Eviction Process

My goal is to own one sfh before October 1, but before I dive into this I’m trying to understand the basics. Can someone tell me the basic eviction process? If a tenant is three days late on a payment, but Michigan has a minimum length of a Notice to Quit of 7 days for nonpayment of rent, what happens? Should I have a clause in my lease that says “after 7 days the eviction process will begin.” At what day, if I wanted to evict the tenant, would I refuse to collect the rent (day 3 or 7)? Sorry for these basic questions, but I need layman’s terms.

Thanks for your help.


You MUST know the law in Michigan. I would ask the successful investors at your REIA or talk with a local real estate attorney that specializes in real estate/evictions.

Having said that, here is how it generally works. My lease says that the rent is due on the 1st, and late after 5pm on the 4th. (I use these dates because some tenants with government checks don’t get them until the 3rd). On the morning of the 5th, I post a 3 day notice on their door. If a 7 day notice is required in Michigan, they you would post your 7 day notice on the 5th. After the 7 days is up, then you should immediately file the eviction with the court.

It is a little more complicated than that because there may be specific things that are required in Michigan, like how the 7 day notice must be presented and specific language that is required in the notice. Also, you need to know if the 7 day notice period is 7 calendar days or 7 business days. Again, I would make friends with the successful investors at your REIA and ask them. They’ll be happy to help - that’s what REIA is all about.

Good Luck,


Once again, thank you for the great input.

Firstly I commend you for learning the eviction process BEFORE you purchase the rental property. If more new landlords would go about this in reverse (ie. how do I evict a bad tenant rather than how do I find just any tenant), more would succeed and not give up on the process.

Yes, the advise given is absolutely correct. Before you rent to a tenant in your jurisdication, remember you have to abide by the statutes in that jurisdiction. You can have a lease document, but if it doesn’t comply with the statutes, its not worth the paper its written on. You’ll never be able to enforce its conditions. Most states have ‘standard’ leases that are available from legal forms resellers, etc. and as long as they are up to date with the local statutes, you should be fine.

I’d suggest that the best way to approach this is to do EVERYTHING you can to avoid the eviction in the first place. This means subscribing to an online tenant database that you can trust its information. We use National Tenant Network (www.ntnonline.com) and although they charge a fee per lookup, they have a good eviction/court history, credit history and criminal history search set. They used to give us the actual credit report for any tenant which was good in that you could use it to cross check what they wrote on their rental application (advice - 100% of all tenants lie on their rental application - check everything out and cross check again to get to the truth).

I didn’t use these tools on my first few rentals. 75% of those went to eviction. Nowadays its standard practice for us. I have cut down my trips to the court house to about 10% of what it used to be, and my tenants tend to have longer rental terms with us.

Anyway know the law like you can recite the statutes, and research, research and research any tenant applicant to weed out the bad eggs.

Good luck!


Thank you so much for the great information. THis is exactly what I need. Yesterday, I spoke with a realtor that owns about 10 properties and manages a few more, and he will mentor me, since I plan on buying properties through him. Also, in the early stages, I thought I would use an attorney (about $500 per case) for the steps. This way I can learn the proper way.

Thank you again for your help, and if you ever have some great advice you want to share, I’m always willing to listen.