A landlord in Michigan may evict a tenant for violating a term of the lease or rental agreement-–for example, by keeping a pet (if the lease prohibits pets), allowing more than one tenant to live in the rental apartment or house (if the lease allows only one tenant), causing extensive damage to the rental unit, or creating a serious health hazard on the property. The landlord in these situations may begin the eviction process by serving the tenant with a "Demand for Possession" or a "Notice to Quit" form. The eviction process described in this article also applies to situations in Michigan where the tenant remains in the rental unit after the lease term has ended or when the landlord simply wants to end a month-to-month rental agreement. The Michigan Landlord-Tenant Act spells out details on these types of evictions: M.C.L. § 600.5714 applies to a Demand for Possession and M.C.L. § 554.134 applies to a Notices to Quit.
A Demand for Possession and Notice to Quit are two types of eviction notices that a landlord prepares, informing the tenant the reason the tenant must move out and providing the date for the tenant to do so. A Demand for Possession is used when the tenant has violated the lease agreement, while a Notice to Quit is used when the initial rental or lease term has ended according to the lease or rental agreement and the landlord now wants the tenant to move out.
The landlord must give the tenant a move date equal to one rental period, which for a lease where rent is paid on a monthly basis is 30 days. Michigan law provides for special circumstances where the 30-day notice period is shorter. For example, if the tenant is involved with controlled substances on the property and landlord files a police report, the notice period is shortened to 24 hours. (See M.C.L. § 600.5714(b)). The notice period is seven days in some situations, such as the tenant causing a serious and continuing health hazard to occur on the rental property. (See M.C.L. § 600.5714(d)).
Michigan landlords should use court-approved forms for providing a demand for possession or notice to quit. There are court-approved forms to use depending on why the landlord is evicting the tenant. See below for links to the court-approved eviction forms:
Under Michigan state law (M.C.L. § 600.5718), a landlord must serve a tenant with a Demand for Possession and Notice to Quit using one of the following methods:
The 30-day period the landlord gives the tenant to move out begins on the date of personal delivery to the tenant or the day after the demand for possession or notice to quit is mailed. After the landlord serves the tenant, the landlord should complete the Certificate of Service portion of the Demand for Possession or Notice to Quit on the landlord's copy. The landlord will need to have the Certificate of Service completed in order to file an eviction lawsuit, if a lawsuit is needed.
After the landlord serves a Demand for Possession or Notice to Quit on the tenant, the date following the 30-day (or other) period provided for in the Demand or Notice is the date the landlord may take further eviction action, if needed. If the landlord is evicting the tenant due to a lease violation, and the tenant corrects the lease violation, the landlord can choose to allow the tenant to stay in the rental unit but is not required to do so.
If the tenant has moved out within the 30-day (or other specified) period, the landlord may enter the property and change the locks and rent the property to someone else. If the tenant has not moved out after the 30-day period expires, the landlord must take court action by filing an eviction lawsuit against the tenant. At that time, the landlord is not allowed to take any action to remove the tenant from the property except by going through the court process, according to Michigan law.
Mobile home parks in Michigan are treated differently than ordinary landlord-tenant relationships because a tenant of a mobile home park typically owns the mobile home and the eviction proceeding is started by the other mobile home park tenants. In order to evict a tenant from a mobile home park, there must be "just cause." Just cause is a legal term in Michigan that means the tenant of the mobile home is using the property for an unlawful purpose or has violated a condition of the lease or rental agreement related to certain standards of the mobile home park. There is a special notice provision for mobile home parks allowing for a 10-Day Demand for Possession for Just Cause to request an in-person conference with the owner of the mobile home park. See M.C.L § 600.5775 and following for details of this Michigan law and eviction notice procedures regarding just cause requirements in mobile home parks.
The Michigan Courts Self-Help Center provides useful information and court forms on evictions. Another useful site is Michigan Legal Help, which provides advice on housing-related legal issues for both landlords and tenants. The Michigan Legislature's website publishes a useful guide to landlord-tenant law in Michigan.
For more articles on landlord-tenant laws in Michigan, including eviction notices for nonpayment of rent in Michigan and illegal eviction procedures in Michigan, see the Michigan charts in the State Landlord-Tenant Laws section of the Nolo site. For more on eviction-related articles, see the Evicting a Tenant or Ending a Lease section of the Nolo site.