Michigan Eviction Laws

Landlords should familiarize themselves with the statewide rules and procedures that govern evictions in the state of Michigan and understand their responsibilities.

Quick Facts for Michigan

  • Grounds for Eviction: Failing to pay rent, rental agreement term violations, illegal drug activity, failing to vacate property by lease-end, causing serious property damage & creating serious health hazard
  • Notice Required for Nonpayment of Rent: 7-Day Demand for Nonpayment of Rent
  • Notice Required for Eviction without Cause: 30-Day Notice to Vacate for month-to-month tenants; for fixed-term tenants, no notice required, but landlord must wait until end of term
  • Notice Required for Lease Violations: 30-Day Notice to Quit
  • Fastest a Landlord Can Evict for Illegal Acts: 24 hours, via Notice to Quit

How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant in Michigan?

Even in the best cases, it is difficult to provide a simple answer to the question regarding the amount of time an eviction will take. As an eviction is a multi-step legal process, it may prove to be both lengthy and costly.

In the state of Michigan, the eviction process is begun with a Notice to the tenant advising him/her of the landlord’s desire to remove him/her from the property. Although, the state of Michigan does not require that the tenant be allowed to remedy violations to the terms of the lease or rental agreement, the eviction process remains time consuming. The length of notice the landlord is required to provide to the tenant is generally 7 or 30 days. The length of the notice depends upon the reason the landlord is seeking an eviction.

After the notice has expired, the landlord may file a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court. The court process may in itself be lengthy and difficult to predict. Ultimately, the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in the state of Michigan will depend upon the tenant’s willingness to fight the eviction process.

Even after a landlord has won his/her court case and obtained an Order of Eviction, the tenant may continue to fight eviction by requesting a stay and a hearing on the reasons he/she is seeking a stay.

Reasons for Eviction in Michigan

There are several legitimate reasons for a landlord to seek eviction in the state of Michigan. These reasons include:

  • Failing to pay rent
  • Violating terms of the lease or rental agreement
  • Illegal drug activity on the property
  • Failing to vacate the property at the end of the lease
  • Causing serious physical damage to the property
  • Creating a serious health hazard

Regardless of the reason the landlord seeks to evict a tenant, he/she must first provide the tenant with a written notice. It the tenant remains on the property beyond the time indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court. In the state of Michigan, the landlord must only allow a tenant the opportunity to remedy the situation leading to the landlord seeking an eviction when the tenant has failed to pay rent.

Eviction for Failure to Pay Rent

If a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord may serve him/her with a 7-Day Demand for Nonpayment of Rent (M.S. 554.134(2)). This notice informs the tenant that he/she has seven day to pay outstanding rent or move from the rental property. This notice may be served through:

  • Personal delivery
  • Leaving the notice with another adult on the property
  • Using first class mail to send a copy of the notice to the tenant’s address
  • By electronic delivery if the tenant has provided previous written consent to receive rental notices through electronic service.

If the tenant fails to pay rent and refuses to vacate the property after the seventh day indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court.

Eviction if Rent has Been Paid

In the state of Michigan, a landlord may evict an “at-will” tenant without cause. If the landlord has a month-to-month “at-will” tenant, or a tenant renting for periods of time up to three months in duration, he/she must first provide the tenant with a 30-Day Notice to Vacate. If the tenant fails to move from the rental property within the allowed amount of time, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court.

Read more about tenants at will here.

When the landlord has an “at-will” tenant who is renting for a fixed-term, the landlord must wait until the term has ended before seeking to evict the tenant. As the landlord may reasonably expect the tenant to move at the end of the fixed-term, he/she is not required to provide a notice to the tenant after the term of the rental agreement has ended. He/she may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court as soon as the term has ended.

Evicting a Tenant For Violation of Rental Agreement/Lease

If a Michigan landlord is seeking to evict a tenant for violating terms of the lease, he/she must first provide the tenant with a written 30-Day Notice to Quit. If the tenant fails to vacate the rental property by the end of the 30th day indicated in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court.

Evicting a Tenant for Illegal Behavior

According to Michigan law, a landlord may serve a tenant with a written 24-Hour Notice to Quit when his/her tenant, or a member of the tenant’s household, has made, delivered, possessed, or possessed with intent to deliver a controlled substance on the rental property (M.S. 554.134(4).

NOTE

A formal police report must have been filed against the tenant, or a member of his/her household, for this to be applicable.

If the tenant remains on the property beyond the 24 hours allowed in the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court.

How Does a Landlord Evict a Tenant When There is no Lease?

When a tenant is renting without the benefit of a written lease, he/she is considered an “at-will” tenant. When a landlord is seeking to discontinue a rental arrangement with an “at-will” tenant, he/she must provide a written 30-Day Notice to Quit (M. S. 554-134(1). If the tenant remains on the rental property after the last day indicated on the notice, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court.

If the landlord is renting a property for a fixed-term without benefit of a lease, he/she must wait until the end of the term unless he/she has cause to seek an eviction. Once the fixed-term has ended, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process by Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court without providing notice.

When Can a Tenant Not Be Evicted in Michigan?

In the state of Michigan, it is illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant due to his/her age, race sex, religion, nation of origin, familial status, or disability status. It is also illegal for a landlord to attempt to evict a tenant for exercising his/her rights. A tenant may not be evicted for forming or joining a tenants union or informing an agency or legal organization regarding issues with the rental property.

Once a Notice Has Run Its Course

The landlord may proceed with the eviction process by filing a Summons and Eviction Complaint with the local district court. The court will set a hearing date when the complaint is filed. At this time, the landlord will have the tenant served with a copy of the complaint. The summons will provide the tenant with the time and date of the hearing. The complaint will also inform the tenant of the amount outstanding rent due, it the eviction is being sought for failure to pay rent.

Both the tenant and the landlord may call witnesses and provide evidence to the court. Either side may request a trial by jury.

If the landlord fails to attend the hearing, the case will be dismissed. If the tenant fails to appear, the judge will make a default ruling for the landlord. The ruling made by the court is referred to as a Judgement Order and both parties must obey the conditions set forth in the order.

Once Eviction Occurs

If the tenant fails to follow the conditions set forth in the Judgement Order, the landlord has the right to seek an Order of Eviction after 10 days have passed. Once and eviction is ordered, the court will send the tenant a copy of the order. The tenant may request a stay from the court to keep the Order of Eviction from being served. When requesting a stay, the tenant must generally make a deposit equal to one month’s rent with the court.

NOTE

Only an officer of the court may remove the tenant and his/her property from the rental property. When the sheriff escorts a tenant from the rental property, he/she is executing the Order of Eviction.

Make sure to read the Michigan Compiled Laws §§ 554.134(2), 600.5720, as well as Michigan’s landlord-tenant guide before starting the eviction process. Landlords should make sure to educate themselves on their rights and responsibilities on this topic.

Eviction Process in Other States

Other Resources for Michigan Landlords & Tenants