Detroit has been calling to landlords because of its low cost-output and high return on investment rates. With the recent city-wide revitalization, large-scale corporate and government investments, and growing job market, Detroit continues to draw in real estate investors by the droves.
But, there’s so much more that makes Detroit a great state to invest in rental properties.
When it comes to being a landlord, there is nothing worse than facing a tenant who isn’t paying rent. In many states, the laws tend to favor the tenants and the eviction process can be long, daunting, and costly for the landlord. In Detroit, however, things go a little bit smoother.
How Long Does it Take to Evict a Tenant?
For landlords in Detroit, the eviction process is expedited in comparison to most other states. The process is called “Summary Proceedings,” and it allows landlords to have their court date scheduled shortly after filing their documents.
However, there are steps that are required by the landlord prior to the eviction proceedings. A landlord must provide a Notice to Quit, which is a legal notification which demands possession of the property. This notice can be delivered by mail, dropped off in person, or left with an adult living in the unit. It should be address to the tenant’s full legal name, contain the address in question, and the reason for the imminent eviction proceedings. If the problem can be corrected by the tenant to avoid eviction, it must detail the time period the tenant has to resolve the issue—which, per Michigan law, must be a minimum of seven days before they can file eviction paperwork with the court.
There are variances to this time period, however, which are dependent on the reason for eviction. If the reason is due to lack of payment, causing damage to the property, or creating a health hazard, it requires at least seven days’ notice. For illegal drug activity being performed inside the home, the landlord is only required to give 24-hours’ notice before filing for an eviction hearing. All other lease violations require a 30-day notice.
What is the Process to Evict?
The landlord cannot evict a tenant without a court judgement, however, these are expedited in most cases thanks to the laws put in place by the Michigan court system. After the landlord delivers the Notice to Quit, the tenant has the time period listed (either 7-days or 30-days, depending on the infraction) to correct the issue, if that is applicable in the particular situation.
Once this time period has elapsed, the landlord is then able to file for an eviction hearing. The hearing will be set and the tenant will have to be notified three days in advance of the court date.
Both tenant and landlord are able to have an attorney present, however, it is not required. The judge will hear both sides of the complaint equally. Most judges will try to come to an agreement that satisfies both the tenant and the landlord, called a Consent Judgement, which will be signed by both parties. If there is no agreement possible, the judge will make a decision in favor of one of the parties. If the judge finds in favor of the landlord, the tenant will be granted a period of time to vacate the premises—usually ten days.
If the tenant does not vacate in the ordered time period, the landlord can then file a Writ of Restitution form, which generally delegates the eviction to the Sheriff’s office to be handled from there.
A landlord cannot act on their own to facilitate an eviction. Any action taken outside of the court is considered illegal and can often lead to the tenant being able to sue the landlord for damages. This includes changing locks, cutting off water or power, or removing their belongings.
What is the Cost to Evict a Tenant?
Evicting a tenant can often be costly in many states, especially as you’re likely not receiving payments from the tenant through the process—but in Detroit, the process is actually quite affordable.
Standard fees for the Michigan court system are as follows:
– Filing fee $ 45.00
– Jury fee $ 50.00
– Order of Eviction $ 15.00
– Appeal with or without bond $ 25.00
– Transfer to Circuit Court $ 150.00
– Form fee $ 1.25
Of course, if a landlord chooses to hire an attorney, the cost can increase substantially.
Is Detroit Landlord Friendly?
In a manner of speaking, yes, Detroit is one of the more landlord friendly states, thanks to low filing fees, expedited time periods, and court-assisted evictions. As long as the landlord follows the legal proceedings and does not take matters into their own hands, more often than not, they will find judgement in their favor and will have the court’s assistance in the eviction process.
Evictions can be no fun for both the landlord and the tenant. They are a delicate process which require strict attention to detail and adherence to the legal requirements of the state of Michigan. Knowing and understanding your rights, laws, and requirements as a landlord is key to handling the process as smoothly as possible.