As has been discussed previously, landlord-tenant laws were enacted to protect TENANTS, not landlords. It is important for landlords to learn the rules and make sure they follow them when dealing with tenants.
When a landlord decides to evict a tenant, he must start by giving the tenant a demand for overdue rent (a 7-day notice) or a demand for possession of the property (a 30-day notice). Previously, the landlord could deliver the notice to the tenant by either: 1) personal delivery; or 2) first class mail.
On May 21st, the Michigan Legislature passed a new law (which takes effect on August 19, 2015) allowing landlords to deliver eviction notices to tenants by personal delivery, first class mail OR by email. The notice may be emailed if:
- the tenant has previously consented, in writing, to receive the notice electronically
- the tenant's consent has been emailed by the landlord, and the tenant has affirmatively replied to that email from the landlord. (Presumably, this would provide proof that the email address is accurate and the tenant is actually receiving mail at that address).
Unless both requirements are met, the electronic notice would not be effective in a subsequent eviction lawsuit.
Landlords may want to consider updating their lease forms to have tenants consent to electronic notices, or have the tenant sign a separate consent agreement to receive electronic notices.