c), pay a filing fee, and provide a copy of the original notice to quit that was sent to the tenant.
- Summons (DC 104) – When a complaint has been filed against a tenant, that tenant must be served this summons. The Summons is served on the tenant after the Complaint has been filed. It informs the tenant of the date of the court hearing for the case.
Step 4 – Set A Hearing Date
After filing, the court will issue a Summons (DC 104) and serve it on the tenant. This informs the tenant of the date of the court hearing for the case.
The tenant must file an Answer for Non-Payment of Rent (DC 111a), an Answer for Health/Hazard to Property (DC 111b), or an Answer to Complaint to Recover Possession of Property (DC 111c) if they want to appear at the hearing to contest the charges against them.
Step 5 – Appear in Court
If the tenant doesn’t show up in court the judge will automatically rule in favor of the landlord. The Tenant will then have ten (10) days from the judgment to vacate the property.
Tenants can win in court based on a number of common tenant defenses. In Michigan, tenants may claim that the landlord is out of compliance with any of the following responsibilities:
- A landlord cannot evict in retaliation if the tenant: seeks to enforce rights established in the lease agreement; reports the landlord to government authorities for violating health/safety codes; or joins a legal tenant organization.7
- A landlord cannot evict without cause if the rental property is operated by a city/village/township/local government.7
- A landlord cannot increase a tenant’s obligations under the lease agreement and then file for eviction based on their inability to comply with the new obligations.2
Step 6 – Apply for an Order of Eviction
If a tenant does not move out within the ten (10) day limit established by the judgment against them, the landlord can apply for an Order of Eviction to have the tenant physically removed from the property.
Step 7 – Repossess the Property
The landlord can use the Writ of Possession to utilize the Sheriff’s office to forcibly remove the tenant and their possessions from the property.