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Michigan Residential Landlord Tenant Manual - Table of Contents

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I.

PAGE

      A. Creation of Tenancy

1

      1. What is a Tenancy

1

      2. Types of Tenancies

3

        a. A tenancy for years or for a definite term

3

        b. A tenancy at Will

4

        c. A tenancy at sufferance

5

      3. New Owners Affecting an Existing Tenancy

6

      4. The Status of Caretakers and other Employees who Reside in Employer Housing

7

      B. Implied and Express Lease Provisions

8

      1. Oral Leases, Implied Covenants

9

      2. Written Leases

10

        a. Assignments, Subleases and Roommates 

11

        b. Extension of Lease

12

        c. Late Fees 

12

        d. Court Costs and Attorney Fees 

17

        e. Prohibition on Pets

19

        f. Prohibition Against Children

20

        g. Prohibition Based on Income

21

        h. Waiver of Notic

21

        i. Acceleration of Ren

21

        j. Lease Where Rent is Omitted

22

       3. Leases and the Michigan Consumer Protection Act 

22

       4. Truth-in-Renting Act Specific Illegal Clauses

26

        a. Waiver of Covenants of Fitness and Habitability

28

        b. Waiver of Security Deposit Rights

28

        c. Discrimination and Exclusion of Certain Persons

28

        d. Confessions of Judgment

29

        e. Waiver of Landlord Liability Imposed by Law 

29

        f. Waiver of Procedural Rights

30

        g. Court Costs and Attorney Fees

30

        h. Lien on Personal Property of the Tenant

31

        i. Acceleration of Rent 

31

        j. Waiver of Rights in Summary Proceedings and Lock Out Cases

32

        k. Duty to Mitigate

32

        l. Unilateral Lease Changes

32

        m. Violations of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act

33

        Remedies and Actions

33

        Sale of Forms

36

      C. Landlord's Interference with Peaceful Possession

36

      1. Use of Physical Force

37

      2. Other Interferences with Possession

37

      3. Grounds for Interference

42

      4. Scope 

43

      5. Remedies

45

      D. Liability of Landlord for Injury to Tenant, Invitees of Tenant, or  

        Tenant's Property 

49

      1. Injuries Arising out of the Condition of the Premises

49

        a. Liability Under the State Housing Law 

52

        b. Liability for Common Areas

52

        c. Liability for Hidden Defects

53

      2. Damages Arising out of the Criminal Acts of Another

53

      3. Lease Provisions Waiving Liability 

56

      E. Utility Terminations

57

      1. Termination of the Utilities Provided by the Landlord

58

      2. Utility Company Terminates Service to Tenant

60

      3. A Cause of Action Under Due Process 

63

      4. Moratoriums Against Terminations 

64

      F. Suits to Collect Rent 

65

      G. Tenant Security Deposits

68

      1. What is a Security Deposit Covered by the Act 

68

      2. Amount of the Deposit 

70

      3. Use of the Deposit

71

      4. Transmittal of Information

72

      5. Settlement of Disputes 

74

      6. Checklist for operation of Security Deposits

79

      H. Rent Increases 

80

      1. Rent Levels for Individual Tenants in Non-Subsidized Housing

81

      2. Rent Increases in Public Housing 

82

      3. Rent Increases in FHA-Assisted Housing

82

       I. Discrimination in Housing 

83

      J. Repair and Deduct

86

      K. Condominiums 

87

      1. Background

87

      2. Michigan Law

89

      3. Detroit Ordinance

93

      L. Cooperatives 

95

      M. Mobile Homes

100

      1. Purchase 

100

      2. Manufacturing Problems & Defects

101

      3. Taking up Residence in a Mobile Home Park 

107

      4. Eviction 

109

II. Rights and Responsibilities Under State and Local Housing Codes

113

      A. Codes Applicable to Residential Dwellings

113

      1. The State Construction Code Act Governing New or Reconstructed Buildings

114

      2. State Housing Code Governing Existing Buildings 

114

      3. Local Codes

115

        a. Housing Maintenance Standards

115

        b. Utility shut-off Regulations

116

        c. Housing inspections at point of sale

117

      4. The habitability Covenants Implied in all Rental Agreements in Michigan 

117

      5. The Public Health Code for Agricultural Labor Camps 

118

      6. Federal Housing Quality Standards

118

      B. Enforcement of Codes Applicable to Residential Dwellings 

119

      1. Enforcement of Municipal Ordinances 

119

        a. Criminal Process 

119

        b. Orders to Vacate

122

      2. Challenges to the Enforcement of Local Housing Codes

123

      3. Enforcement of the State Act 

126

        a. Municipal Escrow Accounts

126

          i. Certificates of Compliance

127

 

