Desperate tenants say & do desperate things, so we aggressively pursue past due balances via enforcing a strict eviction process. We offer tenants numerous options to avoid eviction but enforce deadlines to minimize loss exposure. Eviction actions and milestones are available to owners via their online portal.

Our lease states rent is due on the 1st of each month, with a 5-day grace period. Eviction Notices are generated on the first business day 1-3 days after the 5th of the month. From thereon, we aggressively pursue payments while moving forward with the eviction process. We allow payment plans, but since desperate tenants will say anything over the phone, we require tenants to submit payment plans in writing, with specific payment dates & amounts, as well as proof of income to support the payments.

We make at least 6 strategic calls to tenants during the eviction process, giving them opportunities to pay and halt the process:

  1. When eviction notice sent to tenant
  2. When notice sent to attorney to schedule court date
  3. When court date is confirmed
  4. When court judgment obtained
  5. After 10-day court ordered time to pay expires
  6. When a Writ of Eviction is obtained, and bailiffs scheduled

Owners often want us to call more frequently, but no amount of calls will get a tenant to pay if they don’t have funds. We publish our Eviction Process Milestones to owners on their online Rent Roll Report.

Pursuing tenants for unpaid balances after they move out is dependent on being able to find them and personally serve them as required by Michigan law. This is beyond the capability of a property manager, so we hire outside attorneys and collection agencies. Instead of paying them by the hour, we hire firms that work on a contingency basis, where they take a percentage of what they collect. NOTE: Finding dependable firms is an ongoing challenge due to the limited number of accounts we can send them.

For more information about the legal process of evicting tenants according to Michigan statutes, please read below.

Michigan Eviction Process Explained
Day 1:RENT DUE: Rent typically due on first of each month.
Day 5:GRACE PERIOD UP: Last day of Grace Period
Day 6-9:EVICTION NOTCE SENT: Tenant has exceeded grace period of their lease. Proper Demand form is sent to all tenants to start the legal eviction process, so we force them to address their balance:

  • dc 100a: Nonpayment of Rent (most commonly used – also known as 7 Day Notice, if tenant pays they stay)
  • dc 100c: Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property (also known as 30 Day Notice, use if you want a paying tenant gone)

Forms can be found at: https://courts.michigan.gov/Administration/SCAO/Forms/Pages/Landlord-Tenant-and-Land-Contract.aspx

Day 13-16:COURT DATE FILING: While waiting the required 7 days, we try to communicate with tenant to determine if they intend to pay and when. Tenants are offered option of Payment Plan. To keep pressure on them, we usually move the Eviction Process forward by sending the following to an attorney to file for a court date:

  • Copy of the signed eviction notice
  • Copy of a ledger showing balance owing
  • Copy of the lease
  • Copy of any city required landlord license, rental registration, etc.

NOTE: Only the property owner can represent themselves in court, we MUST use an attorney.

Day 16-19:FILING CONFIRMATION: We follow up (f/u) with attorney to make sure they received our email & are filing case with court.
Day 19-22:COURT DATE CHECKUP: We f/u with attorney for court date if not received yet.
Day 20-25:COURT DATE SET: When we get a court date, we try to determine if tenant(s) still in property:

  • If so, we try to contact them about paying their balance. We DO NOT STOP the process unless they pay in full! If they request a Payment Plan, we require it to be in writing, with specific dates & amounts, with income documentation to support the payments.
  • If tenant appears to no longer occupy property, we cautiously proceed to secure the property and move their possessions to garage, basement etc. We must be careful as tenant can legally claim treble damages if we inadvertently dispose of their possessions too early.
Day 25:COURT DATE: Our attorney appears in court to present case against tenant(s). Tenants are given opportunity to challenge the balance we are suing them for.

  • Many tenants do not show up in court, resulting in a default judgment against them.
  • Michigan statute requires tenant be given at least 10 days to pay their balance to stay in the property.
  • If paperwork is not correct or tenant has story judge believes, case may be adjourned to allow additional preparation.
  • Judgments are good for 56 days from judge’s signature date
Day 35:AFTER REQUIRED 10 DAYS: We contact tenant about their plans to move or pay. We try to be nice, but firm, keeping the pressure on them.

  • If they request a Payment Plan, we require it to be in writing, with specific dates & amounts, with income documentation to support the payments.
  • We may discuss a Cash-For-Keys option with property owner to offer tenant to obtain property possession faster.
  • If we cannot get ahold of them, we inspect property to see if vacated.
  • If tenant appears to no longer occupy property, we cautiously proceed to secure the property and move their possessions to garage, basement etc. We must be careful as tenant can legally claim treble damages if we inadvertently dispose of their possessions too early.
Day 36:WRIT OF EVICTION ORDERED: The next step in the eviction process is to request an Application and Order Of Eviction (form dc 107, also known as a Writ of Eviction) which requires judge signature.

  • While the tenant can challenge this motion, this rarely happens.
Day 43-46WRIT OF EVICTION RECEIVED: Order of Eviction should be signed by now, if not f/u with attorney.

  • Once signed, we again try to contact tenant for an acceptable Payment Plan.
  • We may discuss a Cash-For-Keys option with property owner to offer tenant to obtain property possession faster and avoid removal fees.
  • Otherwise, we must legally contact the court assigned bailiff and schedule removal of tenant and their belongings from the property. We are not allowed to do this.
  • Bailiffs are NOT required to give estimates. Most require an upfront payment and then submit a final bill when complete.
  • Several cities require a dumpster at property before bailiff will schedule removal ($350-$450)
Day 46-53:WRIT OF EVICTION POSTED: Bailiff will mail or post the Writ of Eviction with date they will physically remove tenant’s belongings.

  • Many tenants will now contact us for Payment Plan, Cash-for-Keys or to negotiate for more time. At this point, they are just desperate to stay, but rarely have funds or income.
Day 53-60:BAILIFF REMOVAL: Court appointed bailiff(s) will remove tenant & their belongings and legally return possession of the property to us. Cost is at least $300, depending on city, number of bailiffs, size of home & amount of possessions and cost of possible required dumpster. We can then rekey the locks and evaluate damages to prep for marketing.
Day 91:EXPIRATION DATES: If we agree to an extended payment plan with a tenant, the judgment expires 56 days after judge signs it. We can extend this deadline by requesting the Application and Order Of Eviction (form DC 107), which will usually extend our case another 56 days. Otherwise, we will have to start all over again.

Please reference this great document for additional information: Tenants & Landlords, a Practical Guide:
http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/publications/tenantlandlord.pdf