Michigan Eviction Process

Last Updated: October 26, 2021 by Elizabeth Souza

Timeline. Evicting a tenant in Michigan can take around two weeks to two months, depending on the reason for the eviction. If tenants file an appeal, the process can take longer (read more).

Questions? To chat with a Michigan eviction attorney, Click here

Introduction. Evictions in Michigan are a legal process, otherwise known as a Summary Proceeding. Landlords must follow rules and procedures through the Michigan courts to lawfully remove a tenant. Below are the individual steps of the eviction process in Michigan.

Step 1: Notice is Posted

Landlords in Michigan can begin the eviction process for several reasons, including:

  1. Nonpayment of Rent – Once rent is past due, notice can be served to give the tenant the option to pay rent in order to avoid eviction.
  2. Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement – If a tenant violates a provision of a written lease/rental agreement, the landlord isn’t required to give the tenant the opportunity to correct the issue before moving forward with the eviction process.
  3. No Lease / End of Lease Term (Tenant at Will) – If there is no lease or the term of the lease has ended, the landlord does not need any additional reason to end the tenancy as long as proper notice is given.
  4. Material Health / Safety Violation – If the tenant violates a health, building, safety, or housing code, landlords are not required to give tenants the opportunity to fix (“cure”) the issue.
  5. Illegal Activity – If a tenant or any other occupant of the rental unit is engaged in illegal activity, prior notice must be given to the tenant before the landlord can proceed with the eviction process.
NOTES
  • Evicting a Squatter. If the individual occupying the property did not have the permission of the landlord when initially moving in, does not have a lease (or verbal agreement) and has no history of paying rent, then they may be considered trespassers under Michigan law, and the normal eviction process would apply (read more).
  • Retaliatory Evictions. It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for complaining to the landlord or to the appropriate local or government agency regarding the property. It is also illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant for joining, supporting, or organizing a tenant organization or union.
  • If the notice is delivered in person, the time of the notice begins the following day, if the notice is mailed, the time begins the next mail delivery day that is not a Sunday or holiday.

Each possible ground for eviction has its own rules for how the process starts.

Eviction Process for Nonpayment of Rent

A landlord is allowed to evict a tenant for failing to pay rent on time.

According to Michigan law, rent is considered late the day after it’s due; grace periods (if any) are addressed in the lease/rental agreement.

Once rent is past due, the landlord must provide a 7-Day Notice to Quit, if the landlord wants to file an eviction action with the court. This notice gives the tenant the option to move out within seven days to avoid an eviction lawsuit.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Violation of Lease Terms / Rental Agreement

Icons  document     on iPropertyManagement.com A tenant can be evicted in Michigan if they do not uphold their responsibilities under the terms of a written lease or rental agreement.

Michigan landlords are not required to allow tenants to correct a lease violation in these instances, but they must provide tenants with a 30-Day Notice to Quit, giving the tenant 30 days to move out of the rental unit to avoid the eviction process.

Typical lease violations under this category could include negligently or intentionally damaging the rental property, having too many people residing in the rental unit, and having a pet when there’s a no-pet policy.

Note that illegal activity and material health/safety violations are not included in this category.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for No Lease / End of Lease

In the state of Michigan, if tenants “holdover,” or stay in the rental unit after the rental term has expired, then the landlord may be required to give tenants notice before evicting them. This can include tenants without a written lease and week-to-week and month-to-month tenants.

Often this type of eviction applies to tenants who are at the end of their lease and the landlord doesn’t want to renew.

Regardless of the length or type of tenancy, landlords must provide tenants with a 30-Day Notice to Quit, giving tenants 30 days to move out of the rental unit in order to avoid eviction.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Material Health / Safety Violation

A tenant can be evicted in Michigan if they violate a health, building, safety, or housing code. In these instances, the landlord is required to provide the tenant with a 7-Day Notice to Quit, giving the tenant seven days to move out in order to avoid eviction.

Michigan landlords may allow tenants time to correct the issue that caused the material health or safety violation, but they’re not required to.

Examples of material health or safety violations could include letting trash pile up inside the rental unit, providing a harbor for rodents or bugs, or even things like damaging the electrical wiring in the rental unit.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

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Eviction Process for Illegal Activity

The amount of written notice required for tenants involved in illegal activity depends on the type of activity.

In Michigan, illegal activity includes: 

  • Possessing a controlled substance.
  • Manufacturing a controlled substance.
  • Delivering or possessing with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
  • Threat of physical harm or physical harm to another person while on the rental property.

Landlords must file a formal police report for tenants involved in illegal drug activity and must at least notify the police regarding tenants who have threatened to harm or caused harm to others on the rental property.

For tenants who are involved in illegal drug activity, landlords are required to provide a 24 hours’ notice prior to beginning the eviction process.

For tenants who have threatened or have caused physical injury to others on the rental property, landlords must provide seven days’ written notice prior to beginning the eviction action.

If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.

