*** NOTE: The guidelines relating to evictions have been changed since this article was first published. Please find the most up-to-date information here.
To provide temporary relief to those individuals that may have been, or would have been, facing eviction during the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan’s moratorium on evictions was further extended on May 14, 2020 with Executive Order 2020-85 (the “Order”). Pursuant this Order, unless the occupant of the dwelling poses a substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property, no individual may be removed or excluded from a leased residential premises through June 11, 2020.
The moratorium has been in effect since March 20, 2020 by Executive Order 2020-19 and was subsequently extended via Executive Order 2020-54. The Order is premised on the idea that threats to remove or exclude people from their residences while the crisis is ongoing may exacerbate the already heightened risks to the public health. Individuals cannot seek out alternative housing while the State-wide stay at home order is in place, and given the lack of options, these individuals would possibly find themselves homeless. Further, self-quarantining and self-isolating in a residential home promotes public health and safety during this pandemic and an eviction action would be directly contrary to this goal.
The Order further provides that while the Order is in place, no person may enter residential property to remove or exclude occupants from the dwelling or execute a writ of eviction to restore possession of the premises to the owner under an eviction action. The Order specifically states that it does not alleviate the obligation to pay rent, nor prohibit the landlord from making a demand for the payment of rent. However, any demand for payment of rent must be limited to just that, and not include a demand for possession while this Order is effective. It should also be noted that pursuant to this Order, any demand for payment of rent may not be made by personal delivery, due to the self-quarantine and self-isolation restrictions the State is currently operating under. Further, the Order also relieves courts from certain statutory restrictions so they can stay eviction related proceedings until 30 days after the expiration of the Order. Landlords should carefully follow these requirements as any willful violation of the Order is a misdemeanor.
If you have any questions regarding the current Order, please contact one of the experienced attorneys at our firm.