How To Fight A Writ Of Possession


A writ of possession (also known as a writ of restitution) is a court order issued to a landlord or property owner allowing them to regain control of their property from an occupant. It is commonly used in eviction proceedings after a judgment for possession has been ordered and requires the occupants to leave within a specific time, usually 24-72 hours.

The writ can be enforced by law enforcement or other authorized personnel if necessary, and failure to comply could result in criminal charges being brought against the occupants.

Understanding your rights when facing eviction through a writ of possession is essential as it provides options on how best to proceed with challenging it and avoiding having to vacate your home.


Reasons for Evictions in Michigan



If your landlord is considering eviction, this could be due to a few possible causes. For example, you may have failed to pay rent on time, failed to pay required utilities, taxes, insurance if required or your lease has already expired, and you still need to vacate the property.

Not adhering to the terms of your lease agreementis not the only cause for eviction. Intentionally damaging or putting others’ health in danger can be a reason, too, as well as running illegal drug activities onsite.

Furthermore, your landlord may believe that there are sufficient grounds for evicting you from either a mobile home park or federally subsidized housing – both of which follow predetermined rules and regulations.


Know Your Rights As A Tenant



When signing a rental contract, tenants must understand their rights and responsibilities. For you to find this information helpful, we have outlined some of Michigan tenants’ rights here.

Non-Discrimination Rental

It is a fundamental human right to be able to find appropriate housing that meets one’s needs. Fortunately, laws have been established to protect tenants from illegal discrimination based on various characteristics like religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, familial or marital status, and disability.

These legal protections ensure tenants of all backgrounds can look for housing without fear of prejudice or mistreatment and enjoy a more just and fair renting process.  It also protects occupants in their current tenancy to ensure compliance with the law.

Safe Secure Rental Home

As a tenant, you have the right to inhabit a secure abode that is fit for habitation. The property must be well-maintained and safe, from your house to the outdoor area, such as the backyard or courtyard.

Additionally, any shared communal spaces should remain in excellent condition and suitable for their usual purpose.

Repairs In A Michigan Rental Home

Take repairs seriously to ensure your rental unit meets the necessary standards. Promptly notify your landlord of any problems or required repairs. Your landlord should then address the issues promptly.


Landlords Legal Obligations



Under Michigan law, landlords must provide you with a reasonably safe home and address any necessary repairs or maintenance requests. They are obligated to do this before evicting you and must follow the legal procedures outlined in the state’s eviction laws.

Tenants have the right to live on a property free from coercion and force. Therefore, landlords are prohibited from using physical force or intimidation to make tenants leave or enter their houses except during an emergency.

Landlords must respect tenants’ privacy and security, upholding their right to the sanctity of their homes. Therefore, they are forbidden from causing any disruption or damaging property, such as noisy disturbances, unpleasant smells, tampering with door locks, or utility shutdowns.

The law always respects a tenant’s right to privacy and security, which forbids landlords from carelessly discarding personal items.


Escrow Account For Rental Home Repairs



In Michigan, if your landlord refuses to deal with necessary repairs, you can hold the rent money in an escrow account or pay for them yourself and subtract a certain amount from the following rent due.

To ensure that you are protected when putting your rent in escrow bank accounts, ensure it is a different bank account with only its specified funds. Again, it’s best to formally notify your landlord via written notice of this decision.

Furthermore, if you must do any repairs or maintenance due to the issue, keep accurate records displaying how much money has been spent so that you can recoup the costs effectively.


What To Do If You Face Eviction In Michigan



Eviction is the judicial process of requiring a tenant to vacate rental housing. In Michigan, these legal proceedings are pursued in a summary proceeding, which are quicker and more straightforward than usual due to expedited court access and prompt resolution of eviction cases.

If your landlord files a writ against you, there is still hope. But, first, you may file a Motion to Vacate to set-aside the writ of possession.

If you have already repaid the delinquentrent or the landlord hasn’t served an appropriate eviction summons, then filing a Motion to Dismiss can effectively terminate an eviction process.


What is a Writ of Possession?



A writ of possession is a particular order from the court which makes this order if it decides that a landlord should have control of their property.

