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St. Joseph Eviction: What do I do When my Tenant Stops Paying Rent?

Our topic today is eviction, and this topic isn’t very pleasant for anyone. Tenants don’t like it and landlords don’t like it but sometimes things happen and it becomes necessary to evict a tenant who is living in your property.

Typically, an eviction is necessary because a tenant stops paying rent. The main thing you want to do as a property manager is get on it quickly. The longer your tenants go without paying rent, the more likely it becomes that they won’t be able to pay it, and you’ll have to evict.

The first step for us at Real Property Management is to send a late notice. We send this to the tenant within a couple of days or even up to five days after the rent is late. At that point, a late fee is also due. If there is no response and the rent is still not paid, we will send a Demand for Possession a couple of days later. This is a legal form you can find at the courthouse. Once this form is sent to the tenants, they have seven days to either pay the rent or move out of the property.

Once seven days have passed, you are able to actually file eviction papers against the tenant. Our suggestion is that you hire an eviction attorney to take care of this on your behalf. Or, if you have a property manager, your property manager will handle it for you. Often in the state of Michigan, if you have your rental property organized as a LLC or a corporation, you cannot file on behalf of that company.

EvictionAfter the eviction papers are filed, the tenant will be given a summons to appear in court. Most of the time, the tenants do not appear and the judge will enter a judgment for you. When that happens, the tenant will have 10 days to move out of your property.

When 10 days have come and gone and the tenants are not moved out, you can hire someone from the court to enter the house and put the tenant’s belongings outside the property. We try to avoid that because no one likes it – not the tenant and not the landlord. Usually by then the tenant has moved out voluntarily and you should be on your way to getting your property back.

Overall, the process takes five or six weeks. If you have any questions or you need any help, please feel free to contact us at Real Property Management Southwest Michigan.

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