Evictions in the State of Michigan Generally
Federal Eviction Moratorium
Other issues

 

Evictions in the State of Michigan Generally

I have an eviction case that started before coronavirus shut everything down. Can I be evicted? Back to Top

Yes. Your landlord will need to update their filing, and then the court will schedule a hearing, which may take place in-person or virtually. If you do not have the technology to attend a virtual hearing, it is important that you contact the court.

At the hearing, you will be told that you have a right to obtain a lawyer and that money may be available to help keep tenants in their homes. Another hearing will then be scheduled for 7 days later. If you dispute any of the landlord’s claims, you can request a trial to present your case to the court.

My landlord is trying to evict me for violating the lease. Can he do that? Back to Top

Yes, you can now be evicted for lease violations.

I have been living at an extended-stay hotel, and they are threatening to kick me out for failing to pay. Can they do that? Back to Top

Hotel guests do not get the same legal protections as tenants, and court proceedings for an eviction are not required. It is not always clear whether someone is a tenant or a hotel guest. The fact that something is called a “hotel” or that someone is called a “guest” does not necessarily mean that is how a court will see it. Courts looks at a variety of factors, including how the property owner and the person living there describe the relationship, how payment is made, and what the premises are like. If you are not sure whether you are a hotel guest or a tenant, you should seek legal advice.

Can my landlord begin the process to evict me if I got behind on rent during the eviction moratorium? Back to Top

Yes. The amount of rent you owe continued to add up during the eviction moratorium. Now that the eviction moratorium has ended, your landlord can begin a case to evict you if you have not paid rent.

My landlord gave me a demand saying that I must pay rent or vacate my apartment. Can he do that? Back to Top

It depends. If the property is covered by the CARES Act, you may entitled to a 30-day notice before the landlord can begin eviction proceedings. (See below to see if your residence is covered by the CARES Act.) Jason, can you link “below” to the CARES Act section? Also, the demand may not be valid if it was given to you before July 16, while the state eviction moratorium was still active. In any case, the landlord cannot evict you without going to court.

Can my landlord evict me without going to court? Back to Top

No. Your landlord cannot evict you or prevent you from using your home without an order of eviction from a court. If your landlord gets an order to evict you, only a sheriff, sheriff’s deputy, or court officer can physically remove you or your possessions from your home.

What happens now that the eviction moratorium has expired? Back to Top

Michigan’s eviction moratorium expired on July 15, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Courts have now started scheduling eviction hearings for new cases, and other cases will pick up where they left off. If you already have a judgment against you, your landlord can now get an order to evict you.

If you live in subsidized housing, have a section 8 voucher, or live in other housing where there is a federally backed-mortgage, federal law may give you some additional time before an eviction action can be filed.

I heard there was money available to help me catch up on rent. How do I learn more? Back to Top

During the COVID-19 pandemic, courts, legal aid, and local Housing Assessment and Resource Agencies (HARAs) are working together to help people facing eviction. Go to https://michiganlegalhelp.org/coronavirus/eviction to find contact information for your local HARA, as they may be able to help you catch up on back rent.

Federal Eviction Moratorium

I heard that Congress passed an eviction moratorium. Was that different from the executive order signed by Governor Whitmer? Back to Top

Yes. Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act on March 27, 2020. The CARES Act included an eviction moratorium that prevented some types of evictions before July 24, 2020. The CARES Act eviction moratorium applied to only certain types of evictions.

  • The CARES Act only prohibited eviction for non-payment of rent. It did not prevent a landlord from evicting a tenant for violating the lease or other reasons.
  • The CARES Act eviction moratorium only applied to some landlords. It applied to “covered properties,” which include subsidized housing, public housing, Section 8 project-based hosing, the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher program, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) housing, Rural Rental Housing, and the Rural Housing Voucher program, among others. It also applied to properties that have a mortgage loan backed by a federal agency.

How do I know if my residence was included in the CARES Act eviction moratorium? Back to Top

If you have a Section 8 voucher or live in any kind of subsidized housing, your residence was covered by the CARES Act eviction moratorium. Your residence was also covered if the property has a federally-backed mortgage. You may not know if the property has a federally-backed mortgage, but your landlord should. When a landlord files to evict a tenant who has not paid rent, the landlord has to file a form swearing that the property is not covered by the CARES Act eviction moratorium. If you have questions about whether you are living in a “covered property,” you may want to seek legal advice.

Did I have to pay rent while the CARES Act eviction moratorium was in place? Back to Top

Yes. Rent continued to add up (accrue) during the eviction moratorium. Now that the eviction moratorium has expired, your landlord can begin a case to evict you if you have not paid rent. Your landlord must, however, give you 30-days’ notice before beginning an eviction case. At that conclusion of that case, your landlord could get a judgment for any rent that has not been paid. If you live in subsidized housing and experience a loss of income due to job loss or reduction of hours, you should ask your caseworker immediately to recalculate your portion of the rent to reflect your new income.

If I live in a property covered by the CARES Act eviction moratorium, can my landlord charge late fees? Back to Top

No. The CARES Act eviction moratorium prohibits landlords in “covered properties” from charging late fees before July 24, 2020.

I live in a subsidized unit, and my landlord is threatening to evict me for violating the lease. Can he do that? Back to Top

Yes. Now that the state moratorium has expired, your landlord can begin the process to evict you for violating the lease. The normal rules apply for eviction from a subsidized unit because of a lease violation. If you live in a subsidized unit, your landlord must generally show “good cause” to evict you. If you believe your landlord is really trying to evict you because you are behind on rent, and not because you violated the lease, you should seek legal advice.

I live in subsidized housing and I was behind on rent before the coronavirus shut everything down. Does the CARES Act eviction moratorium apply to me? Back to Top

It depends. The CARES Act eviction moratorium prevented landlords in covered properties from filing new eviction cases for non-payment after March 27, 2020. If your landlord filed an eviction case against you before that date, the CARES Act eviction moratorium would not stop that case from going forward. If you owed money before March 27, but your landlord did not file a case against you, then the CARES Act eviction moratorium prevents your landlord from filing a new case for money owed before March 27. Those protections ended after July 24.

I live in subsidized housing and fell behind on rent because of unexpected expenses not related to the coronavirus. Does the CARES Act eviction moratorium still apply to me? Back to Top

Yes. The CARES Act eviction moratorium prevented all new evictions for non-payment of rent in covered properties. You do not have to show that you fell behind in rent because of the coronavirus. Now that the CARES Act moratorium has expired, your landlord must give you 30 days’ notice before beginning the eviction process.

Now that the CARES Act moratorium has ended, does my landlord have to go to court to evict me for not paying my rent? Back to Top

Yes. Now that the CARES Act moratorium has expired, your landlord has to give you a 30-day notice that she intends to evict you unless you pay the rent. Once the 30 days is up, your landlord can take you to court to get an order to evict you if you do not pay the rent owed. Your landlord cannot evict you without a court order.

Other issues

My landlord asked all tenants to notify her if we have fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19. Can she do that? Back to Top

No. Your landlord does not have the right to ask for information about your health, and you do not have to provide that information.

Can my landlord evict me because I am sick? What if I have COVID-19? Back to Top

No. Your landlord does not have the right to ask for information about your health and cannot evict you for issues related to your health, including COVID-19.