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Coronavirus Impact: 3 Things to Know About Commercial Leases and Summary Proceedings in Michigan

Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order No. 2020-85 generally prohibits the eviction of residential tenants before June 11, 2020, which will likely be extended.

But what about commercial premises and leases? Here are the three things you should keep in mind whether you are a commercial landlord or tenant:

  1. The Michigan Supreme Court’s Administrative Order No. 2020-3 extends the deadline for initiating a case (including summary proceedings). It also extends all deadlines pertaining to “responsive pleadings.” Thus, a commercial tenant may have an argument to make that the response to the summary proceeding is no longer due at or before the hearing.
  2. Administrative Order No. 2020-10 extends all jury trials until June 22, 2020. Thus, if a tenant has the right to and requests a jury trial, none will be held before June 22.
  3. Take a close look at the language in your lease. Does it contain a force majeure clause? Does the lease clearly state the purpose of leasing the premises? The answer to these questions can become the basis for legal and equitable defenses for not performing in accordance with the lease.

The pandemic negatively affected a lot of people. Whether you are a landlord seeking to collect back rent, or a tenant struggling to make ends meet, the attorneys at Dalton & Tomich can help.

This information should not be used to take action without further legal advice.

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