The State of Michigan’s eviction moratorium

The State of Michigan extended the eviction moratorium last week, so what is the state of the City of Grand Rapids’ rental market in relation to COVID-19?

As far as what we are seeing, the rental market in Grand Rapids is good and things are moving. Great tenants are qualifying to rent, properties are being rented, and leases are being signed. We are getting a steady amount of leads for our vacant properties, and rent collection is in the high 90% range for rent collected last month.  This month we’re ahead of that number, so we are very optimistic. Our tenants and residents that are doing the right thing and paying their rent.

There are currently two eviction moratoriums going on:

No matter what your situation is, you can’t evict a tenant, send a demand for possession (which is the seven-day notice), charge late fees,  enter a unit to evict, or start a new eviction during the eviction moratorium period.

You can only send a demand for payment, and it can only be sent through the mail

You cannot go and drop it off at their house and pin it to their door.  It is important that you send a demand for payment only, not a demand for possession.  The Rental Property Owners Association of Grand Rapids has put out a modified demand for payment form you can use. If you have a tenant ledger, you can send that, and the ledger would show what they paid, what’s been charged, and what they owe.

Do not send anything that says demand for possession

That is in effect through midnight of June 11th, so June 12th you can start sending the seven-day notices but this is subject to change.

You can still evict for damages to the property or another person, but that could be a challenge if the courts are not open. We suggest you contact your attorney and ask them how to handle that.  The word is that most judges are saying they are probably not going to award late fees for an eviction that’s been affected by COVID-19 or any eviction around the time the courts open. Once you are ready to go to court and the courts are open, you might want to double-check those late fees that you are going for and when they were charged.   

Most likely the judge will award more than the normal ten days to vacate, but the real goal is to get payment plans and consent judgments instead of evictions.

How have we been handling the situation?

Honestly I don’t think we’ve done any payment plans. We have been working with the tenant and trying to get them to pay a little bit here and there so it is all paid up before the end of the month.  It is our policy to treat the tenant fairly as a person and good things will happen.

If you have any questions, please contact us today.