Tenant Payment Performance Update through February 2023
We’re not aware of any other local management company sending their clients these types of updates! Please let us know if you hear of another company doing so.
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!
The courts continue to catch up on their caseloads, even the City of Detroit’s 36th District Court. We obtained 9 Writs of Eviction in February and numerous judgments. We were able to execute 5 evictions, and several tenants with high balances also vacated on their own.
We are now getting many calls from tenants that have been ignoring our past communication attempts. Many are figuring out their “free ride” is over and they will be evicted. So, they are finally calling us and trying to work out plans to stay in their homes. Some of their proposals make sense, but many are far from logical.
The biggest challenge for us and owners is to try to make a sound business decision without holding a grudge!
What’s a better business decision?
Allowing a tenant to stay if they start paying their rent on time
Getting rid of them and incurring more costs:
- Bailiff costs
- Repair costs to meet city inspection requirements
- Vacancy costs while doing repairs and advertising for a new tenant
We don’t have all the answers to this dilemma but are discussing it with many of our clients, so they can each make their own decision.
Bailiff costs also seem to be increasing. The average bailiff charge used to be around $1,000. So far in 2023, we’re seeing many approaching $2,000. The Bailiff for the City of Warren is the most expensive of all, with prices starting at $2,400.
We want to remind owners that there’s little we can do about these charges because the courts assign the bailiffs. We’re typically stuck with whomever they assign and whatever amount that bailiff charges.
GOVERNMENT AID FOR PAST-DUE TENANTS
Michigan shut down the CERA application website on June 30, 2022, stating applications will be processed until the program runs out of money.
We have noticed that the organizations processing CERA applications and disbursing funds are giving the runaround when it comes to disbursing the funds. Despite following up with the organizations 3 times a week by phone call and email, it is hard to get a response. Emails are being ignored and when calling the organizations, they simply place us on hold for 30 minutes, and then the call drops. Even when getting ahold of a representative, they simply say we need to contact the caseworker or tell us the information we already know, the case is processing, and to be patient.
So, we are proceeding as if CERA funds are no longer available and are recommending that same line of thought to our clients.
TENANT APPLICANT SCREENING CHALLENGES
We continue to see different cases of application fraud. With each case we see, every applicant is becoming more creative with how they try to cover their fraudulent acts.
There has been an even higher increase in the number of applicants using fake addresses and landlords to cover up the fact they are either currently being evicted or were recently evicted. This is a problem in general in Detroit that is only going to get worse. As the courts start finally finalize more evictions, there will be an increase in applicants who will need to find housing quickly. While, yes, there will be an increase in the number of applications property management companies will receive, we have seen that owners and landlords are being even pickier when it comes to picking an approved applicant.
With each application that we receive, we are taking a little longer to process, but trying to look into every detail to make sure the owner can make the best decision when it comes to renting to a prospect. Owners have become more conscious and selective with who they rent taking into consideration recent evictions. If a prospect can provide an acceptable explanation about why they were evicted and what is their plan moving forward there is a chance that the owner will accept the prospect.
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
Our numbers have been maintained for February. We’ve evicted several tenants, but have also been hired to take over several properties with existing nonpaying tenants. We hope that due to income tax refunds, more tenants will address their past-due balances and our performance metrics will improve.
As you can see, the number of tenants paying full rent has maintained the same. We noticed that the tenants who were on payment plans have kept up with those payments to avoid eviction. Tenants are trying the best they can to have their rent paid off by the end of the month.
We saw a slight decrease in the number of tenants paying full rent, due to taking on some new clients with nonpaying leases in Pontiac.
As you can see, we’ve seen improvement in the metrics of tenants paying full rent, with a corresponding decrease in those paying partial and no rent. Part of this is due to tenants we’ve evicted, but much of it is due to tenants being more accountable and making better efforts to avoid eviction.