News Story

Mackinac Center: Landlord-tenant rule affects substantive rights of landlords

In effect, local health orders could ban evictions, the Center warns in a public comment on proposed Michigan court rule

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy partook in the public comment process for amendments to Michigan Court Rule 4.201, rules concerning landlord-tenant cases.

As CapCon reported previously, this court rule would make permanent several pandemic-era temporary rules meant to minimize evictions. Critics worry this move could deny landlords the right to quickly evict non-paying tenants.

“If enacted, these changes would be detrimental to the people of Michigan, raise rents, and make it more difficult for residents to find affordable housing,” the Mackinac Center wrote in its two-page public comment, which was prepared by the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. “[T]his proposed rule substantially affects the substantive rights of landlords and tenants, and therefore, such changes should be left to the Legislature.”

The Mackinac Center is wary, concerned that public health-fueled regulations, such as the proposed court rule, would affect the Michigan economy and access to housing for Michiganders.

“Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the agency-created rules had a significant detrimental effect on Michigan businesses, and Michigan still has fewer jobs than it had before the pandemic,” the Mackinac Center’s comment reads. “Despite these negative effects resulting from regulatory overreach, the proposed rule requires landlords to affirm they are in compliance with state and local laws in eviction proceedings. This would empower local health officers to effectively implement municipal eviction bans through overly aggressive local regulation.”

The public comment period closed Nov. 1. The State Court Administrative Office says there will be another opportunity for public comment on Nov. 16, at an administrative hearing. The rule could be approved, declined or amended that day, or action could be deferred to a future day.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.