rent - Posted by Tom

Posted by George on December 30, 1998 at 12:52:22:

Your comments are understandable and I won’t “slap you down” for them. I did see that Montel show you spoke about and although I don’t believe the house was actually just given to her, that’s not the point. Montel did say “she may be able to own it in a year”.
Anyway, I’m probably more humanitarian than most, maybe to the point of “xxxx” (sorry, I was censored here!). We donate to an orphanage, we always donate to local charities and I’ve been understanding when tenants run into a problem. The key is the tenants EFFORTS. Some simply forget to send the check and if you don’t remind them, they’ll forget forever. My partner and I worked a deal with a particular tenant because he got paid on the 30th, we gave him a couple days grace period. But he kept up his end of the deal. This is a business. It is the way I pay my bills. It’s not like the property is paid off and I’m putting $500 in my bank account, so what if it’s a few days late. My mortgage is due, my taxes are due, I have to pay repairmen, etc.
My very first tenant taught me a lesson. Single mother with 5 kids, (she came with the house). One month, late rent with late fee. Next month, late rent, I had to call, check’s in the mail (no late fee). Next month, late rent, I had to call, she asked if she could pay 1/2 the rent twice a month. Okay, I’ll work with you. On due date, I got 1/4 of the rent. Check bounced. I went to bank to present check for collections, saw her balance on screen. Went to the house (by now phone disconnected), she apologized and wrote me a new check. I told her it wasn’t good, she insisted it was (remember, I knew her balance). So we did the eviction thing. It was as amicable as I could make it. She was still in my house. I asked if there was oil in tank as it was in January. She said yes. I told her that I would fill the tank if they needed heat (hindsight says I probably should have anyway, but she assured me she had oil). Went to court, she didn’t show, judge ruled in my favor and gave me a judgement for $2200 (lots of luck collecting it). She still gets to stay another 30 days until I have to go back to court for “possession”. Possession is granted, now I have to wait until the constable makes appointment to throw her out. Anyway, he serves her with 5 day notice or 10 days whatever it was and she leaves the day before her eviction. House is trashed, no heat, frozen pipes, flooded basement, etc. Sorry, it’s business and must be treated as such.

rent - Posted by Tom

Posted by Tom on December 25, 1998 at 09:53:04:

Late rent is the problem. I have a tenant that’s been in one of my apartments for almost 2 years now. They would fall behind a month or 2 but always catch up. Everytime it happens I get ready to kick them out they come up with the money. I have to give them notice again this coming week. I charge $25 for late payment. Should I raise the late fee to $50 or should I grow a backbone and just kick them out?

Re: rent - Posted by Laure

Posted by Laure on December 26, 1998 at 20:18:17:

I wouldn’t go more than a week late without serving a 5 day notice of eviction. Then talk to them… let them know you have mortgage payments, taxes and insurance and that their late rent puts you in a tough place to make your payments to the bank. That you’re not un-sympathetic to their problems, but you have your obligations to take care of too…

I have had a Tenant for 11 years who was on HUD until this summer. Then she became late. The third month she paid her own rent, she was 10 days late. I called her and she paid. The fourth month I went to her house. Told her I had bank payments to make and would not tolerate late rent. I handed her a 5 day notice, and 2 days later, she paid her rent. She has paid on the first every month since. The Tenant needs to know you cannot/ will not be screwed with. You can still do this and be nice… I just let them know it’s beyond my control and that the bank is down my back. By the way, I own that house free and clear :slight_smile: but that’s none of their business !

Laure :slight_smile:

Re: rent - Posted by j_bedunah

Posted by j_bedunah on December 26, 1998 at 02:59:15:

I can imagine this would get very frustrating. If it is sapping the joy out or your life perhaps you should boot them, but a 2yr tenant seems to be a keeper to me. Besides who knows what kind of individual(s) would replace them, maybe they’re worse! Have you considered raising your rents a bit across the board and hiring a property management firm? Maybe you’re in a position to trade a little bit of your profits in exchange for sanity and piece of mind. Just a thought.

Re: rent - Posted by SCook85

Posted by SCook85 on December 26, 1998 at 24:49:41:

I know a guy whose tenants pay late every single month, but they pay there late fee every single month as well. When his new secretary went to call them up to get them caught up, he got upset and said don’t do that, the late fee was added income for him.
I would raise yours, but as long as they pay it it is like raising the rent and getting extra cash flow every month.


Re: rent - Posted by George

Posted by George on December 25, 1998 at 22:36:41:

If you can, I’d raise the late fee or make it in multiple stages. Like $25 each week late. Then pay me late every month. As long as you’re getting it, even if you have to use a credit card to pay your expenses, you can cover within 30 days and avoid interest charge. I’d only consider kicking them out if you can rent it immediately without ANY clean up/fix up expense.

Re: rent - Posted by Scott

Posted by Scott on December 29, 1998 at 22:30:24:

…I probably have no right to comment at all here but, I have long been interested in REI and for one reason or another, have never really had the time to go further than purchasing materials and reading said materials. I have never had the time (and/or “positive” motivation)to apply the “education”. I’m really trying to get to the point. And that is this, I first became interested in the field because I wanted to accomplish certain things in my life. First, I wanted to become financially “comfortable”, second; I wanted to be able to help my family and friends and others that I found to be in genuine need of that help. I have been reading the posts here for approx. the last couple of hours and find it very interesting but, I also find it dis-heartening to think that people here that appear to be doing well for “themselves” would consider raising a late fee, on a rent due, from $25.00 a week to $50.00 a week and hope that the tenant is late !!! I realize that you can not allow a tenant to walk over you and live for free but, tenants/people have problems also. Especially if they have small children or are on a fixed income and suddenly have some unexpected expenditure arise, whatever. Surely, a landlord should have some sense of humanity. I know that I have had times in my life when, because of financial burdens, I was in desparate shape and thankfully I was able to “eek” a little more “time” to solve the problems and it didn’t cost me $50.00 extra a week. I guess maybe I was fortunate. Did any of you see the “Montel” show over the Christmas holiday. There was a REI on that show that “gave away” a home to a needy person and her family in the Nashville, Tn. area and real or not, Montel had a tear running down his cheek (and so did I)! The bottom line is absolutely, lets accomplish our goals and have fun doing it but, lets try to provide something back to our communities also. I’m sorry for being so long and if you would like to slap me down, then so be it.

Re: rent - Posted by Rob FL

Posted by Rob FL on December 30, 1998 at 17:37:32:

My feeling on late fees is that they should serve as a penalty to the tenant for not paying on time and not to take advantage of the tenant’s misfortune. That said though, tenants MUST be required to pay on time and just because they have kids or have financial burdens IS NO EXCUSE, in fact it is a bunch of baloney. I don’t want to sound cruel, but say my wife is 8 and 3/4 months pregnant. And for some reason I don’t pay my car payment that month. Do you think the bank cares that I can’t rush my wife over to the hospital without a car? I doubt it. Landlording is a business, just like Sears, Kmart, Ford, and McDonalds. If a customer uses my house without paying for it on time, they are STEALING money from me!!! How long would you keep working at your job if your boss told you “Sorry I know you get your paycheck on the 1st of the month, but we had some extra unanticipated expenses and we can’t pay you for a week or two.” How would you feel? Would you feel sorry for him and say no problem pay me as soon as you can? I think not.

I give money to charities every single month, but I don’t consider my tenants worthwhile charities. I would assume all landlords get in business to make money not to own homeless shelters. I think “Mr. Landlord”, Jeffrey Taylor said somewhere that if you wanted to help the homeless don’t do it by being a landlord.