Tenant from hell eviction case. Now I have officially seen it all

39 Replies

Bought a SFH at the end of last year. Off market deal, had a tenant who owner said , "has not paid rent in 6 months, and i dont want to deal with the eviction process."

I got the house for an awesome deal. One of my best deals of the year.

I have bought several homes in these situations, with non paying tenants. Most times I can contact the tenant and work out a "cash for keys" situation and everybody wins.

After closing I call the tenant. He says he does not want to do cash for keys and he wants to stay in the home. He says he will pay the market rate rent we agree to every month on the 1st, he will deposit first months payment tomorrow.

wow!  this is great news. I now avoid the $20k+ remodel this house needs to get it ready for sale/rent.

He pays rent the next day. then he pays the next months rent on the 1st, no problems. 

3rd month comes along and he does not pay, gives excuse after excuse making promises he cant keep on when he is making payment. I finally have to cut my loses and send the Pay or Quit notice. 

He does not pay or move out in the 7 day period. Off to court we go....

He does not show up to court. Great! Judge enters a default judgement and they give him 10 days to vacate or the Sheriff will get involved. 

He does not move in the 10 days. 

This is where it gets really weird, really fast.

I get a notice in mail granting the tenant a new court date. what?? how can this be?? Ive never seen this before..     I call the court and the clerk tells me the tenant came in with his court notice they mailed him, and sure enough it did not have the court address on it, the printer skipped it......she assured me she has never seen this before and it is rather odd. But since the tenant was not given an address to know where the court was located they gave him a new date.

I figured the tenant was playing games, so I hired an attorney to go to the new court date with me.

New Court Date: Tenant shows up this time. And has quite the story to share with the court....

He claims that he is the sole owner of the home and that I am a scam artist trying to kick him out of his own house that he has owned for 5 years.  Amazing right?!

At the hearing I had my closing package that included a copy of the recorded deed and proof of title insurance. Tenant said he did not bring his proof, but he has it.

Judge adjourned the case, said he did not have time to look at my proof and wanted the tenant to have a chance to prove his ownership. Unbelievable.

Now we have another court date.

My lawyer is concerned that the tenant will show with fake documentation and the judge will hold this over for trial where each side has time and the opportunity to call witnesses etc.

I will obviously win in the end , but this tenant is willing to do whatever he can to live for free.

Worst part is the court is intentionally enabling him. Courts do not want to evict knowing the tenant will then fall on the government welfare system for support. Courts would rater see private landlords go bankrupt first. 

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Worst part is the court is intentionally enabling him. Courts do not want to evict knowing the tenant will then fall on the government welfare system for support. Courts would rater see private landlords go bankrupt first. 

Great observation and totally agree.  Why burden the state when you can burden the private sector/investor? 

This should have been a simple open-and-shut case where you present your deed as proof, tenant gets thrown out, and everything is fine.  Not only did that not happen the first time because of their screw-up apparently, but didn't happen the second time either. 

Think it will turn out in your favor, but the judge sounds seriously incompetent if they're letting it go on this long and maybe even to trial. 

Originally posted by @Kenny Lee :
Originally posted by @Thomas S.:

Worst part is the court is intentionally enabling him. Courts do not want to evict knowing the tenant will then fall on the government welfare system for support. Courts would rater see private landlords go bankrupt first. 

Great observation and totally agree.  Why burden the state when you can burden the private sector/investor? 

This should have been a simple open-and-shut case where you present your deed as proof, tenant gets thrown out, and everything is fine.  Not only did that not happen the first time because of their screw-up apparently, but didn't happen the second time either. 

Think it will turn out in your favor, but the judge sounds seriously incompetent if they're letting it go on this long and maybe even to trial. 

I just hope that the tenant can get some sort of fine or punishment for this. You shouldn't be able to just walk into a court room and spout off lies, wasting the courts and my time

@Thomas S.   @Kenny Lee   totally disagree with that thought process.

while strange and some judges are more democratic than others.. the thought that the bench is saving tax payers money by letting dead beat tenants stay in houses is just a pipe dream

you have to remember certain markets were ripe for all sorts of real estate fraud etc.. and detroit area was one. I would think the judge is just making sure the tenant did not get taken by some slick talking wholesaler who ripped their equity..

I know @Keith Jourdan   personally and I know he would never do this.. but i can see judges with all this wholesaling stuff going on.. when they get a chance and something does not smell right they may want to check it out some-more..   Along with you could have gotten a judge who was late for his tee time :)

I would hope so too, Keith.  In a perfect world......

