Michigan is a suburban state in the Midwest that offers great real estate investment opportunities. It’s a wonderful place with beautiful scenery and a lot of recreational activities for its residents and visitors. With its relatively low cost of living, affordable housing, and unique lakefront properties, Michigan offers a good quality of life that makes it a desirable place to live in.
With its growing population, the demand for Michigan real estate is also increasing. This is one reason why Michigan is a great place for investors planning to venture into rental properties. Being a landlord in Michigan can be a great way to earn a lucrative income and there are plenty of opportunities to purchase rental properties in the Great Lake State.
To become a successful landlord in Michigan, you need to know how to screen your residents carefully. Failing to do so may land you with bad renters who will cause more problems than profits. Keep in mind, however, that no matter how careful you are in choosing residents, sometimes, things could happen that lead residents to break the law and violate the lease agreement.
When this happens, you will be left with no other choice but to evict the renter. If this happens, you need to be familiar with the proper eviction process.
Michigan Eviction Process: A Guide
In Michigan, evicting someone from a rental property can take between two weeks and two months. The length of the eviction process will depend on the reason for eviction, and whether or not the resident chooses to file an appeal.
Notice Period for Lease Termination with Legal Cause
Michigan landlords cannot legally evict a resident without a legal cause. Landlords should provide renters with proper notice before terminating the lease. The legal notice period required will depend on the grounds for eviction.
Here are the legal grounds for evictions with their corresponding Michigan eviction notice requirements:
1. Nonpayment of Rent
In Michigan, rent is considered late the day immediately after its due date. Landlords can begin the eviction process for nonpayment of rent by serving a 7-day notice to quit.
2. No Lease or End of Lease
If a resident stays at the property without a lease or even after the lease has ended, the landlord must first terminate the tenancy by serving a proper eviction notice to move out.
For month-to-month leases, landlords should give 30 days’ notice. For weekly leases, 7 days’ notice is required. After this notice period ends, the landlord may proceed with filing an eviction lawsuit if the resident remains at the property.
3. Violation of Lease or Responsibilities
If a tenant fails to uphold their responsibilities under Michigan landlord-tenant law, the landlord must give them 30 days’ notice to vacate the premises before filing an eviction case. Landlords are not required to give them a chance to fix the lease violations.
4. Material Health and Safety Violations
Michigan landlords may evict residents who violate health and safety rules. For example, they let trash pile up inside the property, damage the electrical wiring, and fail to clean the property sufficiently. If a resident causes a serious health hazard or property damage, they must be given 7 days’ notice to vacate the property without a chance to fix the issue.
5. Illegal Activity
Illegal activities don’t warrant a chance to fix the issue. If a resident has threatened or has caused physical injury to others in the rental unit, landlords must provide a 7 days’ notice to vacate before filing an eviction lawsuit. If residents are involved in illegal drug activity, only 24 hours’ notice is required.
Tenant Eviction Defenses in Michigan
The defense is a reason why the petitioner shouldn’t win the case. Michigan eviction laws state that illegal evictions include:
- Self-help evictions, where the landlord forcibly removes a resident by changing locks, shutting off utilities, and removing renters’ belongings.
- Retaliatory evictions in response to residents who practice their legal right against the landlord.
The landlord could be required to pay up to three times the amount of the actual damages sustained if found guilty.
Attending Court Hearing in Michigan
Local district court hearings will typically be held within five and 10 days after the summons are served to the renter. In Michigan, residents are not required to file a written answer to attend the eviction hearing and object to the eviction. If the resident doesn’t attend the hearing, the court may judge in favor of the landlord.
Writ of Restitution
The writ of restitution is the renter’s final notice to vacate the property. After the court has ruled in favor of the landlord, the writ of restitution will be issued 10 days after the judgment date is issued.
Within 10 days before the writ is issued, the resident may still file an appeal. However, if the eviction is due to illegal drug activity or material health or safety violations, the writ may be issued immediately.
The order of eviction or writ of restitution must be executed by law enforcement within 56 days of being issued by the court. However, Michigan law does not specify how soon the writ will be executed. It’s best to check with the city or county where the property is located to see if there are guidelines on how quickly the writ of restitution will be executed.
Dealing with problematic residents can cause a lot of stress and monetary losses. Eviction may be the last resort, but if you notice issues with your residents, make sure to take appropriate disciplinary actions right away to prevent the issue from recurring or getting out of hand.
If you have specific questions about Michigan landlord-tenant law, you may also want to seek help from a knowledgeable property management company in Michigan. Compass Property Management is a full-service property management company serving Grand Rapids and the surrounding area.
Disclaimer: This blog should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed attorney in your state. Laws change, and this post might not be updated at the time of your reading. Please contact us for any questions you have in regards to this content or any other aspect of your property management needs.