property management question - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by Mike-BC on December 04, 2000 at 23:10:14:

I treat every situation differently. If I have confidence in the renters, I will cut them a little slack, especially in the beginning. From my perspective it is more important to keep renters in, it costs money to replace tenants as well as the emotional toll it takes on you.

I have a $10 per day late fee written into the rental agreement. In British Columbia, our Residential Tenancy laws allow us to serve eviction notice as soon as rents are in arrears. So if I wish to play hardball, I serve notice on the 2nd if I don’t receive the rent on the 1st. Under BC laws, the renters have 5 days to pay up rent in arrears without any further penalty, but I can still charge the late fee.


property management question - Posted by eric-fl

Posted by eric-fl on December 04, 2000 at 16:36:42:

okay. I’ve admitted my weakness (inexperience) in this area before. I have a SFH I have rented out to a young couple. My first straight rental property. I screened them very thoroughly, and they checked out. Credit reports, employment references, landlord references. I set them up on a draft program with Versacheck and gave them a discount so that I could print off the checks for the rent. Rent is due on the first.

So the tenant calls me today, the 4th, and says the money is not in there. She says she had it in there, but another bill hit sooner than she thought, so now she is under the amount. I actually hadn’t drafted it yet, lucky for her (and me). She asked if she could have it to me by thursday, the 7th. This is only her second month in the property. I told her I’d give her until then. I explained to her that the expectation is that it’s there on the first, and why that was so (checks clearing, etc.) I think she genuinely did not understand how all this worked, as this was her first checking account, and she only got the account to participate in the draft, since it meant a small discount. I waived the late fee that I could have charged ($25). I explained to her that from now on, the first means the first, and if she is late again, I will assess the late charge (and I really will, I promise).

My question is this: Was I too lenient? It’s my first rental, and her first SFH rental (she was in apartment complexes). I’m afraid I was - I want to keep a business relationship, and keep her expectations realistic. But I don’t want to seem unreasonable. I will be sure to assess the late fee in the future, but I guess I had a “one time exception” philosophy. Also, I have an ace in the hole, I have the last month’s rent already, so I can always use that if she’s not whole by Thursday. If it comes to that, of course I’ll begin The Process. Ugh. Comments welcome.

Follow up - Posted by PBoone

Posted by PBoone on December 05, 2000 at 08:41:55:

We always listen to the tenants reasons but ALWAYS followup with the required paperwork in preparation for eviction if necessary. Oregon allows 7 days leadway before a 72hr notice can be given we will always send the notice no matter the reasons. This gives you the required jump if anything falls apart.
Always remember be Fair, Fast and Firm in dealing with tenants.

Re: property management question - Posted by WayneMD

Posted by WayneMD on December 05, 2000 at 07:29:28:

There is an excellent book called “Landlording, A Handy Manual for Scrupulous Landords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves” by Leigh Robinson. It now is in its 9th edition. Check it out on Amazon or John Reed’s sight ( I have given away many copies to friends. I’ve been a landlord – very small time – for more than 30 years. You must have this book.

Re: property management question - Posted by Tim V.

Posted by Tim V. on December 05, 2000 at 03:31:49:

I have a small 2 bed, 1 bath that I am selling on a L/O. They were supposed to pay full downpayment upon moving in. Things happened- they didn’t have the money. I listened to their stories and decided I liked them and would give them a chance. It took awhile but now they are paying the amount they said they would when they say they will. Working out real nice. We have two Triplexs. The tennants always pay late. But they pay consistently late- I expect it. I changed my mortgage payment to the 15th of the month. No problem! That’s the way I deal with it. Like it was stated earlier, I would rather deal with a tennant that always pays, albeit late, then find new tennants.
My .02
Tim V.

Re: property management question - Posted by dewCO

Posted by dewCO on December 04, 2000 at 23:12:07:

Apparently she’s found other uses for this checking acct. (that she got JUST for her rent!), if another check cleared first. So she was going to bounce them and not you??? hmmm. Sounds like she’s got problems already. And what’s the difference between an apartment rental and a SFH in terms of paying the rent??? You’ll find out on the 7th if you were too nice. I’m betting you were, but Good Luck. (Go post the 3-day notice now, maybe that will inspire her to perform on the 7th.)

Show me the money - Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka

Posted by Rolfe Kurtyka on December 04, 2000 at 20:37:14:


In my opinion, getting the rent is the important issue. Whether it’s on time or not is less important to me. If I don’t rents on time, I do want to hear from the tenant regarding why the rent is late and when it will be paid. I always assess late fees as spelled out in the lease ($5 per day). Some of my tenants pay consistently late, and are always assessed late fees. In a way, I’m better off for it - more cash flow!


Re: property management question - Posted by Aaron

Posted by Aaron on December 04, 2000 at 20:06:34:

Hi. I am also just begining in rental properties, although I think that you should have charged her the $25.00 because that is her responsibility. This is a business, and you should treat it like one. It is her responsibility to get the rent to you in time, and it is your’s to inforce the late charges.Bt I would give her untill the 7th to pay, if you have any doubts that she didn’t understand the process. Although I would throughly explain it to her again. Keep Us Updated on your situation.

Best Of Luck, Aaron

Re: Show me the money - Posted by Aaron

Posted by Aaron on December 04, 2000 at 21:01:24:

I’m sorry, but I think that is just a stupid idea. Who cares if it brings you in an extra $5 a day. This means that you really don’t have a date set for the rent anyways. Would you like $5 here and there, or end up losing half of your tenats and your money. In my opinion, I would rewrite the contract stating that there is a $50 late fee. Also, if that happens more than once I would evict them. Then have the tenats sign the contract. You are taking a big risk, and I would try to change it before you start loosing some serious money. You need to establish a date where all of the rent will come onthe same day, or eviction will occur that is the bottom line. Keep us updated on the situation.

Best Of Luck, Aaron