But I wouldn't hold your breath and I'd be surprised if there's anything more than sympathy for the criminal, much less punishment or a fine they will never collect anyway. 

Good luck and I'm sure it will all work out since you're the obvious owner, but stuff like this just rubs me the wrong way and yet again lowers my opinion of the bureaucrats. 

Well since he paid you rent for the first couple months  ..................  That will kinda blow that defense

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :

@Thomas S.   @Kenny Lee  totally disagree with that thought process.

while strange and some judges are more democratic than others.. the thought that the bench is saving tax payers money by letting dead beat tenants stay in houses is just a pipe dream

you have to remember certain markets were ripe for all sorts of real estate fraud etc.. and detroit area was one. I would think the judge is just making sure the tenant did not get taken by some slick talking wholesaler who ripped their equity..

I know @Keith Jourdan   personally and I know he would never do this.. but i can see judges with all this wholesaling stuff going on.. when they get a chance and something does not smell right they may want to check it out some-more..   Along with you could have gotten a judge who was late for his tee time :)

You can disagree all you want.  But we have an owner with the proper documentation that he's the rightful and legal owner who has shown up to court with said documentation not once, but twice.  Then we have a criminal who claims obvious bogus ownership and has skipped one and attended the second with nothing but words.  And yet here we are with the possibility of heading to a trial.  The tee-time reference was the best part of your post and is actually quite probable and very typical.

How people accept this as normal and explain away what should be extremely quick and easy is beyond me. 

@Keith Jourdan  Who knows what the guy you bought this mess from did... but if there was fraud or forgery in the chain your owners policy could respond. (Me, I would pull the policy and figure out if I should make the claim.)

Originally posted by @Kenny Lee :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:

@Thomas S.   @Kenny Lee  totally disagree with that thought process.

while strange and some judges are more democratic than others.. the thought that the bench is saving tax payers money by letting dead beat tenants stay in houses is just a pipe dream

you have to remember certain markets were ripe for all sorts of real estate fraud etc.. and detroit area was one. I would think the judge is just making sure the tenant did not get taken by some slick talking wholesaler who ripped their equity..

I know @Keith Jourdan   personally and I know he would never do this.. but i can see judges with all this wholesaling stuff going on.. when they get a chance and something does not smell right they may want to check it out some-more..   Along with you could have gotten a judge who was late for his tee time :)

You can disagree all you want.  But we have an owner with the proper documentation that he's the rightful and legal owner who has shown up to court with said documentation not once, but twice.  Then we have a criminal who claims obvious bogus ownership and has skipped one and attended the second with nothing but words.  And yet here we are with the possibility of heading to a trial.  The tee-time reference was the best part of your post and is actually quite probable and very typical.

How people accept this as normal and explain away what should be extremely quick and easy is beyond me. 

Not saying its normal what I am saying is I just don't think the judiciary is protecting the American tax payer by thinking keeping dead beats in homes is saving the tax payer and keeping people of off welfare..  Also Keith did not get a chance to present his Paper work is what he said..  and yes the tee time could be very real  or Rotary or any other number of things.

I know Keith personally he is not anything but an upstanding businessman... But I know Detroit area as I have lent there since 2001 it was ground zero for a lot of real estate fraud.. so there could be some back lash there. I could tell you some pretty scary ones' that went on ion that market.    And your preaching to the choir If I never have to talk to another tenant or PM in my life I will be a happy camper brain drain to me is not worth being in that business.. but that's just me and I know this site is heavy to landlords I understand that.

Originally posted by @Tom Gimer :

@Keith Jourdan  Who knows what the guy you bought this mess from did... but if there was fraud or forgery in the chain your owners policy could respond. (Me, I would pull the policy and figure out if I should make the claim.)

tom when I first started HML in Wayne county back in 01 ish.. I had a meeting with my Title company ( the owner) and we got into some of the technical aspects.. but short of it.. I said I wanted my recording numbers before I wire my money in like we do on the west coast..

