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Summary Proceedings

What is a Summary Proceeding?

A summary proceeding is an eviction proceeding heard before a district court judge.

What are sufficient grounds to evict a tenant?

A landlord must specify the grounds to evict.  The grounds a landlord may cite to evict a tenant are the following:

  1. Nonpayment of rent;
  2. Extensive and continuing physical injury to property;
  3. Serious and continuing health hazard;
  4. Illegal drug activity and formal police report filed (lease provisions must allow for termination on these grounds);
  5. Violation of a lease provision and the lease allows for termination;
  6. Forceful entry or peaceful try, but forceful stay or trespass;
  7. Holding over after natural expiration of lease term;
  8. Assault of a landlord;
  9. Just cause for terminating tenant of mobile home park (MCL 600.5775); and
  10. Just cause for terminating tenant of government-subsidized housing (MCL 125.694a and 600.5714).

How much notice is required?

The notice is required before a summary proceeding can be initiated at the court.  The required notice time depends upon the grounds for eviction (see the chart below).  After this time period lapses, a landlord may file an action at the court.

Information

What does the notice require?

A notice must:

  1. Be in writing;
  2. Be addressed to the tenant;
  3. Describe the rental property (address is sufficient description);
  4. Give reason(s) for eviction;
  5. State the time for tenant to take remedial action;
  6. Include landlord’s signature; and
  7. Include a date.

Further the notice must be delivered to the tenant.  This can be in person, at the rental property to a person of suitable age to be delivered to tenant, or by sending it through first class mail addressed to tenant. Click here for commonly used notice forms or click here for complete list of notice forms.

What rights does the defendant have?

For nonpayment of rent, please watch the first slide show.  For eviction cases, please watch the second slide show.
 

How long after filing will there be a hearing?

After the filing, there will be a hearing within 10 days.  This may be extended if either party needs time to acquire counsel.  Typically, the extension is 7 days.

What should the landlord bring to the hearing?

The landlord should bring a filled out statement of rent due form and all record of receipts.

What should the tenant bring to the hearing?

If the tenant disputes the amount of rent claimed in the landlord's complaint, then the tenant should bring all proofs of payments (i.e. receipts, canceled checks, and money order slips).

What happens if the judge rules in favor for the landlord?

The judgment may include both possessory and monetary awards to the landlord. A possession judgment gives the landlord the right to possession if the tenant does not comply with the requirements of the judgment. A money judgment gives the landlord the right to enforce the money claims even if the tenant moves.

How long does a tenant have to move out?

The timing for a tenant to vacate the premises depends upon the grounds.  The most common ground for a summary proceeding is nonpayment of rent.  In this situation, a tenant has 10 days to move.  If the tenant makes a full payment of rent owed and costs, the tenant may stay in possession of the premises.

Can the decision be appealed?

Yes.  An appeal must be filed within 10 days after judgment.  These appeals are to the circuit court.  The appealing party must pay an appeal bond, filing fees, and transcript fees to preserve the appeal and stop the Order of Eviction.  The circuit court will only examine errors of law, not findings of fact.

When can an Order of Eviction be obtained by the landlord?

An Order of Eviction may be requested, issued, and executed after 10 days from the date of judgment.  Note:  If the judgment is non-payment of rent, then a full payment of rent and costs will stop an issuance of an Order of Eviction.

Do corporations have more requirements?

Yes.  A corporate landlord or corporate vendor for land contracts must be represented by an attorney in all summary proceedings.  Partnerships may be represented by a general partner.