Tenant Payment Performance Update v2023 – 09
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The eviction process continues to speed up!
We successfully recovered control of over 10 properties in September by either having bailiffs remove nonpaying tenants or by getting nonpaying tenants to vacate before we sent bailiffs (saving owners money!).
The courts are finally caught up and we are seeing processing times are much faster. We are starting to hit pre-COVID processing times for most courts including in Detroit. We noticed that 36th District Court, which has the largest volume of cases, cases are being processed quicker, and adjournment wait times are shorter. This is helping landlords recover possession of their homes quickly.
The only challenge we have noticed is a trend of Detroit tenants filing motions to stay(delay)an eviction. The courts are entertaining the motion, allowing tenants to stay longer before the inevitable eviction happens. We believe this is due to judges being influenced by the “Tenants Rights” movements growing in the USA.
TENANT APPLICANT SCREENING CHALLENGES
We’re receiving a lot of subpar applications, but due to Fair Housing requirements, we must process all received applications consistently the same way.
Several months ago, we noticed many Legal Aid attorneys were legally extorting our clients with offers of Consent Judgments or jury trials. Jury trials may take 6+ months to resolve, allowing nonpaying tenants to stay longer. The Consent Judgments offer quicker property recovery but avoid an eviction being entered against a tenant. So, no evictions show up on a background check of these tenants.
In response to this trend, our Application Department has started checking court records for eviction filings. This is a time-consuming process as the records of several courts must be checked manually. Also, due to human error, we must check several name variations. Our efforts are paying off though as we are finding an increasing number of applications with recent eviction filings. When we ask for an acceptable explanation for these filings, most applicants withdraw their applications or disappear.
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 number of tenants paying full rent has stabilized. There was a slight decrease in the number of tenants 60 days behind and a slight increase in the number of tenants 90-120 days behind on rent. However, the good news is since the courts are close to pre-pandemic processing times, we should be able to get the tenants back on track or have them evicted.
Our numbers are maintained for this month. We continue to work with the number of tenants paying partial rent on payment plans to get them back on track. We hope this trend continues.
We continue to see an increase in tenants paying full rent this month Tenants who are on a payment plan have been performing well.
Our OurWayne County performance numbers were also maintained. There was a slight increase in the number of tenants paying partial rent, but a slight decrease in those paying no rent.
We do anticipate some deterioration of Class C tenant payment performance as we get closer to the holiday season, due to some tenants prioritizing holiday spending over paying their rent. Many of these tenants though, will enter payment plans and catch up when they receive income tax refunds starting in February. Unfortunately, it’s an annual occurrence for many tenants living paycheck-to-paycheck, which we’ve yet to figure out a legal way to deter. We are open to your suggestions!