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I bought a house in Saint Clair Shores. Closing took place 10/1/2018. I’m friends with the previous owner, who had a tenant. We agreed that she could continue to rent for a couple months. I drafted a rental agreement:

“Rental agreement for: (tenant), (homeowner) - Rent of $xxx, which includes all bills, is due first of the month. - This agreement is subject to change.”

No address is listed on the document. Per MCL 554.634 Section 4, “A rental agreement shall state the name and address...”

The tenant is loud and destructive, and leaves the house a mess. I informed her that I no longer want her boyfriend on the property and she still brings him in. I no longer want her here and want to begin an eviction process.

Given that the rental agreement is not valid, how can I go about the eviction?

  • You say "wee agreed..." Is that you and the tenant, or you and the former owner? – David Siegel Nov 21 '18 at 19:56
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In Michigan, you need a court order to evict a tenant; even with a valid lease. A non-standard lease is still something of a lease contract even without the address, as it states names, amounts and a time frame. And the lease does not appear to restrict the number of people who could live in the house, so it's doubtful you can prevent the boyfriend from being there.

And, according to Siegal's answer, the old lease may still be in force, so check on that.

In any event, go to your local county courthouse or Sheriff's department and ask for information on the eviction procedure. You need to carefully follow the procedure for giving the tenants correct written notice via mail. Depending on local/state laws, you may be able to have them evicted in a few days due to damage. Otherwise, an eviction process can take weeks to months, especially if the tenant knows how to fight eviction.

But follow the law and don't lock them out and don't attempt to prevent the boyfriend from being on the property; they can take you to court.

  • What about trespassing? His name isn’t on the agreement. – Alex Volpe Nov 20 '18 at 22:42
  • That's true; he isn't on the agreement, so you can't read into the lease the fact that your lease doesn't allow guests. Your lease says nothing about guests; so it's a good idea to not restrict him from the property until you talk to the sheriff or county. You can call the sheriff when they are noisy and destructive. – BlueDogRanch Nov 20 '18 at 23:02
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Note that, whatever lease or agreement the tenant had with the former owner, is binding on you, unless it contained a provision specifically saying that it would terminate on sale of the premises. If nothing was mentioned about a sale, the old lease or agreement is still in effect, just with the new owner substituted for the old. See https://ohmyapt.apartmentratings.com/landlord-sold-building.html

Note that forcibly or unlawfully evicting a tenant without going though the proper procedure can, according to MCL 600.2918 entitle to tenant to

recover 3 times the amount of his or her actual damages or $200.00, whichever is greater, in addition to recovering possession.

Note also that under MCL 554.614 when a rental property is sold, the former owner must transfer the security deposit to the new owner or return it to the tenant.

Edit Since you drafted the non-standard lease, any problems with it might be held against you, but you could probably not take advantage of them as against the tenant. Again, consult a lawyer or the court on this matter.

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