Michigan Supreme Court Weighs Permanent Eviction Protections

Learn more about the work of NAA and the Property Management Association of Michigan (PMAM) against these changes and instead for sustainable solutions to affordability challenges.

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The Michigan Supreme Court is considering statewide court rule changes that would make certain temporary COVID-era eviction protections permanent. The Property Management Association of Michigan (PMAM) has been steadfast in its advocacy to oppose the adoption of these changes, which could have dramatic consequences for rental housing providers across the state.

In support of PMAM and its members, the National Apartment Association (NAA) urged the Court to oppose these rule changes and emphasized their adverse impacts on both housing providers and renters in the state. Read our comments here.


The Michigan State Supreme Court is considering whether to codify Administrative Order No. 2020-17, an emergency order created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that would have a drastic effect on housing providers’ ability to prevail in eviction court. If the Order is made permanent, a judge would no longer be required to issue a default judgment at the first court date if a tenant fails to appear unless the tenant is served with the summons personally. The proposed amendments would also make permanent other temporary pandemic-era protections, including but not limited to:

  • Requiring a Minimum of 2 hearings before judgment;
  • Requiring a 30-day stay for tenants with a pending rental assistance application;
  • Hearings not occurring within 10 days of filing as required by law; and
  • Mandated use of videoconference during hearings if requested

There are many concerns about the proposed amendments, even within the Michigan judiciary. In a dissenting opinion attached to the proposed amendments, Michigan Supreme Court Justice David Viviano argues that the proposed amendments go “far beyond …  common-sense reforms,” and “would strip district court judges of their discretion” as it relates to providing property owners quick recovery and possession of their rental property.

Further, the Michigan District Judges Association wrote to the Court in opposition of the rule change, citing a conflict between the amendments and state statute and the potential for “Constitutional issues relative to separation of powers.”  Industry advocates continue to express rental housing providers’ perspective and will have another opportunity for stakeholder engagement on November 16.

Policy Analysis

These proposed changes to eviction law represent policymakers’ growing interest in limiting rental housing providers’ legitimate business decisions in the name of housing stability. Pressured by nationwide advocacy groups, state and local jurisdictions are increasingly viewing eviction protections as a solution to prevent renters who have been unable to pay their rent from being displaced. In reality, rising rental costs are the result of decades of government inaction and a critical shortage of housing.

Eviction remains the only legal avenue for a housing provider to regain possession of their property. Delaying or preventing the eviction process for nonpayment of rent means the loss of revenue on already razor-thin profit margins. This threatens the viability of the entire apartment community and could result in unnecessarily exacerbating rising housing costs. 

NAA supports the advocacy efforts of PMAM and thanks them for their leadership in ensuring the industry’s voice is heard across Michigan. We will continue to monitor the issue and provide additional information as it becomes available.

To learn more, please read NAA’s full letter.