Tenant eviction is never a pleasant chore. Nevertheless, if necessary, it has to be done. At Own It Detroit, we offer eviction services as part of our property management services.
But let us start with the basics first: What is an eviction?
A tenant eviction is a legal process through which a landlord removes a tenant from the rental unit. There are various reasons why landlords may need to evict a tenant.
Some of the reasons include:
- Nonpayment of rent within the period specified in the lease or rental agreement.
- In an “unlawful detainer” situation. This is where the tenant continues to live in the property without renewing their lease or rental agreement.
- Property damage as a result of negligence or carelessness.
- Keeping unauthorized tenants in the rental property.
- Keeping pets in the rental unit when the lease or rental agreement clearly states pets are prohibited.
- Causing disturbance to neighbors.
- Engaging in criminal activities within the rental unit.
Regardless of the lease violation, the property owner needs to follow the legal process. In Michigan, the eviction process begins by giving the tenant an eviction notice. The eviction notice depends on the violation committed.
For nonpayment of rent, the tenant must be issued with a “10-day Demand for Rent” notice. It gives the tenant two options: to either pay rent due or vacate the rental premises. The tenant has ten days to do either. If they don’t, an eviction lawsuit can be filed against them.
For a “holdover” tenant, the notice period usually depends on three things:
- For a weekly lease agreement, the tenant has 2 days to vacate
- For a monthly lease agreement, the tenant has 7 days to vacate
- For a yearly lease agreement, the tenant has 1 month to vacate
Generally speaking, most tenants vacate the premises within the notice period. However, for the few that don’t, the next step is usually to file an eviction lawsuit against them in court. The court can either be a District Court or a Small Claims Court.
To file in a district court, the damages sought should be over $10,000. For damages less than that amount, you must go to a Small Claims Court.
Within two weeks of receiving the notice, the court will use either a court official or the county sheriff to deliver a “Summons” to the tenant. At this point, the tenant can choose to contest the case or simply vacate the property.
If the tenant decides to contest the case, then a court hearing will be set. At the court hearing, the judge will give each party time to present their evidence. Such evidence may include pictures of damaged property, proof of non-payment of rent, a copy of the lease agreement and notices served.
If the judge rules in your favor, you will be given a “Summary Judgement.” This gives you full rights to the property. You’ll then need to give the tenant a 10-Days’ notice to vacate the premises.
If the tenant doesn’t appeal the decision of the court nor leave, you’ll be required to file a “Writ for Restitution.” A Writ of Restitution commands the county sheriff to remove the tenant from the property. It is valid for seven days.
Once the Writ of Restitution has been executed, the next step is to change the locks with the help of a locksmith.
In case the tenant leaves some property behind, the law requires you to use a clean “eviction dumpster”.
Clearly, evicting a tenant from the rental unit is a long, expensive legal process.
Luckily, Own It Detroit can help. We have years of experience in managing tenants, some of whom we’ve had to evict for serious lease violations. And we only take this route if other avenues have failed.
Our goal is always to ensure that the process takes the least time and money.
Kindly contact us on at (313) 254-4184 to learn more information about our eviction services.