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Tera Jackson-Davis, Director
421 Madison, 2nd Floor
Phone: (313) 965-3869
Hours: 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.

 

Introduction to the Landlord-Tenant Division

Typically, the landlord is the owner of the property and the tenant is the party renting the property for residential or commercial use. If either party has concerns or questions regarding their legal rights or responsibilities they should consult an attorney for legal advice.

The Landlord-Tenant Division processes many types of disputes between landlords and tenants regarding property within the City of Detroit. A landlord may file for issues such as:

  • Non-payment of rent
  • Termination (eviction)
  • Health Hazard on property
  • Trespassers
  • Land Contract Forfeitures
  • Expiration of redemption period after foreclosure

Landlord-Tenant forms can be purchased and filed at the Civil Division, 2nd Floor, 421 Madison, Detroit, Michigan or downloaded from the SCAO website.

Starting a Landlord-Tenant Case

Generally, a tenant must receive notice before a landlord can file a complaint with the Court. The tenant must be served with a Notice to Quit to Recover Possession(DC100c), Demand for Possession for Non-Payment of Rent (DC100a) or some other notice**. The notice may ask the tenant to pay delinquent rent, move, repair or remove a health hazard or take some other action within 7 or 30 days depending on the type of notice served on the tenant. If the 7 or 30 days expire and the tenant has failed to comply, the landlord can start legal action by filing a summons and complaint at the court, paying all the appropriate fees and having their tenants served with the summons and complaint.

On the hearing date, both the landlord and the tenant must appear in the assigned courtroom on the date and time listed on the summons.  Both the landlord and tenant may retain attorneys to represent them at the hearing and either may request a jury trial in writing.  There is a $50.00 jury fee separate from the filing fee and service fees. It is the responsibility of the parties to have any evidence or witnesses present at the hearing.

If all parties appear and agree to resolve the dispute, they must prepare and present a Consent Judgment to the judge for signature.  If all parties are present but cannot reach a resolution, a judge or jury will hear the case and a judgment will be entered. The judgment will be entered in favor of the landlord or the tenant.  If the judgment is in favor of the plaintiff, it will outline under what conditions a landlord may or may not be given possession of the property.  If the defendant (tenant) was properly served and fails to appear, a default judgment may be entered.  Should the tenant fail to comply with the judgment, the landlord may file an Order of Eviction.

The Order of Eviction must be filed with the Court along with the correct filing and service fees.  After the Order is filed, it must be signed by a judge. Once a judge has signed the Order, it can only be executed by a 36th District Court Officer or Bailiff.

 

Landlord-Tenant Filing Checklist (does not apply to Land Contract Forfeiture cases)

If filing against 1 tenant:

1.    Three copies of the Notice to Quit  (DC100c) or Demand for Possession (DC100a)**

 

2.    5-part Summons, Landlord-Tenant (DC 104)

 

3.    4-part Complaint, either Non-Payment of Rent (DC102a)  or to Recover Possession (DC 102c)**

 

4.    An envelope addressed to each defendant listed on the summons and complaint with postage

 

5.    Correct filing fees

 

6.    Arrange to have summons and complaint served and proof of service filed with the Court prior to the hearing date (Please note per MCR 2.103 - Process in civil actions may be served by any legally competent adult who is not a party or an officer of a corporate party.)

 

If filing against 2 tenants:

1.    Five copies of the Notice to Quit  (DC100c) or Demand for Possession (DC100a)**

 

2.    5-part Summons, Landlord-Tenant (DC 104) (plus 2 additional tenant copies)

 

3.    4-part Complaint, either Non-Payment of Rent (DC102a)  or to Recover Possession (DC 102c) (plus 2 additional copies)**

 

4.    An envelope addressed to each tenant with postage

 

5.    Correct filing fees

 

6.    Arrange to have summons and complaint served and proof of service filed with the Court prior to the hearing date (Please note per MCR 2.103 - Process in civil actions may served by any legally competent adult who is not a party or an officer of a corporate party.)

 

** other options include Damage to Property/Health and Hazard Notices and Complaints

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