A Michigan eviction notice is a document that a landlord or their agent (most commonly a property management company) uses to inform the tenant that they’ve violated the lease and have a certain number of days to correct the problem or give possession of the property back to the landlord. Commonly known as a notice to quit, an eviction notice is subject to Michigan’s landlord-tenant laws. In most circumstances, eviction notices must be issued before a lawsuit may be filed against the tenant.
An eviction notice needs to have enough information to document for the landlord why the eviction notice was issued (this can be very helpful for court since serving an eviction notice is the very first step in the eviction process) and enough information for the tenant to determine what they need to do to remain on the property (and the deadline by which action must be taken). The components of a Michigan eviction notice include:
Service of an eviction notice must happen by personal service on the tenant, delivering the notice through first-class mail, or serving someone else who is over 18 years old who resides on the rental property with the tenant(s).
24-Hour Notice to Quit for Illegal Drug Use
A 24-hour notice to quit for illegal drugs is used to give the tenant 24 hours to leave the property. This notice may not be used unless a report or complaint has been filed with the police department that serves the area where the rental property is located. This notice to quit covers illegal drug use, manufacturing, delivering, possession with the intent to distribute, or possession of a controlled substance. Controlled substance is defined under § 554.134(4) as a substance or counterfeit substance classified in schedule 1, 2, or 3 pursuant to the state’s public health code.
A 24-hour notice to quit should explain why it is being issued. It must be properly served. However, given the potential for danger, the landlord may wish to hire a professional server.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Payment of Rent
A 7-day notice to quit for non-payment of rent may also be titled a 7-day demand for non-payment of rent. As the name suggests, the tenant is notified that they have not paid their rent and that they have seven days to either pay what is owed or vacate the premises.
This notice should include the full amount of rent due, how it should be paid, by when it should be paid, and where it should be paid. This notice to quit must comply with § 554.134(2).
7-Day Notice to Quit for Non-Compliance
A 7-day notice to quit for non-compliance advises the tenant that they have violated their lease in some way. This notice should include an explanation of how the tenant violated the lease (including the date(s) that the violation occurred) and the deadline by which the issue must be corrected. The tenant may also choose to vacate the property by that time. This notice is governed by both § 600.5714 and § 554.134(4), depending on the circumstances surrounding the need to issue the notice.
7-Day Notice to Quit for Health Hazard, Property Damage, & Physical Injury
A 7-day notice to quit for a health hazard, property damage, or physical injury gives the tenant 7 days to correct the problem or vacate the property. For health hazard, it’s important to note that the health hazard must be serious and ongoing. It must be willfully created by the tenant.
This notice should explain the reason why it was issued and list the date(s) that the violation took place. Remember that the deadline to correct the issue or vacate the property is seven days after the notice is served. This notice to quit must comply with § 600.5714(1)(d).
30-Day Notice to Quit for Month-to-Month Tenancy
A 30-day notice to quit for month-to-month tenancy isn’t necessarily sent because the tenant has violated the lease in some way. In fact, either the landlord or the tenant may use this notice to inform the other party that they do not intend to renew the month-to-month tenancy and that property will return to the possession of the landlord in 30 days. This letter may also be referred to as a Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property. This notice must comply with § 554.134(1).
One of the main legal considerations of Michigan eviction notices to keep in mind is that the amount of notice (i.e. 24 hours, 7 days, 30 days) doesn’t begin until the tenant is served. So, service is very, very important. All eviction notices must comply with the state’s landlord-tenant laws. If the tenant doesn’t comply with the request at the end of the notice period, the landlord may begin eviction proceedings with the court.
Not all evictions are legal. One of the most common illegal evictions is called “self-help.” This means that the landlord changes the locks, shuts off utilities, or removes the tenant’s property without an order from the court. Additionally, Michigan landlords may not evict tenants because they report the landlord or the rental property for inhabitable conditions or code violations. Finally, landlords may not evict a tenant because of their actual or perceived race, skin color, religious beliefs, country of national origin, gender, disability, or family status (including pregnancy or minor children). If a landlord engages in an illegal eviction, they may be sued by the tenant.
To learn about your rights as a tenant who is involved in the eviction process, check out this guide provided by Michigan Legal Help which is supported by The Michigan State Bar Foundation. Read the eviction notice carefully so that you understand why the notice was issued, what you need to do if you want to remain on the property, and how long you have to correct the problem or vacate the property. If you receive a 24-hour notice for illegal drugs, there must also be a police report filed against you. You also have 24 hours to vacate the property.
If you have questions about the eviction notice, you may contact the landlord using the contact information in the notice. We understand that receiving an eviction notice can be upsetting. However, it is important that you stay calm throughout the conversation.
We discussed illegal evictions under Legal Considerations. If you believe that you’re the victim of an illegal eviction, you can contact a lawyer who works in the area of landlord-tenant law. If you have a valid claim, you may be able to file a lawsuit against the landlord. Many lawyers offer a free consultation and they may agree to take the case on a contingency fee basis if they believe you have a viable case.
You could also contact a Michigan law school near you and ask if they have a legal clinic. Legal clinics provide free or low-cost legal help to the community while allowing law students to gain valuable real world experience. You could also contact a legal aid organization. They may be able to help you if you meet their income guidelines. They also have free resources available to tenants.
Michigan landlords must remember that the amount of days the tenant has to vacate the property or correct the problem doesn’t start until the tenant is served. If the tenant does not correct the issue or vacate the property by the end of the notice period, the landlord may file a lawsuit against the tenant.
Landlords may not change the locks, turn off utilities, or remove the tenant’s belongings unless they get a court order. They may not evict the tenant for reporting uninhabitable living conditions or code violations. They may not evict the tenant for discriminatory reasons. If they do, they may be sued by the tenant for financial damages and possession of the property.
If you’re a landlord and you have questions about your legal rights or duties, make an appointment with a Michigan landlord-tenant lawyer.