On May 22, 2012, the Michigan Legislature passed, and gave immediate effect to, a new law that clarifies when a landlord may use a “summary proceeding” to evict a tenant.

A summary proceeding is an expedited landlord tenant case which is granted a hearing before a judge almost immediately after the complaint is filed. The Legislature made clear that a landlord may use the expedited, summary proceedings in the following cases:

  • When a tenant fails to pay rent and the landlord has given a 7-day notice.
  • When a tenant (or a member of a tenant’s household) unlawfully manufactures, delivers or possesses drugs on the premises. In this situation, the lease must contain a clause allowing the landlord to terminate the lease for illegal drugs on the premises. There also must be a formal police report on file and the landlord must give a written notice to the tenant at least 24 hours before filing the summary proceeding.
  • When the tenant causes a serious and continuing health hazard to exist or causes extensive and continuing physical injury to the premises and the landlord has given a 7-day notice.
  • When the tenant (or a member of the tenant’s household) caused or threatened physical injury to an individual (other than the tenant or a member of the tenant’s household). In this case, the police must be notified of the threat or the physical injury and the landlord must give a 7-day notice.
  • When the tenant is actually a trespasser and does not have the landlord’s permission to be on the property.
  • When the property has been through foreclosure and is now owned by the bank.
  • When the personal representative of a probate estate has sold the property.

Landlords may want to review the current lease they are using to make sure it covers all of these situations.

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