Tenant Not Paying Rent: Real Estate Lawyer Michigan Answers

Feb 27, 2023 | Real Estate Law

The state of Michigan ensures that the rights of both landlords and tenants are upheld. As the landlord or tenant, knowing your rights helps you protect yourself from unjust treatment and avoid legal issues.

This article particularly details the landlord rights under Michigan law and discusses what happens when a tenant violates a contract provision, such as nonpayment of rent.

What Are Your Rights as a Landlord in Michigan

Rental Payment

In Michigan, the landlord has the right to decide the lease or rental conditions, including the rental payment amount and the type of tenancy, which can be either fixed or periodic. Moreover, no specific statutes regulate grace periods and late payments, meaning the landlord can decide whether to include such clauses in the lease agreement.

Security Deposit

A security deposit is an amount paid by the tenant to the landlord in addition to the first rent payment. The security deposit is held by the landlord until the lease period ends or the lease agreement is terminated to ensure the tenant fulfills his/her contract obligations. 

Under Michigan law, the security deposit must not exceed 1.5 times the monthly rent. The landlord must return the security deposit within 30 days after the tenant has moved out from the property. However, the landlord can claim the security deposit if the tenant has unpaid rent and/or utility bills, or has caused damages to the rental property.

Eviction

Michigan landlords have the right to evict a tenant for the following reasons:

  • nonpayment of rent
  • substantial damages to the property
  • serious health hazards
  • drug or any criminal activity
  • violation of a lease provision
  • forceful or peaceful entry, but forceful stay or trespass
  • continued occupancy despite lease expiration
  • just cause for mobile home park tenancy
  • just cause for government-subsidized housing tenancy

Landlords, however, must adhere to the regulations governing Michigan evictions before removing a tenant from the rental property. 

Infographic image of what are your rights as a landlord in Michigan

What Are the Consequences of Non-Payment

The landlord may evict the tenant for several reasons, including nonpayment of rent. However, the landlord must follow the appropriate legal eviction procedure in order to remove the tenant from the property. The landlord is not allowed to do any actions that violate the tenant’s rights to access and enjoy the property, such as using force or threats to make the tenant leave, entering the property without the tenant’s permission, changing locks, etc.

Eviction Notice

The first step of eviction is to provide the tenant with proper notice. There are two types of Michigan eviction notices: Demand for Possession and Notice to Quit. 

A Demand for Possession informs the tenant to leave the property due to a lease violation. On the other hand, a Notice to Quit is used when the landlord wants the tenant to vacate the property after the lease period has ended.

Eviction proceedings in Michigan cannot begin unless the tenant has been served with a notice and given the opportunity to remedy the situation within the specified period, which can either be 7 or 30 days, depending on the violation.

Court Proceedings

When the time specified in the notice has passed, and the tenant has still not taken action to resolve the contract violation, such as unpaid rent, the landlord can proceed with the eviction case by filing a complaint in the local district court. A copy of the Demand of Possession and the lease must be attached to the complaint. 

After the complaint is filed and received by the court, a summon will be issued. The summon orders the tenant to appear at the court on a specific date and time for a trial. Typically, the tenant is given 3 to 10 days to appear in court and address the allegations in the complaint. 

If the tenant fails to appear in the district court, a default judgment will be given, wherein the possession of the property rented is granted back to the landlord. The same thing will happen if the landlord wins the case. 

An Order of Eviction will be issued by the court 10 days after the decision, giving the tenant time to file an appeal or reach an agreement with the landlord. Keep in mind that Michigan law prohibits the landlord from evicting the tenant by force. Only a court officer can physically remove the tenant from the rental property.

How Can a Lawyer Help

Michigan law does not require landlords to seek legal help from a lawyer in drafting a contract, establishing rental terms, or handling eviction proceedings. However, hiring a real estate lawyer in Muskegon can make these tasks less complicated.

A Michigan real estate lawyer can assist you in negotiating rent payment terms with the tenant. The lawyer can also provide legal advice on what conditions or clauses to include in the contract that will serve your needs. In a situation that necessitates an eviction of a tenant, the real estate attorney can handle everything for you, from drafting the eviction notice to representing you in court.

We’re Here for You

If you need legal assistance in eviction proceedings, Bowen Law has the finest legal team of real estate lawyers in Michigan who can best help your case. Contact us now at (231)-726-4484 or reach us here to schedule an appointment.

DISCLAIMER:

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

If you have legal questions, please contact us at: (231) 726-4484

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Disclaimer:

The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. All information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only.

Only your individual attorney can provide assurances that the information contained herein – and your interpretation of it – is applicable or appropriate to your particular situation.

If you have legal questions, please contact us at:
(231) 726-4484

Muskegon Business Law Attorneys of David T. Bowen, P.C. pursue cases of Business Law, Real Estate, and Estate Planning in Muskegon Michigan

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