Need better way for deadbeats


#1

We recently purchased a newer MHP in Michigan, and have quickly found that quite a few tenants (10-20%) don’t pay regularly, and some, not at all.

What we’ve found in Michigan, is that a mobile home tenant has to have been late for 3 entire months (3 7-day notices) before we can even start eviction proceedings, which can also take several months. Bottom line, is it can take up to 5-6 months of non or late -payment for an eviction to actually happen.

I’ve thought about putting liens on non-paying homes, but Secretary of State here has no way to place liens on titles unless mortgage company agrees, which doesn’t seem likely

Courts allegedly frown on us cutting off water for deadbeats. We now collect $60/ month from tenants on top of lot rent for water and sewer, since the small village we are in won’t bill individuals directly, even though park is sub-metered.

I’d like a quick, enforceable way to get payment, and keep thinking that the threat of water/sewer cutoff is the only real immediate threat I have.

Do re-billing companies have legal clout to cut off individuals for non-payment?

Any other ideas are appreciated!!


#2

Like Realtors have their mantra of “Location - Location - Location” a good landlord’s mantra is “Prescreen - Prescreen - Prescreen” to avoid the problem of having to evict. Even with a solid prescreening process there are still 10% who will mess it up for others. Best way is to avoid rentals and sell property with payments. Then they have an ownership interest in the property and will take care of it better and try harder not to lose their investment.


#3

Dale,

Thanks for the input. I was a bit vague with my first posting. We bought the property about 4 months ago, so are inheriting some of the problem tenants. Ironically, some of the worst offenders rent-wise, own their units, and choose to not pay the lot rent or water.


#4

Greg,

Do you have an attorney that will work with you through this period because your state must have a non-payment of rent court. Start with your local legal advice. At times it will get very very tough but stick to your rules & regulations, if you don’t have them get them once your tenants realize that they can’t roll over you they will start paying but it does take time. There so much you haven’t explain, are you the manger or is there a resident manager, whats your vacancy rate, whats the other communities in your area doing, get to know the other community owners they can be some of your best friends. I’m sure Corey or Steve will be able to help JMHO, Good Luck Terry


#5

Greg,

You are dealing with the classic problem involved with mobile home parks. Its called affordable housing for a reason. A lot of people who live there just don’t seem to have the money management skills people who own their own home have. You have to train your tenants and you have to get the best tenants possible with a firm screening process. If the prior owner was lax in both these areas, you’re gonna have to work hard to turn it around.

Setup a good screening application and check criminal and civil backgrounds on everybody as well as a credit check. If they live in the same town as you, go by and see what the place looks like where they currently live and talk to landlords 2 homes ago.

Even if you get good people, they can still have divorces, lose jobs, get sick, etc and quit paying. I prefer selling homes instead of renting. You get a different type of client.

Make rules with rent/water/home payment dead lines and STICK to them. Always quote a higher power when someone comes in whining. “Hey, I just work here. It’s my job to follow these rules.” When the rules are broken, you have to take the next step and start eviction just like it says in your rules. Sounds like Michigan is a deadbeat friendly state. In Florida, I can evict a non-paying tenant in 3 weeks or less, do my own paperwork and save lots of money. I did about 30 or 40 in 3 years.

If you don’t show them you mean business, they’ll never toe the line with you.

Good luck!

Jim Pack


#6

Greg,

I would check with a local attorney who knows eviction law. It will pay off in the long run to address and get answers to all these issues at least once. You can even look online. I found a website on Landlord/Tenant issues somewhere. Try Google.

I would check first before shutting water off. Yes, the public utility companies will all happily shut off your water, electric, cable and phone for non-payment. You would think you would be able to do the same but there might be something in the Landlord/Tenant laws in Michigan that say you can’t.

Good luck,

Jim


#7

In Michigan, according to “Every Landlord’s Legal Guide,” you can file for eviction in 7 days for “willfully or negligently causing a serious & continuing health hazard or damage to the premises,” & in 24 hours for “manufacture, dealing, or possession of illegal drugs (landlord must first file a police report).”

Here in NC I use “Summary Ejectment” to boot out tenants in short order. I use Rules violations (late-payers always violate the Rules) instead of rent as the reason because the process is much faster. E-mail me direct if you’d like a copy of my Rules. I like Ryan Needler’s “New Sheriff in Town” approach, by which you establish the Rules & make examples of a few tenants to get the others whipped into shape. I take lots of pictures, & I am very obvious w/my camera; the photos come in handy.

Remember, you don’t necessarily have to evict; you can simply give notice to anyone. Note that if the tenant owns the unit you may have to provide extended notice (60 days here). It’s been said many times, probably 'cause it’s true, that if you don’t train your tenants, they w/train you. Good luck!

Tye


#8

Tye,

Around here I think we call that ‘canceling the lease’. Once a lease is cancelled, tenants have 30 days to move or the sheriff can escort them out. Way way simpler than starting an eviction process!

Mark


#9

Can you walk me through the eviction process… once you file the eviction does a police officer come out to the property to escort them off??? How does that work?