Dealing with Squatters in Metro Detroit

26 Replies

Does anyone have experience or advice on dealing with Squatters, specifically in the Metro Detroit area? I have a property in Inkster that we fixed up and were preparing to sell when someone stole the lockbox and moved in! We lost our buyer due to the delay and were forced to file a Notice to Quit and it looks like we will have to go through the entire eviction process to recover possession. We tried telling them to leave, asking them nicely, and even offering a settlement but no luck. Just wondering if anyone else has had this experience and can offer me better or faster ways to handle this kind of situation in the future. Thanks!!

@Olivia Davis When dealing with squatters, I don't recommend "asking them nicely" or otherwise negotiating with them. You could offer to pay them to leave but that's rewarding bad behavior and what's to stop them from moving back in or telling their buddies about the sucker that pays for crime? They know they're breaking the law and they don't care.

Hire an attorney immediately and start the process.

If I were king, people like this would be wrapped in duct tape, slightly beaten, branded, and dumped outside city limits.

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

Do they have a fake lease? If they have fake paperwork the cops usually wont touch it. If they have no paperwork sometimes you can prepare all yours and get the cops to come out there with you. Usually you have to talk to the police several times for them to do this though. Start the court process either way. 

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 HAHA i'd be very interested to hear if anyone has done this before and if so how it worked out.

@Olivia Davis I’m interesting in hearing how you solve this. I’m working on some rental deals in Detroit. I would think the solution would be as easy as calling the police to remove trespassers but obviously not. Why is that not the case?? If someone’s breaking into the house you own why can the police forcibly remove them??

Thanks for bringing this up. Let me know how this ends up.

@Nathan G. you are 100% right and this will definitely be my first and last time trying to actually talk to or work with these kinds of people. I did start the eviction process almost a month ago now so the notice will expire next week and I can move forward with the summons and complaint. I do plan to add damages to my complaint for unpaid rent, my lost buyer, court costs, etc. but who knows how that will pan out.

@Scott Mac and @Patricia N. my very first move was to call the police but they wouldn't even come out! They do not have any paperwork, fake or otherwise, and squatters have "rights" similar to tenants here in MI so I was referred to the courts who advised me to start the eviction process. I did speak with a district attorney who gave me some info on what she would need to press charges after the fact but that obviously doesn't move anything along any quicker for me.

@Dennis M. this is by far the most creative solution I have heard and I have talked to everyone I know in real estate about this issue so kudos to you for thinking outside the box! It would have been nice if I'd thought of this before filing the notice because I'm sure I've created some kind of proof that they are living there now and don't want to risk getting caught in my own mess. 

@Kimberly S. it depends what city you're in. I've had Detroit police help me with several tenant related issues before that they are not technically supposed to get involved in including removing tenants after the eviction notice expires (because they sometimes move back in) and getting rid of squatters. Inkster seems to be set on their view of the tenant laws and force owners to have squatters evicted. I will keep you posted!

Thanks for your help everyone!

I cannot take credit for that strategy . Thomas S. Posted that numerous times and I told myself I like it so well I’d try it if I ever needed to do it . I figured it was pretty good  Idea 

I bought a duplex a little over a year ago and live in one side and rent the other. My tenants take care of the place and pay on time. They are on month to month after the lease was up from previous owner. They are paying $200 under market value. What is a good way to raise rent and have them sign new 1 year lease?

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 although good way to get shot as well 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 although good way to get shot as well 

 Agreed lol 

Hey! So just a heads up many precincts will actually work with you as long as they dont have a fake lease. I am speaking from personal experience here. A lot of it depends on the people who are there. If its a bunch of young men who are selling drugs or something it bolsters your case. There are multiple news outlets who REALLY like these kinds of stories (a quick google will help you there) and you can call them up. They will do a ride along with you and then you call the cops when they are there. But either way - yes you have to start the court process. Just saying there are a few more creative outlets to take. 

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

Originally posted by @Dennis M. :

I cannot take credit for that strategy . Thomas S. Posted that numerous times and I told myself I like it so well I’d try it if I ever needed to do it . I figured it was pretty good  Idea 

 Thomas seems to be MIA recently.. I enjoy his equity is dead money posts.. and my posts were leverage is dangerous LOL

Originally posted by @Patricia N. :
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

 Sued by who Patricia ?  who is going to sue you the rightful owner. 

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

 Sued by who Patricia ?  who is going to sue you the rightful owner. 

 This would 100% be considered an illegal eviction in Detroit. Agree or not its just how it is. 

Originally posted by @Patricia N. :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

 Sued by who Patricia ?  who is going to sue you the rightful owner. 

 This would 100% be considered an illegal eviction in Detroit. Agree or not its just how it is. 

I get that part  I just think that as an owner the chance of a squatter suing you would be slim..  

Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs :
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

 Sued by who Patricia ?  who is going to sue you the rightful owner. 

 This would 100% be considered an illegal eviction in Detroit. Agree or not its just how it is. 

I get that part  I just think that as an owner the chance of a squatter suing you would be slim..  

 Welcome to the Detroit court system! Surprise! 

Originally posted by @Patricia N. :
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Jay Hinrichs:
Originally posted by @Patricia N.:
Originally posted by @Dennis M.:

Wait for them to go into town then change locks and move into the property yourself . When the squatter comes back call the police and tell them there’s crazy people trying to get in your house . Show cops the proof you own it and they’ll  get the squatters to leave the area and may even arrest them  

 This is a really great way to get yourself sued!

 Sued by who Patricia ?  who is going to sue you the rightful owner. 

 This would 100% be considered an illegal eviction in Detroit. Agree or not its just how it is. 

I get that part  I just think that as an owner the chance of a squatter suing you would be slim..  

 Welcome to the Detroit court system! Surprise! 

Entitlement system maybe I guess.

Originally posted by @Patricia N. :

Hey! So just a heads up many precincts will actually work with you as long as they dont have a fake lease. I am speaking from personal experience here. A lot of it depends on the people who are there. If its a bunch of young men who are selling drugs or something it bolsters your case. There are multiple news outlets who REALLY like these kinds of stories (a quick google will help you there) and you can call them up. They will do a ride along with you and then you call the cops when they are there. But either way - yes you have to start the court process. Just saying there are a few more creative outlets to take. 

 Calling the news is an outlet I hadn't thought of but unfortunately Inkster police has made it clear to me that they are not getting involved. To make it worse,  it isn't a group of young guys or anybody I can really build a case on... it's a mom and her kids! A colleague of mine just revealed that she has a friend on city council so we are going to see if he can provide any guidance but at this point I'm halfway through the eviction process and may just have to see it all the way through :(