          ii. Escrow in Buildings Without Certificates

128

          iii. Operation of the Escrow Account

129

        b. Affirmative Suits to Enforce the State Housing Code and for Damages 

129

          i. City.suits

130

          ii. The Private Right of Action

131

          iii. Receiverships

133

      4. Enforcement of the Habitability Covenants

137

         a. Eviction Defense and Injunctive Relief 

137

         b. Affirmative Suits 

138

III. Public Housing

139

IV. Problems of Low Income Home Owners 

141

      Introduction

141

      Bankruptcy 

142

      A. Foreclosure Pursuant to "Power of Sale" Clause

145

      1. Statutory Procedures for Foreclosure Power of Sale Clause 

145

      2. Defenses to Power of Sale Foreclosure

153

      3. Special Statutory Defenses

162

        a. Usury

162

        b. Truth-In-Lending Act 

166

      4. Due Process Consideration 

168

      B. Foreclosure by Judicial Proceedings

169

      1. Statutory Procedures for Judicial Foreclosures 

170

      2. Defenses to Judicial Foreclosure

181

      C. Land Contracts

189

      1. Judicial Foreclosure of Land Contract

192

      2. Forfeiture and Summary Proceedings to Recover Possession of Property Held 

        Pursuant to a Land Contract 

196

      D. Servicing & Foreclosure Problems for FHA & VA Insured Mortgages

202

      1. Termination of the HUD Assignment Program

202

      2. Substitute Foreclosure Prevention Options Offered 

204

      3. Summary of Current Menu of Workout Options

205

      4. Lender and Homeowner Incentives

208

      5. New Foreclosure Requirements for Lenders

210

      6. HUD to Evaluate Lender's Performance

210

      7. Litigation Challenging the Termination of the HUD Assignment Program

211

      8. Practice Tips

211

V. Summary Proceedings to Evict 215 

215

      A. In General 215

215

      1. Introduction 

215

       2. The Commencement of an Action

220

        a. Who May Bring Summary Proceedings

221

        b. When May Summary Proceedings be Brought

224

        c. Complaint 

227

        d. Summons

233

        e. Time of Service 

234

          i. Specific Return Dates

234

          ii. Appear or Answer Jurisdictions

238

        f. Manner of Service

238

        g.  Payment of Money After Service of the Notice to Quit

245

        h. Venue 

248

      3. Representation

249

        a. Representation of Corporations 

250

        b. Student Attorneys 

254

      4. Answer and First Hearing

259

        a. Answer

259

        b. Court Reporters 

264

        c. Fees and Costs

266

        d. Defaults, Default Judgments, and Dismissals

268

      5. Claims and Counterclaims

273

        a. Joinder

273

        b. Bifurcation and Severance

277

        c. Removal

282

      6. Interim Orders 

284

        a. Injunctions 

284

        b. Mandatory Pre-Trial Escrow orders

285

          i. Limitations on Issuance

287

          ii. Non-Compliance by Landlord and by Tenant

292

          iii. Disbursal 

299

      7. Consent Judgments

304

      8. Discovery 

305

      9. Trial 

307

        a. In General

307

          i. Scheduling and Pretrial 

309

        b. Burdens of Proof and Presumptions

311

        c. Findings and Conclusions 

313

        d. Trial Structure and Judgments

313

        e. Evidence

315

          i. Proof of Defects in the Premises

315

          ii. Proof of Payment of Rent

317

          iii. Proof of Contents of Writing

319

          iv. Hearsay and Personal Knowledge

319

        f. Jury Trial

321

          i. Motions and Orders in Limine

322

          ii. Voir Dire

323

          iii. Challenges to Prospective Jurors

325

           iv. Jury Instructions

328

      10. Judgment

330

        a. In General

330

        b. Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law 

335

        c. Equitable Relief

335

        d. Part Payments 

336

        e. Taxing Costs 

337

        f. Mailing 

339

      11. Writs of Restitution

340

      12. Post-Judgment Action

345

        a. Post-Judgment Motions

345

          1. Time

349

          2. Stays of Proceedings

350

          3. Decisions on Motions 

352

        b. Appeals as of Right

355

            i. Applying to Set Bond or Escrow on Appeal

357

 

            ii. Filing or overturning the Order Setting Bond on Appeal 

361

            iii. Perfecting the Appeal in Circuit Court

363

            iv. Perfecting the Appeal in the Trial Court 

364

            v. Serving Initial Papers on the Appellee

366

            vi. Transmitting the Record

367

            vii. Paying Moneys During the Pendency of the Appeal

368

            viii.Filing Appellant's Brief

369

            ix. Setting Oral Arguments

369

            x. Process After Decision

370

        c. Appeals by Leave

371

            i. Moving for Leave

372

            ii. obtaining a Stay of Proceedings

373

            iii. Filing the order to Stay Proceedings or Overturning its Denial

374

            iv. Service and Ancillary Filings 

375

            v. Action After Decision Upon the Motion

376

            vi. Proceeding with the Appeal

377

        d. Superintending Control 

377

      B. Suits for Possession by Reason of Non-Payment of Rent

382

      1. Notice

383

      2. Duty to Pay

386

        a. Payment or partial payment 

386

        b. Repair and Deduct 

388

        c. Actual or Constructive eviction

389

        d. Breach of the right to Beneficial Enjoyment

393

        e. Abatement of Rent by Statute

394

        f. Retaliatory Increases 

398

        g. Illegality 

400

        h. Required Payment to Third Party

402

        i. State Rent

403

      3. Retaliatory Eviction

406

      4. Burdens of Proof

407

      C. Suits for Possession by Reason of a General Termination of Tenancy 

408

      1. In general

408

      2. Notice

409

      3. Defense of Retaliation

415

      4. Burden of Proof

421

      5. Defense of violation of Civil Rights Act 

426

      6. Just Cause

428

      D. Suits for Possession for Breach of a Covenant in the Lease

430

      E. Suit for Possession for Causing Continuing Health Hazards or Property Damage

434

      F. Suits for Possession against Trespassers

441

      G. Suits for Possession against Tenants of Former Mortgagors

442

      H. Suits for Possession in Cases Involving Illegal Drugs 

443

      I. Evictions from Shelters

445