This has been a popular topic on Detroityes as of late, however let me share with you my experience.
We've probably all read/heard this story: http://www.myfoxdetroit.com/story/21...youre-not-home
Here is my story:
I'm a small investor in the Detroit housing market and recently bought a house at the Wayne County tax auction. Right around this same time, the nextdoor neighbor the house I bought was being evicted. The bailiff showed up with 2 giants dumpsters, but the people in the house decided to move into the empty house next door (my house.) The Bailiff emptied out the house into the street and the people moved it all into the neighbor's house. Fast forward a little bit and I stop by and knock on the door because I thought the house was empty. I'm ready to begin work on the house and prepare it to be a rental. A man & wife answer the door and let me in. I explained the situation, and the man said "we have squatters rights." They are living in the house with 5 children, their parents, 2 big pit bulls, and 10 puppies. So, I started the eviction process.
1.5 months later the court date finally arrives. I didn't expect to see them there, but they actually showed up! They couldn't believe they were being evicted from their house. The man said he had done repairs, like replacing the side door & electrical panel, and therefore he is entitled to the house. I said that I was going to proceed with eviction and he said "That's bullshit!" The judge was nice and told them "Well, obviously he doesn't want to rent to you, so you'd better make other arrangements. I can't force him to rent to you"
So here we are nearly 2.5 months after I started the eviction process and the bailiff still hasn't evicted them. The people living in the house are busy stripping it and living there until the last possible second. I witnessed them taking the sink and a few other items out, and I can't do anything about it. I just hope they don't poor concrete down the drains as they're leaving.
Squatters DO have rights in Detroit. It's crazy. This mentality is duplicated throughout the city, just like the stories we've been reading lately.
"Neighbor: This is Detroit and we will come squat in your house if you're not home"