If a tenant refuses to vacate the premises after being given notice, they are acting in defiance of what was ordered by the court; if this occurs, the landlord may take legal action.

If individuals remain on a property against a court-mandated order, the county sheriff will visit to guarantee their removal. This ensures that everybody present is cleared out who shouldn’t be there in the first place.

Reasons for a Writ of Possession

Your landlord can only legally evict you if you receive an eviction order from the court. Moreover, they are disallowed to forcibly remove you and also to deny entry into your home unless a valid court-ordered eviction has been issued.


Suppose a tenant is delinquent of rent, damaging the property, posing a health hazard, or engaging in illegal activities such as drug use on the premises. In that case, their landlord can issue a demand for possession also known as a notice to terminate tenancy. However, before initiating an eviction case against them, the landlord must give this formal notice to advise the tenant that it’s time to vacate.

It is strictly prohibited for a landlord to expel you from your home without initially going through the proper legal channels and obtaining an eviction order. Without such an order, there should be no attempt made on their part that would limit or revoke your access to your residence.

Providing ample notice is essential before one can begin the eviction process, and thus must be given adequate time before filing with a court of law.


What Does A Writ of Possession Mean for Tenants?


A writ of possession is a court-issued document that allows landlords to reclaim a residential or commercial property if they prevail in an eviction lawsuit. This legal mechanism ensures the landlord’s right to reclaim possession of the disputed premises.


Stopping Your Eviction

If you’re determined to combat a possession judgment and prevent an eviction from occurring, filing a Motion for a Stay of the Writ of Restitution is your best bet.

This is your request to stop the eviction from moving forward. As part of this motion, you must ask for an emergency hearing for the court to hear your argument about why the displacement should not go ahead.


Fill Out The Motion For Dismissal



Tenants can submit a Motion for Dismissal to throw out an eviction proceeding if their landlord has failed to follow the proper legal process. 

For the most successful outcome, file your motion before the deadline specified on the summons. For example, if you find that your landlord has neglected to provide appropriate notice before demanding you vacate their property, a Motion to Dismiss may be in order.

If the landlord still needs to serve you with the Summons and Complaint correctly, or if you’ve already paid all rent owed, submit your Answer to  the Court in a timely manner. By abiding by these steps, a judge can rule in your favor.

If the judge fails to issue a decision quickly or denies your Motion to Dismiss, it is still necessary for you to submit your Answer on time and prepare yourself for court attendance at the trial date. Take this chance to highlight why you believe the case should be entirely dismissed.


Court Hearing and Court Date

Upon reading the Motion, the judge finds a valid legal argument in favor of suspending eviction proceedings. In that case, they will grant it without holding an immediate court date and will schedule one later.


Hire Legal Help


You can hire a lawyer to represent you and assist with your eviction proceedings. You need to seek legal advice as soon as possible, so the lawyer has enough time to prepare your case and review all the documentation.

After the writ of possession is issued, a tenant or their lawyer may submit a motion to hold off eviction. This motion asks that the judge puts an end to proceeding with the execution of possession.

Having an attorney at the eviction hearing will also give you an edge when presenting evidence, cross-examining witnesses, and exploring other strategies necessary for your defense.

Understanding the legal steps of an eviction and knowing your rights is essential. Filing a Motion to Dismiss can help you reverse the process. Contact a lawyer to protect your rights as a tenant.




Can I avoid eviction by paying all my debt to the landlord after a judgment is made?

If your landlord has only taken legal action against you due to unpaid rent, paying what you owe should be enough to halt the eviction procedure.

How do I get a stay of the writ of restitution?

If a resident or their lawyer wishes to prevent the sheriff from executing the Writ of Possession and displacing them, they can do so by filing a Motion to Stay the Writ of Possession. This document is also called a stay writ. The writ may be typed or handwritten, depending on which is more convenient for both parties.

How much time do I have until I’m evicted?

After an order for possession is issued, the court may only grant you 10 days by law to move out of the rental unit.  If you have not moved out by that time, then the Landlord may come back to court and file the writ of restitution, which will only give you a few more days until a county sheriff is knocking on your door to physically remove you and all your belongings if necessary.