How do I make them pay? - Posted by Byaka

Posted by MikeBC on November 29, 2000 at 24:54:02:

I am sure that our residential tenancy laws in BC are different from your area so I will not tackle your question from that point of view.

From a moral perspective, you say they were good renters, paid up on time, and have given you some notice albeit not the 30 days required by contract. When I am in these types of circumstances, I usually accept the fact they are leaving, and I try to get some in right away. I do this by requesting the tenants to permit to show the suite while they still reside there. Most times they are agreeable and I try to give them 24 hours notice.

I sometimes have to be creative to get people in - paying for moves, or 3 months cable or buy new flooring and letting them choose the colours - but in this way I have not missed a single day’s rent this calendar year. I have a total of 8 rentals. I have had 7 renters turn over including 2 evictions. Even the people I evicted allowed me to show the suites. In addition, I use their damage deposit to clean, paint and do any repairs necessary to get the suite ready for the incoming renters.

I find that this approach allows me to sleep soundly at night. I am not tied up in knots nor am I engulfed in negative energy.


How do I make them pay? - Posted by Byaka

Posted by Byaka on November 28, 2000 at 17:14:30:


My tenants just announced that they will leave before Dec. 1. First of all, they did not give me a 30-day notice as the agreement says, on top of that they are breaking the contract which they have signed till Sept. 2001. In the agreement it says that they will pay me 2 months rent (2 x $750) in case they break the contract. So, I want them to pay me $750 for December (instead of the 30-day notice) plus $1500 for breaking the contract. Although the feeling I am getting is that they will just split in the middle of the night without paying anything… Is there any way I can enforce their payment of these $2250? Or am I better off just forgetting about the whole deal, and just move on, find ways of keeping their security deposit and look for new tenants ASAP? What should I put in the rental agreement to prevent these things from happening in the future?



Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Lee

Posted by Lee on November 28, 2000 at 21:32:49:

Great post Ed!

The only thing I would add is…

Have the Sheriff (or Marshall) serve the tenants with an eviction notice. When they receive “official notice” they will know you are serious and are Not Playing. It will change their attitude, at a small cost to you.

In the eviction notice, specify the amount of you are due and why you are evicting them, you’d better correct. BTW, You Can Not collect moneys that are not yet due yet, as in December, 2000’s rent. You may want to serve them now, on Wednesday 11/29/2000 then revise the amount on or as soon after 12/1/2000 as possible.

I’m not an an atty., just a tired landlord (22 years and counting).


Good Luck!

Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Warren

Posted by Warren on November 28, 2000 at 21:13:33:

I like Ed Coop’s idea. However, if you have any security, that would be worth taking in exchange for the breach of lease. How much security do you have? I think the entire thing would hinge upon that.

Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Ed Copp (OH)

Posted by Ed Copp (OH) on November 28, 2000 at 18:39:12:


Rental agreements do not enforce themselves. You ask what to put in your agreement, and the answer is that you can put anything that you want in the agreement. It sounds from your post that you do not intend to do anything to enforce the agreement, so you can expext very little.

I would suggest a copy of the agreement along with a letter demanding the payment be delivered to the tenant NOW, in person since you have waited until the final hour (so to speak). Another copy of the letter and the agreement by mail, certified preferably. Also a copy sent by your attorney might not hurt. Let them know that you intend to collect what is owed to you.

You might be able to collect in small claims court when (notice I did not say if) they do not pay you. A lot will depend on you, on how well you go after what is owed and on how well you have prepared. For instance did you check the tenant out when you rented? Do you know wher they work? Do you have a social security number for them? This information will be helpful in court.

It is wishful thinking to hope that someone will do what is written in the agreement just becaused they said that they would. It happens but it is wishful thinking. Let them know you intend to collect.

Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Byaka

Posted by Byaka on November 28, 2000 at 22:38:23:

Thanks for your posts…
Everything was going nice and smoothly, they were good tenants, always paid on time and only yesterday they told me that they have to move out by the end of November… I have only $100 security deposit from them. As far as the eviction and the note served by sheriff, it all sounds great, but since they are out by the end of November, there is no eviction for nonpayment to speak of since they have paid for November anyway. They do not want to pay for the 30-day-notice month (that will be December, $750), plus the breach of contract penalty (2x$750). I feel that aside from their signature in the rental agreement I do not have much that I can use against them… Yeah, I have their SS#s, place of work, etc., but what good does it do to me???

Thanks again.


Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on November 28, 2000 at 23:21:46:

You take them to court after they leave and get a judgement. You have to try to get it rented and you can only get your actual losses, but that is all the rent until you get tenants and cleaning and court costs.

NEXT TIME get more for deposits, $500 to $1000 plus first and last months rent. Don’t be the nice guy, you will lose.

Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by WilliamGA

Posted by WilliamGA on November 28, 2000 at 22:54:51:


If you have a signed agreement from them with the terms that you say and their SS#'s and their places of employment, you should have no problem getting a judgement against them and garnishing their wages for payment of any money owed to you.

It just depands on how far you want to go with it.

I would say that if you don’t get paid, it will be because you don’t WANT to get paid.


Re: How do I make them pay? - Posted by Dan Stra

Posted by Dan Stra on November 28, 2000 at 22:44:54:

If they leave owing you money you can do a lot of harm to them legally. Turn it into an eviction if you can and then report it to a reporting agency. Also report the monies owed to a credit aganecy. Take them to court and go for wage garnishment.

If you still cannot collect send them a 1099 Tax statement of earnings once you write off the loss. They are sure to not pay taxes on that income but it will very likely trigger an audit years later. You don’t get any money this way but you do get the satisfaction of knowing that Uncle Sam made their lives a little uncomfortable.

As was said earlier by someone else, I am not a lawyer, just a landlord. Do not break the law.