You should have seen the belly laugh.. at the time that county was so poorly run that titles would take on average 90 days to record .. so they had to offer gap insurance which was the first time I learned of this little nugget.. I said boy you guys take on a lot of risk doing that.. I have had stuff happen to me when bad guys knew  my title company recorded at a certain time every day and they get in there 30 minutes ahead of you and drop their Mort or Dt ... it becomes a title claim but its still a mess.. So yes in that area its gotten much better but I can see an issue with title in the background.. not that any of the deals Keith and I  had any issues with title because they did not. But it was pretty prevalent there in the day. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Kenny Lee:
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:

@Thomas S.   @Kenny Lee  totally disagree with that thought process.

while strange and some judges are more democratic than others.. the thought that the bench is saving tax payers money by letting dead beat tenants stay in houses is just a pipe dream

you have to remember certain markets were ripe for all sorts of real estate fraud etc.. and detroit area was one. I would think the judge is just making sure the tenant did not get taken by some slick talking wholesaler who ripped their equity..

I know @Keith Jourdan   personally and I know he would never do this.. but i can see judges with all this wholesaling stuff going on.. when they get a chance and something does not smell right they may want to check it out some-more..   Along with you could have gotten a judge who was late for his tee time :)

You can disagree all you want.  But we have an owner with the proper documentation that he's the rightful and legal owner who has shown up to court with said documentation not once, but twice.  Then we have a criminal who claims obvious bogus ownership and has skipped one and attended the second with nothing but words.  And yet here we are with the possibility of heading to a trial.  The tee-time reference was the best part of your post and is actually quite probable and very typical.

How people accept this as normal and explain away what should be extremely quick and easy is beyond me. 

Not saying its normal what I am saying is I just don't think the judiciary is protecting the American tax payer by thinking keeping dead beats in homes is saving the tax payer and keeping people of off welfare..  Also Keith did not get a chance to present his Paper work is what he said..  and yes the tee time could be very real  or Rotary or any other number of things.

I know Keith personally he is not anything but an upstanding businessman... But I know Detroit area as I have lent there since 2001 it was ground zero for a lot of real estate fraud.. so there could be some back lash there. I could tell you some pretty scary ones' that went on ion that market.    And your preaching to the choir If I never have to talk to another tenant or PM in my life I will be a happy camper brain drain to me is not worth being in that business.. but that's just me and I know this site is heavy to landlords I understand that.

The OP said the judge said he didn't have time to review the paperwork he brought to court to show his rightful ownership, not just that he wasn't able to present it.  There is a difference between those and why I have such a problem with it. 

Could have been over that day if the judge had the time to look at one document.  But alas.......more money from the state and the investor to continue possibly to trial.  The attorneys make out like bandits though per usual. 

@Kenny Lee What if the tenant produces an unrecorded deed, option, lease-back, etc.

Better to have the hearing and get a decision on all facts. We all know how this likely ends but the judge can't ignore the unrepresented tenant's claim. 

Courts are always to blame when the system allows something like this to happen. Judges see this every day and they know full well that it is a scam on the part of the tenants. The system should inform them of what to bring to court and should have zero tolerance for their stall tactics. Judges see these lying tenants and squatters every day and allow them to abuse the court system every time. Courts have zero concern for home owners or landlords. Their mandate is to protect the individual that is teetering on the brink of falling into the welfare system.

No I believe 100% that the courts are enabling these criminals to stall the system for a reason. The best system to prevent this would be to throw every non paying tenant into debtors prison. 

Originally posted by @Tom Gimer :

@Kenny Lee What if the tenant produces an unrecorded deed, option, lease-back, etc.

Better to have the hearing and get a decision on all facts. We all know how this likely ends but the judge can't ignore the unrepresented tenant's claim. 

The Tenant could just be making these claims to buy time in the house.

Or maybe the prior owner did do a non recorded land contract with the tenant, or some sort of lease option? My attorney said that if this is the case, the tenant would have to sue the prior owner for damages in that case. It would not have much to do with me, as I am the lawful sole owner of the house and I did not assume any land contracts/lease options with the tenant.

I do understand the judges stance, let the tenant have a chance to prove his ownership. Last thing a judge wants it to be on the local news for kicking someone out of their own home, judges here run for election, they have to try and give everyone a fair shake. I just wish It was not such a long process.

@Keith Jourdan I am not sure about the punishment, but lying to a judge is perjury. 

I would do a couple things:

- Contact the title company and explain that someone else is claiming ownership of the property. They may be able to help get you documentation to show not only your current ownership, but details on previous owners to show he never owned it.

- Get copies of the checks from the two rent payments he made. Hopefully they match a signed lease document. If you have a signed lease and proof of payments, it would be more proof in your favor.

