LANSING – State Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) said her  amendment defining the terms for an electronic eviction notice adopted to House Bill 4038, the bill which allows landlords to serve a notice of eviction electronically, will offer more protection and, hopefull, reduce any possible confusion for both the landlord and the tenant.

 An electronic eviction notice is new for Michigan because, under the law, landlords still use traditional methods of service: first class mail, serving someone personally, or serving someone who resides at the residence with the tenant. In jurisdictions that allow electronic notice of eviction, either the statute or court rules clearly define terms so that everyone knows what is meant by “electronic service.” Chang’s amendment both revised and defined key terms in the legislation so that both parties, landlord and tenant, will clearly understand how this new proposed process would work. A tenant would provide an email address or other means of electronic notice to be included in the lease and confirms that this is how the tenant would like to be served.

Chang’s amendment defines “document” as a digital image of a record originally produced on paper or created by an electronic means. The document would have to be readable by sight and able to be printed on paper. Electronic notification means that the notification is served by sending an electronic message to the service the person has authorized, and would include the exact name of the document served and include a hyperlink at which the document can be viewed and downloaded.

“By specifically defining what is meant by electronic service I hope that we can reduce any possible confusion for the tenant during an eviction,” said Chang.   

HB 4038 passed the House on Wednesday and now goes to the state Senate for consideration.