What Michigan Tenants and Landlords Should Know About State Eviction Laws


When a landlord and a tenant sign a lease agreement, they both hope that everything will go smoothly. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, tenants don’t follow the agreed terms and landlords want to get them out of their property before the lease is up. This is why both landlords and tenants should be aware of what the Michigan eviction laws entail.

When can a landlord evict a tenant?

In Michigan, landlords have the right to evict a tenant when they do something that goes against the lease agreement. This could include not paying their rent, causing immense property damage, staying past the agreed lease end date, subletting the apartment or house without telling the landlord, or participating in illegal activities. Landlords are not allowed to evict a tenant because they want to rent the property to someone else or just because they don’t like the tenant. There must be a clear reason for eviction, whether it’s something that goes against the lease agreement terms or something illegal.

The eviction process

Landlords have to follow a certain process under Michigan eviction laws; they’re not allowed to simply tell a tenant they have to leave. The first thing landlords need to do is give their tenant a notice to quit. This notice will tell tenants why they’re close to being evicted and can come with varying timeframes. For not paying rent or causing damage, tenants will be given seven days’ notice. For drug offenses or other illegal activities, landlords can give tenants just 24 hours’ notice. For other lease violations, tenants need a 30-day notice.

Once the notice has been served, tenants will be given the legal timeframe to fix the issue, whether it’s paying rent or fixing damages. If the tenant fails to do this, the landlord can file a complaint in court and ask for an order of eviction.

After the complaint is filed, a court date will be set. Tenants will be given notice of the court date and they are allowed to show up to the court date and defend themselves. In other words, they will be given a fair hearing. If they fail to show up, the judge will simply sign an eviction order, which will be served to the tenant. Once the eviction order is served, tenants will be given 10 days to leave the property.

Unfortunately, tenants don’t always leave willingly, especially if they believe they’ve done nothing wrong. So if the tenants have not left 10 days after the eviction notice was served, the landlord can head back to court. The local police department will then be allowed to remove the tenant from the property. This could happen right away or it may take several days depending on the availability of officers.

What landlords cannot do

Landlords absolutely must follow the law regarding eviction. If they fail to do so, they could end up being sued by their tenants. While it can be a frustrating situation and landlords may feel like taking matters into their own hands, they need to follow the proper eviction process.

Under state law, landlords are not allowed to use force to make a tenant leave, issue threats, remove tenant property, change the locks without giving notice, shut off utilities, or enter the property without the tenant’s permission. If a landlord does anything like this in an attempt to remove tenants from the property, tenants do have the right to file a legal complaint against their landlord. The only people allowed to forcibly remove a tenant from a property include a court officer or a sheriff, and this is only after an eviction notice has been served.

All in all, it’s important for both landlords and tenants to fully understand the eviction process and laws in Michigan. If this process is not followed properly, it’s only going to result in more trouble for all parties involved.

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