I think the judge handled this correctly. The judge knows the guy will be unable to provide proof, but needs to afford him due process. 

I have heard of other cases where tenants doctor up documents to avoid eviction. It is a dangerous game, because a civil matter can turn into a criminal matter for them. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Tom Gimer:

@Keith Jourdan  Who knows what the guy you bought this mess from did... but if there was fraud or forgery in the chain your owners policy could respond. (Me, I would pull the policy and figure out if I should make the claim.)

tom when I first started HML in Wayne county back in 01 ish.. I had a meeting with my Title company ( the owner) and we got into some of the technical aspects.. but short of it.. I said I wanted my recording numbers before I wire my money in like we do on the west coast..

You should have seen the belly laugh.. at the time that county was so poorly run that titles would take on average 90 days to record .. so they had to offer gap insurance which was the first time I learned of this little nugget.. I said boy you guys take on a lot of risk doing that.. I have had stuff happen to me when bad guys knew  my title company recorded at a certain time every day and they get in there 30 minutes ahead of you and drop their Mort or Dt ... it becomes a title claim but its still a mess.. So yes in that area its gotten much better but I can see an issue with title in the background.. not that any of the deals Keith and I  had any issues with title because they did not. But it was pretty prevalent there in the day. 

This still happens and although the gap is much smaller than in the mid 2000s there is certainly still a gap. I have one now where a private lender recorded a DoT with a new legal description a few days before our settlement. Signature/notarization was 12 years old... only a new legal description attached and of course a payoff 4 times the face value of the mortgage. My, what a coincidence!

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

Courts are always to blame when the system allows something like this to happen. Judges see this every day and they know full well that it is a scam on the part of the tenants. The system should inform them of what to bring to court and should have zero tolerance for their stall tactics. Judges see these lying tenants and squatters every day and allow them to abuse the court system every time. Courts have zero concern for home owners or landlords. Their mandate is to protect the individual that is teetering on the brink of falling into the welfare system.

No I believe 100% that the courts are enabling these criminals to stall the system for a reason. The best system to prevent this would be to throw every non paying tenant into debtors prison. 

 your making a big leap thinking this dead beat tenant will then go on to welfare.. 

@Jay Hinrichs

"your making a big leap thinking this dead beat tenant will then go on to welfare.."

It is not me making the leap it is the courts. They care nothing about home owners or landlords, if they did these process would be clear cut 9 times in 10 and would never require a time extension. 

@Tom Gimer

beheadings

Although I am a big supporter of capitol punishment obviously this would be somewhat overkill. Two years less a day in jail however would be a adequate deterrent against non payment of rent.   


@Tom Gimer

beheadings

Although I am a big supporter of capitol punishment obviously this would be somewhat overkill. Two years less a day in jail however would be a adequate deterrent against non payment of rent.   

I'm sure you realize that locking up a tenant for 2 years would cost the taxpayer several hundred thousand dollars?

Originally posted by @Thomas S. :

@Jay Hinrichs

"your making a big leap thinking this dead beat tenant will then go on to welfare.."

It is not me making the leap it is the courts. They care nothing about home owners or landlords, if they did these process would be clear cut 9 times in 10 and would never require a time extension. 

@Tom Gimer

beheadings

Although I am a big supporter of capitol punishment obviously this would be somewhat overkill. Two years less a day in jail however would be a adequate deterrent against non payment of rent.   

There is something called due process. It is designed to protect the innocent and as a byproduct, the guilty get some extra time. 

The courts are there to protect landlords and tenants. Although people on BP rarely talk about it, there are many landlords that break the law, discriminate and abuse tenants. 

Originally posted by @Matthew Paul :

Well since he paid you rent for the first couple months  ..................  That will kinda blow that defense

 GENIUS !!

I have a couple problems with this entire story.

1. You have the legal documents to prove ownership and you have a court hearing, yet the judge claims he doesn't have time to review the documents? Seriously? Most of us could prove legal ownership in under ten minutes.

2. The tenant paid rent for a couple months. Why would he pay rent if he were the legal owner?


Any time you buy a property with existing tenants, you should create an estoppel certificate. Had you done that prior to closing, you would have collected a document signed by the tenant showing his tenancy terms, rent rate, deposit, etc. It would have signatures for you, the tenant, and the seller. That would have prevented him from selling this lie.

SAMPLE ESTOPPEL CERTIFICATE

It's absolutely mind-boggling that our judicial system has become so unjust.

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