Steps of the eviction process in Michigan:
- Landlord serves notice to the tenant.
- Landlord files lawsuit with court.
- Court holds hearing & issues judgment.
- Writ of restitution is issued.
- Property is returned to landlord.
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.
Grounds for an Eviction in Michigan
In Michigan, a landlord cannot legally evict a tenant without cause. Legal grounds to evict include not paying rent on time, staying after the lease ends, violating lease terms or material health/safety codes, and illegal activity. Even so, proper notice must first be given before ending the tenancy.
|Nonpayment of Rent||7 Days||No|
|End of / No Lease||30 Days||No|
|Lease Violation||30 Days||No|
|Material Health/Safety Violation||7 Days||No|
|Illegal Activity||24 Hours or 7 Days||No|
Eviction for Nonpayment of Rent
In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant for not paying rent on time. To do so, they must first give 7 days’ notice to vacate the premises. Landlords are not required to give the tenant a chance to fix the issue.
Unless the lease states otherwise, rent is due at the beginning of each pay period and is considered late in Michigan the day immediately after its due date. So for example, if rent is due on the first of the month, it is considered late starting on the second of the month (if not paid in full). There is no right to a legal grace period (i.e., five days) or exceptions for weekends or court-observed holidays.
Once rent is considered late, the landlord can begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with proper notice.
Eviction for No Lease or End of Lease
In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant without a lease or with a lease that has ended (known as a “holdover tenant” or “tenant at will”). To do so, they must first terminate the tenancy by giving proper notice to move out (30 days‘ notice for tenants that pay month-to-month).
Once the tenancy ends, if the tenant remains on the property, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Eviction for Violation of Lease or Responsibilities
In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating the terms of their lease or not upholding their responsibilities under Michigan landlord-tenant law. To do so, the landlord must give 30 days’ notice to vacate before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit. Landlords are not required to give tenants a chance to fix the issue.
Tenant responsibilities include:
- Keeping the unit safe and in a habitable condition.
- Keeping the unit clean and sanitary.
- Making small repairs and maintenance.
- Not disturbing other tenants or neighbors.
Examples of lease violations include:
- Parking in an unauthorized area.
- Having too many people reside in the rental unit.
- Having a pet when there is a no-pet policy.
If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord can move forward and file an eviction lawsuit.
Eviction for Material Health and Safety Violations
In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant for violating a material health or safety code. If a tenant causes a serious health hazard or damages the rental unit, the landlord must give 7 days’ notice to vacate before proceeding with an eviction lawsuit. Landlords are not required to give tenants a chance to fix the issue.
Examples of material health or safety violations include:
- Letting trash pile up inside the rental unit
- Providing a harbor for rodents or bugs.
- 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.
Eviction for Illegal Activity
In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant for illegal activity. For tenants who have threatened or have caused physical injury to others on the rental property, landlords must provide 7 days’ notice to vacate prior to beginning the eviction action. For tenants who are involved in illegal drug activity, landlords are required to provide 24 hours’ notice to vacate prior to beginning the eviction process. Landlords are not required to give tenants a chance to fix the issue.
Illegal drug activity includes:
- Possessing a controlled substance.
- Manufacturing a controlled substance.
- Delivering or possessing with intent to deliver a controlled substance.
Regardless of the type of illegal activity, a formal police report must be filed. If the tenant remains on the property after the notice period expires, the landlord may proceed with the eviction process.
Illegal Evictions in Michigan
In Michigan, any of the below is illegal. If found liable, the landlord could be required to pay the tenant $200 or up to three times the amount of the actual damages sustained, whichever is greater.
No matter the situation, a landlord is not allowed to forcibly remove a tenant by:
- Changing the locks.
- Shutting off utilities.
- Removing tenant belongings.
A tenant can only be legally removed with a court order obtained through the formal eviction process.
It is illegal for a landlord to evict a tenant in response to exercising a legally protected right. These rights include:
- Complaining or reporting a habitability issue to the landlord or any authority tasked to enforce the law.
