Tenant Abusing Covid Eviction Moratorium

I have a tenant in one of my Michigan parks who has not paid a dime since February. He won’t answer the door or return phone calls. Due to Governor Witmer’s generosity, the eviction moratorium lasted over 4 months and was just lifted on the 16th. I have issued a 7 day notice to the tenant and after no response, forwarded it to my attorney. Assuming the courts can get a handle on the 90,000+ back cases, it might be another 2-3 months before we get a day in court. In the meanwhile, this tenant gets to live rent and utility free (in Michigan, you can’t turn off utilities to deadbeats).

Any creative - and legal - options to get this deadbeat out of my house?

I’d recommend doing what I’m doing: sit on your hands, be patient, and be grateful that so many of your residents did pay.

If it’s any consolation, for Michigan a case with that severe of a delinquency will get priority scheduling.

I’m in the same boat with a few cases.

If you submeter utilities you can investigate turning them off in accordance with your state procedures.

I too have a few tenants in one of my parks in Michigan doing same thing by living rent free. However one of them is spending his stimulus money - he got a new truck and parking on the grass to boot.

If it is a park owned home, as painful as it is, cash for keys might be one option. Tell them they can avoid an eviction on their record if they take a couple hundred bucks and leave. I don’t worry about my TOH because they have to catch up on all back rent before they can sell and they generally don’t have the 5k plus to move.

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In Michigan the law is very specific. No utilities can be turned off by landlord, even when the utilities are in the landlords name and included as part of the rent.

Most tenants fail to appear in court for an eviction, and simply disappear into the countryside. I don’t think they care if they have an eviction on their record.

If you cannot reach them in any way, rent paid, knock on door, phone, etc. One thought is to call the police to do a “wellness check” on the tenant. perhaps the person is in need of help, etc. ( wink wink) at least this way you might get them to answer the door or motivate them to at least talk with you or to serve them legal docs. This is better than doing nothing. You may be able to move the needle a little.

Good point, however “hope springs eternal in the human breast”. I’m always optimistic till proven otherwise.

I’m in Indiana and we have the same thing except we can go after rule/lease violations. I believe the eviction moratorium is for rent only! If they are violating any rules send them notices and then send a 30 day. On a side note, make sure you have pictures and/or lots of documentation to back your case to prove that it isn’t for the rent.

Yes, I’ve already given several tenants 30 day notices. Enforcing it legally is another matter. These tenants will likely stay in the units beyond the 30 days until I can get a court order (which could be months away). Unfortunately, these few clever tenants know that I can’t just throw them out on the street on day 31. Thanks again to Gov Witmer for creating this mess for landlords.

I took over a park in January and was preparing to evict three tenants in March that had not paid one dime since we took over. Then the moratorium came and they ahven’t paid anything, returned phone calls or anything. Took one to court for eviction on dog issue when one of her dogs attacked a child (luckily no major wounds) BUT the magistrate sided with her as long as she “keeps her dogs on a leash” and said we can’t evict her unless the dog attacks someone else. WTF!?! . Now two months later still no rent, refuses to cut her grass and has trash all over her yard. When the manager spoke to her she said “go ahead and waste your money tring to evict me”> Now her two neighbors aren’t paying rent either but they are on social security which means no lost income from this farce of a pandemic. We think she told them to not to pay rent because she wasn’t evicted. Starting to look like a cancer and I don’t see what the government was thinking to give these freeloaders an opportunity like that. They are diggin a hole so deep that they will never get out. Our Governor in Pennsylvania just extended it until August 30th now. What the hell is he thinking?