Michigan Requirements for Eviction

By Robert Holmes
keys to your business image by Keith Frith from Fotolia.com

Eviction laws are fairly standard throughout the United States. The process of eviction involves legal steps that must be completed by a landlord to remove a tenant from a rental property. In Michigan, a landlord can evict a tenant who fails to pay rent, damages the property, conducts illegal activities on the premises, refuses to move out after the lease is ended or for any other reasons specified in the lease agreement.

Serving Notice

Landlords must provide tenants with a notice of intent to file for eviction. A Demand for Possession Non-Payment of Rent or a Notice to Quit is to be presented to the tenant, either personally or by mail, describing the nature of the request for eviction. The tenant will have a minimum of seven business days to do what the notice asks or file a dispute with the district court.

Complaint/Summons

After notice is served, a landlord must file a complaint with the district court. Fees for filing the complaint will initially fall on the landlord's shoulders but may be added to the judgment against the tenant. The court will then issue a summons for the tenant, or defendant, to appear in court. The tenant must be personally served with an official copy of the complaint and summons, as well as notification of the court hearing time. A tenant who is issued a summons and complaint can either file a written motion and serve that motion to the landlord or answer each allegation found in the complaint at the hearing. As a tenant you do have the right to an attorney and the option of a jury trial. However, you will have to pay a jury fee when you first appear at the hearing.

Hearing

The Hearing will most likely take place at the court where the complaint was filed, and if both parties are present, a judge may recommend that meditation be attempted. If either party does not want meditation, however, the trial will proceed. Both sides will be able to present evidence on their behalf for a judge or jury to make a decision in the case. It should be noted that if either party does not show up for the hearing, the case will most likely be decided against that party.

Judgment and Eviction

The court will prepare a judgment after the case is heard that will be given to both parties. If the decision is in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be required to move out and/or pay any monetary amount stated in the judgment. Otherwise, if the complaint is found to be unwarranted, the tenant may continue to live at the rental property. Once the judgment is rendered, if the tenant does not pay any money stated in the judgment or fails to move out in the ordered time frame, the landlord can file an application for an order of eviction. The order of eviction will be served to the tenant by an official court officer. If the tenant fails to pay the amount stated in the judgment, additional paperwork will be required to start the process of garnishing wages or property seizure.

About the Author

Robert Holmes has been a writer since 2000, having stories published in "FrontPage Milwaukee" and "The Reporter," among others. Holmes has Bachelors of Arts in history and journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, as well as Web writing content certification from Clemson University.