The following was emailed on Mar 24, 2020 by Libby Benton, Staff Attorney for Legal Services of South Central Michigan. I have also copied the text of the PDF attachement below, in case it is not available.
Attached please find an updated handout our office created providing information for Washtenaw County tenants about:
- the status of evictions and eviction cases during the COVID-19 emergency;
- important legal rights during this time; and,
- how to get additional legal help and assistance with back rent.
Please distribute widely and do not hesitate to let us know if you have any questions.
Legal Services of South Central Michigan
15 S. Washington St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48197
Phone: (734) 926-8366
Fax: (734) 665-2974
Link to PDF Attachment:
I have copied the text of the PDF attachment below:
To: Washtenaw County Tenants
From: Legal Services of South Central Michigan
Date: March 23, 2020
Re: Washtenaw County Evictions During COVID-19 Emergency
Governor Whitmer has signed an executive order (https://www.michigan.gov/whitmer/0,9309,7-387-90499_90705-522509–,00.html)
that stops residential evictions in Michigan during the COVID-19 emergency. The order is in effect through April 17. There is an exception that allows for the removal of tenants if they pose a substantial risk to another person or an imminent and severe risk to property.
Washtenaw County courts have also put a hold on all eviction cases. The following courts are freezing all current and new cases until the following date:
Court Area Covered Moratorium Until:
15 District City of Ann Arbor April 6, 2020
14B District Ypsilanti Township Further notice
14A District Remainder of Washtenaw County April 6, 2020
Note: “Remainder of Washtenaw County” = Ann Arbor Township, Augusta Township, Pittsfield Township, Salem Township, Superior Township, Village of Barton Hills, City of Ypsilanti, Bridgewater Township, City of Saline, City of Chelsea, Saline Township, Dexter Township, City of Dexter, Scio Township, Freedom Township, Sharon Township, Lima Township, Sylvan Township, Lodi Township, Lyndon Township, Village of Manchester, Manchester Township, Webster Township, City of Milan.
This means that there will be no evictions ordered and no eviction case hearings until the holds expire. This also means that, in most cases, your landlord cannot use a court order to physically remove you or your belongings from the property until after April 17.
Once the courts resume, you will get a notice from the court with your new hearing date. You can also call the courts or check their websites if you have questions.
Important Information about Your Rights:
These moratoriums do not release you from any obligations under your lease. This means you still owe your landlord any rent that becomes due during this period.
It is illegal for your landlord to evict you without going to court and getting an eviction order. Your landlord cannot physically remove you or your belongings without a court order. If your landlord is trying to physically evict you without a court order, call 911 and then Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) at (734) 665-6181.
It is also illegal for your landlord to try to force you out in other ways, such as changing your locks, shutting off your utilities, or using force or threatening to use force to try to get you to leave.
If you have a Section 8 voucher or live in a subsidized property, tell your voucher administrator or landlord immediately in writing if you lose income and save a copy of the communication for yourself.
If you have other questions about your rights or need legal assistance:
- Call Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) at (734) 665-6181.
- Visit https://michiganlegalhelp.org/ includes information on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak on common legal issues.
If you are behind on rent and need help, contact:
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to apply for State Emergency Relief (SER):
- Call – (734) 481-2000
- Apply Online – mibridges.michigan.gov
Housing Access for Washtenaw County (HAWC)
- Call – (734) 961-1999
Housing Bureau for Seniors (55+ only)
- Call – (734) 998-9339