Generate an official Michigan lease termination letter.


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Step 2: Complaint is Filed and Served

As the next step in the eviction process, Michigan landlords must file a complaint in the appropriate court. In the state of Michigan, this costs $45 in filing fees.

If a money judgment is requested (such as past-due rent or money to pay for damages to the rental unit), an additional filing fee of $25-$150 will be added, depending on the amount of money the landlord is requesting from the tenant.

The summons, complaint, a copy of the original notice and lease must be served on the tenant by an officer or anyone authorized by the court to serve process, at least three days prior to the hearing via first class mail and at least one more of the following methods:

  1. Giving  a copy to the tenant in person;
  2. Sending a copy via first-class mail with a certified or return receipt;
  3. Leaving a copy with the tenant’s family member that is of suitable age and requesting that it be delivered to the tenant; or
  4. Posting a copy on the main entrance of the tenant’s rental unit.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comThree days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least three days prior to the eviction hearing.

Step 3: Court Hearing and Judgment

The eviction hearing will be held within 10 days of the date the summons was issued by the court, unless the local court has opted to hear the case within five days of the date the summons was served on the tenant.

Tenants are not required to file a formal, written answer with the court to attend the hearing and object to the eviction; however, they can choose to do so if they wish.

If the tenant fails to appear for the hearing, the judge may issue a default judgment in favor of the landlord. The judge could also choose to postpone the hearing for seven days if either the tenant or the landlord fails to appear.

Either the landlord or tenant may file an appeal, but this will add more time to the process.

If the judge rules in favor of the landlord, a writ of restitution will be issued, and the eviction process will continue.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com5-10 days, depending on the local court’s rules. If either party fails to appear, or files an appeal, the process could take longer.

Step 4: Writ of Restitution Is Issued

The writ of restitution is the tenant’s final notice to leave the rental unit, and gives them the opportunity to remove their belongings before the sheriff returns to the property to forcibly remove the tenant.

If the court has ruled in the landlord’s favor, the writ of restitution will be issued 10 days after the date the judgment for the landlord is issued, which gives the tenant time to file an appeal.

For evictions due to illegal drug activity or material health or safety violations, the writ may be issued immediately.

For evictions due to nonpayment of rent, if the tenant pays all past-due rent in full (along with any other costs the judge may order), the writ will not be issued and the eviction will be stopped.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.com A few hours to 10 days. Unless the reason for eviction is illegal drug activity or a material health/safety violation, the writ cannot be issued until 10 days after the ruling in favor of the landlord.

Step 5: Possession of Property is Returned

Law enforcement officials must be given the writ of restitution within seven days of the date it was issued by the court.

Michigan state law doesn’t specify how quickly law enforcement officers must execute the writ once they have received it. It may depend, in part, on how many other evictions are already scheduled.

Landlords and tenants should check with the county or city in which the rental unit is located to determine if there are local guidelines on how quickly the writ must be executed once it’s received by law enforcement officials.

Clock   on iPropertyManagement.comApproximately seven days. The writ of restitution must be delivered to law enforcement officials within seven days of the date it was issued by the court.

Michigan Eviction Process Timeline

Below is a summary of the aspects outside of the landlord’s control that dictate the amount of time it takes to evict a tenant in Michigan. These estimates can vary greatly, and some time periods may not include weekends or legal holidays.

  1. Initial Notice Period – Between 1 and 30 days, depending on the reason for the eviction.
  2. Issuance/Service of Summons and Complaint – Three days prior to the eviction hearing.
  3. Court Hearing and Ruling on the Eviction – Five days after the summons is served on the tenant or 10 days after the summons is issued by the court; longer if an appeal is filed.
  4. Issuance of Writ of Restitution – A few hours to 10 days, depending on the reason for the eviction.
  5. Return of Possession – Approximately seven days.
Questions? To chat with a Michigan eviction attorney, Click here

Additional Information

Termination of a Lease by Tenant. A lease could possibly be terminated by the tenant in the following circumstances:

  • If a tenant or tenant’s children are in danger or are experiencing domestic abuse, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • A senior citizen who becomes eligible to move into a senior-citizen housing that is subsidized by a state, federal or local government program.
  • An individual who is deemed incapacitated by a physician and is incapable of living independently.
  • United States Military orders to move.
  • If the landlord fails to provide suitable housing (i.e. the rental unit becomes unsafe or uninhabitable).

Mobile Home Evictions. A tenant residing on a mobile home park may be evicted for “just cause.” Just cause means that the tenant of the mobile home is using the property for an unlawful purpose or failed or violated any condition of the lease. Just cause examples include: nonpayment of rent, failure to maintain premises, violation of any mobile park rules, etc.

Flowchart of Michigan Eviction Process

Michigan Eviction Process Flowchart on iPropertyManagement.com

For additional questions about the eviction process in Michigan, please refer to the official legislation, Michigan Compiled Laws §§5701-5759, and the Michigan Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 2.105 and 4.201, for more information.

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