How to Get a BAD Tenant Out of a Rental Property

By Eddie Beekman | Property Management Tips

Jun 05

Bad tenants are bad for your property, the neighborhood, your wallet and your sanity. In this post we will go over two legal notices that will get a bad tenant out of a rental property. Read more to learn the steps in the process.

Legal Disclaimer: Access Property Management Group, LLC does not provide tax, legal or accounting advice. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, tax, legal or accounting advice. You should consult your own tax, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transaction. End Disclaimer.

Notice #1: Not Paying Rent

The first notice we will discuss is the Demand for possession, Non-Payment of Rent. You can go to the Michigan Courts website and see the forms here. We see it as a pay and stay notice. Meaning that even if we send it out, a tenant can still pay their rent and stay in the rental.  This notice gives the tenant 7 days to pay rent or be taken to court. Here is a timeline for this notice:

Day 1: Send Notice

Normally we send the notice a few days after the rent is due. If rent’s due on the first, we send the notice somewhere between the 3rd day and the 7th day of the month.

Day 10: File With Attorney

After 7 days, a court date can be scheduled if the tenant still hasn’t paid.  To do this we are going to send it over to the attorney and they are going to file for a court hearing.

Day 17-31: Court

Depending on where you live, it could take anywhere between 1-3 weeks to get a court date. Sometimes this can take even longer. If they pay before the court hearing, the notice goes away. You receive your money and probably a late fee. Everything is good and hopefully they’ll pay on time next month. If not, we will go to court and the judge will probably give them an additional ten days.

10 Days After Court Date

After your day in court, you watch the house for 10 days. You are watching to make sure they aren’t going to trash the home or are going to move out.  Again, if they pay, they can stay. If they don’t pay, they are supposed to move out after 10 days are up. If they are not out after 10 days, you can go back to your attorney or judge and get a writ.

The Writ: They Don’t Pay and Don’t Leave

So the tenants haven’t paid and haven’t left. Now its time to file for a Writ of Restitution. It’s normally called a 3-day writ. It’s about a 5-day writ in our area.  The courts are busy and it takes a day or two to get a court officer scheduled. A court officer is sent out and posts a notice on the home. This will give the tenant 3 days to remove themselves and their belongings from the property.

Time to Kick Them to the Curb

So you go back 3 days later and they are still there… You call the court officer again. They will return to the property to kick the tenants out. You will want a couple friends to move all the tenant’s stuff to the curb. At this time you can (and will want to) change the locks.

Notice #2: Recovering Possession

The second notice we are going to cover is called the Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property. Now if we have a lease that has either ended or is a month-to-month type, we can give them a “Notice to Quit”. That notice typically means that after 30 days we want them gone.

When to Send the Notice to Quit

At Access, we have a few different times that we send out this notice:

  • A lease is ending and the tenants are not renewing
  • A Lease violation has occurred
  • Ending a Month to Month Tenancy

Same Process as Before

This notice is normally a 30-day notice or whatever the “rental period” is. So if you do a monthly rental, it would be thirty days. After that 30 days, they should be out. If they are not, you send all your information to the attorney and they will file for a hearing. and you will go through the process above for the Demand For Possession. So you file for a court date on day 3o instead of day 10.

What is the Difference Between the Notices?

Essentially the process is the same after sending the notice. But if you definitely want them gone, you send the “Notice to Quit to Recover Possession of Property”. If you want to give them a chance to pay up and stay in the home, you send the “Demand for Possession, Nonpayment of Rent” form.

Avoid Going to Trial

Although rare, a tenant can request to go to trial if they disagree at the court proceeding. There are a certain situations here that can skew if the tenant disputes something. For instance, if the tenant says that the home wasn’t kept up in good condition, then they can ask for a trial. Sometimes this can be avoided prior to court by addressing tenant complaints as they occur.

We don’t suggest going to trial because it costs a lot of tine and money. The attorneys win and you don’t. Besides, it takes more time with that same bad tenant in the house. Find a way to reason with them. You can have your attorney talk to them to attempt to mediate.

SEND THE NOTICE – DON’T DELAY

So the biggest thing is to send the notice to get a bad tenant out of a rental property. It’s a PDF form. You print it out, fill it, sign it and mail it. That’s your legal obligation. Don’t wait. Even if they say, “Hey, I’m going to pay you next week”. Send it today. They will get it and be encouraged to pay their rent. If they do, you tear it up. No big deal. But if you wait and then you send it, now you’ve added an additional 7 days to this process.

The End Goal: Get Them Out!

The end goal is to get them out. It’s not always to collect that $1,000 dollars. Yes we would love it, but the end goal is to get your property back. Keep that in the back of your mind as you deal with getting a bad tenant out of a rental property.

If you have any questions or a bad tenant you need help with, contact us at Access Property Management Group.

Propertymanagement@accesspmgroup.com

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About the Author

Eddie Beekman is the founder of "Give Your Clients Your Cell Number", because he believes there is no reason for poor communication! He tackles the daily management and maintenance issues that arise in the operations at APMG. Eddie is an excellent video blogger and likes to add humor to his videos. After 18 years of Property Managment you think you've heard it all, until tomorrow and it starts over.

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