- Filing a complaint to a government authority.
- Joining a tenant’s union or organization.
Step 1: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court
A landlord can begin the eviction process in Michigan by serving the tenant with written notice. The notice must be delivered by one of the following methods:
- Delivering the notice in person.
- Delivering the notice to a member of the tenant’s household who is of suitable age.
- Mailing a copy of the notice via first-class mail.
- Sending a copy via electronic service if the tenant has agreed to the delivery method. The tenant’s consent to electronic service must be in writing.
If the notice is delivered in person, the notice period begins the next day. If the notice was mailed, the notice period begins the next mail delivery day (excluding Sundays and holidays).
It is important for a landlord to always maintain a copy of the signed and served notice as proof of proper service of notice.
7-Day Notice to Quit
If a tenant is late on paying rent (full or partial), caused a material health/safety violation, or threatened/caused physical injury to others on the rental property, the landlord can serve them a 7-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 7 calendar days to vacate the premises without the chance to fix the issue.
30-Day Notice to Quit
If a tenant is involved with a lease violation, the landlord can serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 30 days to vacate the premises without the chance to fix the issue.
For a tenant with no lease or a month-to-month lease in Michigan, the landlord must serve them a 30-Day Notice to Quit end the tenancy. This eviction notice allows the tenant 30 calendar days to move out.
For tenants that don’t pay monthly, the amount of notice differs:
|Rent Payment Frequency||Notice Amount|
24-Hour Notice to Quit
If a tenant is involved with illegal drug activity, the landlord can serve them a 24-Hour Notice to Quit. This notice gives the tenant 24 hours to vacate the premises without the chance to fix the issue.
Step 2: Landlord Files Lawsuit with Court
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 of the following methods:
- Giving a copy to the tenant in person;
- Sending a copy via first-class mail with a certified or return receipt;
- Leaving a copy with the tenant’s family member that is of suitable age and requesting that it be delivered to the tenant; or
- Posting a copy on the main entrance of the tenant’s rental unit.
Three days. The summons and complaint must be served on the tenant at least three days prior to the eviction hearing.
Step 3: Court Holds Hearing & Issues 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.
5-10 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.
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.
Approximately 7 days. The writ of restitution must be delivered to law enforcement officials within 7 days of the date it was issued by the court.
Michigan Eviction Process Timeline
In Michigan, an eviction can be completed in 2 weeks to 2 months but can take longer depending on the reason for eviction, whether the eviction is contested, which days courts are (or aren’t) in session and other various possible delays.
Below are the parts of the Michigan eviction process outside the control of landlords for cases that go uncontested.
|Initial Notice Period||1-30 Calendar Days|
|Court Issuing/Serving Summons||~3 Business Days|
|Court Ruling||5-10 Business Days|
|Court Serving Writ of Restitution||~7 Business Days|
|Final Notice Period||~7 Calendar Days|
Flowchart of Michigan Eviction Process
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.
- 1 MI Comp L §554.134 (2020)
- 2 MI Comp L §554.134 (2020)
- 3 MI Comp L §600.5714 (2020)
- 4 MI Comp L §600.5714 (2020)
- 5 MI Comp L §600.5714 (2020)
- 6 MI Comp L §600.5714 (2020)
- 7 MI Comp L §600.2918 (2020)
- 8 MI Comp L §600.5720 (2020)
- 9 MI Comp L §600.5756 (2020)
- 10 MI Comp L §600.5735 (2020)
- 11 MI Comp L §600.5735 (2020)
- 12 MI Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.201 (2020)
- 13 MI Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.201 (2020)
- 14 MI Comp L §600.5735 (2020)
- 15 MI Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.201 (2020)
- 16 MI Comp L §600.5744 (2020)
- 17 MI Comp L §600.5744 (2020)
- 18 MI Comp L §600.5744 (2020)
- 19 MI Rules of Civil Procedure, Rule 4.201 (2020)