Reasons a Judge May Deny an Eviction in Michigan
Michigan landlord-tenant law, M.C.L. § 600.5720, specifies defenses a tenant may raise which may prevent an eviction judgment from being entered by the judge. If, at an eviction hearing, the judge finds any of the following situations to be true, the judge will not enter a judgment in favor of the landlord (this means that the judge will not make the tenant move out of the rental property when the landlord is trying to evict the tenant).
A judge may throw out an eviction if the landlord is evicting the tenant in retaliation against the tenant’s attempt to enforce the tenant’s legal rights under the lease or rental agreement, or other laws—for example, if the tenant reported a health or safety violation to authorities, or exercised a lawful act, such as joining a tenant organization.
No Cause (Public Housing)
The judge will not order the tenant to move out of rental property that is operated by local government (Section 8, or HUD, housing) if the judge finds no cause for the eviction. There are specific reasons why a landlord may evict a tenant from Section 8 housing such as repeated lease violations, a history of disturbances to other families, or use of the rental property for anything other than a family home. These reasons for a landlord to evict a tenant are known as “cause” to evict the tenant.
Increased Tenant Obligations
If the landlord attempted to increase the tenant’s obligations under the lease or rental agreement and the tenant’s failure to comply with the changed terms was the basis for the eviction, a judge will also not enter a judgment in the landlord’s favor. Examples of how a landlord may attempt to increase a tenant’s obligations include increasing the tenant’s monthly rent (without a provision in the lease allowing the landlord to do so), or requiring the tenant to perform certain maintenance or repairs (without having this responsibility agreed to in the lease or rental agreement).
Self-Help or Improper Eviction
Finally, a judge may deny a landlord’s request for an eviction of the tenant if the landlord used prohibited self-help measures like changing the locks on the rental property, or if the landlord is discriminating against the tenant—for example, by trying to evict the tenant for having a pet when the pet is a certified service animal for a tenant with a disability.
A judge may also deny a landlord’s request for an eviction if the judge finds the landlord did not provide proper notice or service of the summons and complaint on the tenant.
Don’t Get Thrown Out Into The Cold – Contact Us TODAY For Your FREE Consultation