What lawful reason(s) must be given to evict a tenant?

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Real Estate FAQ

Q.    What lawful reason(s) must be given to evict a tenant?

A.    There are nine reasons specified by law that would allow a landlord to start eviction proceedings:

  • Nonpayment of rent;
  • Extensive and continuing physical injury to property;
  • Serious and continuing health hazard;
  • Illegal drug activity and formal police report filed (lease provision must allow for termination);
  • Violation of a lease provision and the lease allows for termination;
  • Forceful entry OR peaceful entry, but forceful stay OR trespass;
  • Holding over after natural expiration of lease term;
  • “Just cause” for terminating tenant of mobile home park (“just cause” is defined for this purpose by MCL 600.5775; OR
  • “Just cause” for terminating tenant of government-subsidized housing.

(Note:  “Just cause” is defined by statute.  See MCL 125.694a and 600.5714.)

Several of the lawful reasons describe prohibited behavior.  One reason includes, “Violation of a lease provision.”  This could be any provision agreed to by the parties when the lease is signed.  For example, it could be as silly as, “Only red cars may be parked in the driveway.”  If the tenant signed the lease, and if the tenant later buys a blue car, the tenant cannot park it in the driveway without violating a provision of the lease.  If the lease also includes a provision that allows the landlord to terminate the lease, the landlord could seek to evict the tenant on that basis.

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