Thursday, May 24, 2007

Tenant Late With Rent (Updated)

I spoke with my property manager yesterday and discovered my tenant is still late with his rent. Last week, he paid $550 of the $750 and said he'd pay it all by the end of the week. Since then, we've received $100 from his church to go towards the rent. While my PM was checking her computer system, she saw one screen that said he was all paid up and another showed he still owed money, so she was going to research that some more and find out the real status. However, she did sent out a nasty letter and spoke with the tenant and told him we need to stop this late payment habit. His cell phone is occasionally disconnected, so he's obviously got problems paying his bills.

The tenant's lease clearly states that, in addition to the late charges he has to pay, if he has not paid the rent by the 15th of the month, he is to move out or he will be evicted. I told the PM to enforce that rule next month. I am also faxing that directive to her so she's got it in writing.

Update: In my fax to my PM, I also said that I was concerned that in some states, accepting partial rent makes it legally more difficult to evict someone and, if that was the case in Oklahoma, to stop accepting partial rent payments. I just got an email from her saying the current small claims judge doesn't discriminate on eviction based on partial payment and that she has personally evicted several people who paid paid rent only. So that's a bit of good news for me...


all things good staff said...

This is why I could never be a landlord. I could never kick a tenant out sight unseen. The guy might be having psychological problems or some other hardship beyond his control--probably is the case if the church is willing to kick in $100 in his name. Just what he needs is to be out on the street and turn into some homeless dude begging for money.

Yeah, he could just as easily be a manipulator, no question about that. I personally wouldn't want to make the decision. So that's (one reason) why I'll never be a landlord.

Doug O said...

Being a LL is sometimes a tough business... However, to be successful at it, it needs to be treated as just that - a business...
There isn't a whole lot of room for moral decisions and ethical dilemmas, or you'll find yourself being taken advantage of by many of the 'professional' tenants out there..
You are not buying property to be a good samaritan and let people live for free or discounts.. That's the bottom line, even if it may seem callous at times.

all things good staff said...

Yeah, I see what you're saying.

John Panico said...

Shaun, Great post! Yes, it is a business. I find that if I set the guidelines up front, I have better luck. I have my rents due on the 25th (knowing that some might be late) If it isn't there on the 26th, they automatically get a 3 day notice and it goes to dispossery from there. Sounds harsh, but tenants can train you to accept late payments if you let them.

John Panico
Local Guys

Patrick in Philly said...

Shaun, great blog. I just got into the world of blogs and was turned on to your writings. I've read the entire history over the past week or so. Great work!

John and doug o hit the nail on the head. In my best Al Pacino ala Godfather voice "It's not personal, Sonny. It's strictly business."

I follow similar philosophy as John. I have rent due on the first with a grace period of the 5th before I charge a 10% late charge. I still post notice on the door if I don't have the rent on the first just to get them out quickly if it comes to it. This is a business. The longer it takes me to get them out, the less money I make.


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