Tenant Payment Performance Update through August 2022
We’re not aware of any other local management company sending their clients these types of updates!
Please be sure to share this with anyone you know interested in real estate investing or looking for a better property manager, so they can see what they are missing!
We are now in the fall season! Now, as the temperatures begin to drop slowly we are slowly seeing improvements in the eviction process.
We are excited to say that last month we executed 3 evictions and a Cash-for-Keys agreement with a tenant. We see some movement in Detroit and Pontiac court timelines. If you’ve been following these reports we send out monthly, we’ve previously noted these two courts have the worst backlog and delays when it comes to processing eviction cases. We are now seeing more and more judges sign more and more writs. While getting one is challenging, we are starting to get our hands on more of them.
We have noticed that as CERA ends, we are seeing a new delay tactic from Legal-Aid attorneys. These attorneys are provided for FREE for tenants who economically qualify. The attorneys are looking very closely at the landlord, the owner; if there are proper deeds in place, and have even gotten to the point of looking at how the landlord served the tenant with the eviction notice – all to try to have the case adjourned out or dismissed. We have seen a tenant (not ours) attest in court that they never received an eviction notice in the mail. So, since the landlord did not have the proof that they mailed it, the whole case was dismissed forcing that landlord to start all over again.
With these new delay techniques, these attorneys are using and cases still being dragged out, we are noticing some owners looking to use Cash-for-Keys to regain the positions of their properties. Cash-for-Keys is where the landlord offers cash to help the tenant with their moving costs. While the idea of paying a tenant who owes months of rent to vacate is unjust, it’s often a good business decisión. The offer may range from one month of rent to an average of three months depending on what makes sense for each situation. The typical deal with the tenant is they would have to vacate the home by a certain date and leave the home broom-clean.
Once it has been confirmed that the tenant has vacated, ONLY then do we pay them the agreed-upon amount. In the most recent case, the owner did not pay the tenant anything. Instead, it was agreed to forgive the tenant’s past due balance of 8 months.
GOVERNMENT AID FOR PAST DUE TENANTS
Michigan shut down the CERA application website on June 30. Tenant applications will be processed until the program runs out of money. We are seeing more and more tenants having their CERA applications denied for different reasons.
We are also noticing that the organizations processing CERA applications are directing denied tenants to apply for city or county programs. The next big program for Wayne County is ERAP (Emergency Rental Assistance Program).
TENANT APPLICANT SCREENING CHALLENGES
We continue to see different cases of fraud.
Some applicants are frauding their income to afford rising rents. Another concern is residency fraud to hide an eviction in a process that hasn’t been recorded in public records yet. We’ve even experienced a landlord, desperate to get rid of their nonpaying tenant, misrepresent their tenant’s payment history to us.
Due to concerns about being accused of Fair Housing discrimination, and getting sued, we have to proceed carefully with every application we receive. As a result, it’s taking us longer to process each application.
RENT PAYMENT TRENDS 30-60-90+ Days Behind Update
In our update, there is not much change from last month, but a slight increase in the number of paying tenants.
This month we saw a pretty good increase in the number of tenants paying full rent which is amazing news! We hope this trend continues. Part of this is tenants are seeing that as government assistance runs out they are being forced with the option to either pay or be evicted so more tenants are choosing to pay their rent on time.
We are excited to say that slowly but surely our Pontiac portfolio tenants are finding ways to either pay their past due balances or are vacating. As you can see the number of tenants either paying full or partial rent has increased and the number of tenants not paying any rent is starting to decrease.
This month’s update shows our processes work! The “Paid Full Rent” performance has improved as we haven’t let any additional tenants fall behind. Detroit courts are a huge challenge to deal with, but we keep grinding away and are starting to see success.
We’re concerned about what will happen to all the tenants that chose NOT to pay their rent when they had jobs and really could afford to do so.
In our opinion, the failure of the government, both politicians & courts, to hold these tenants accountable, has only empowered these tenants to look for every possible reason not to pay rent in the future. Also, who is going to rent to them? Why would any landlord rent to them with a history of nonpayment?