Re: tenant and foreclosure - Posted by Mike-OH
Posted by Mike-OH on July 05, 2005 at 06:16:33:
Unfortunately, you don’t have a single problem, you have several problems.
Most importantly, it is crystal clear to me that you haven’t received enough education pertaining to real estate investing. You have failed to follow the most basic rules of investing, from having reserves to basic landlording principles. If you’re planning to continue with real estate investing, you need to do some serious homework before you try again. I’d strongly suggest joining you local real estate investors association. They can provide excellent information (especially on landlording). You could also have gotten the information that you needed from this site, various courses, books, etc. Buying and studying these materials would have been a LOT cheaper than the path that you have chosen.
You don’t have a tenant problem - you have a management problem! Not collecting the rent for several months is inexcusable. The key to sucessful landlording is to follow the lease TO THE LETTER. I absolutely insist that every provision of the lease is enforced. If you don’t intend on enforcing part of the lease, why have that provision in there? As a landlord, you are running a business - you are not running a charitable organization. You absolutely can not let your tenant’s problems become yours. Is this harsh? NO! It is a business and you must run it like one.
I just took over a small apartment building. One of the tenant’s hasn’t been paying the previous owner regularly and the previous owner has been playing catch with him - i.e. when the owner can catch up with him, he pays part of the rent. While cleaning another unit yesterday, I met this problem tenant. I told him that the rent was due tomorrow and asked him if he had it. He offered to give me $100 and I told him that we didn’t accept partial rent. Furthermore, I explained that if he doesn’t pay in full today, he’ll owe the rent plus a late fee before the 10th or he’ll be promptly evicted. I explained that the eviction will ruin his credit and make it very difficult for him to find another place to rent (especially after I tell my problem tenant story to every other landlord in town). I also explained that after the sheriff puts his stuff on the street, he should expect thieves to steal about half of his stuff (very true in that neighborhood). He promised to pay in full today, but we’ll see what happens. He’ll either pay in full including the late fee or he’ll be evicted! I’m taking a lease violation letter with me when I collect the rent today. He’ll get a 3 day notice on the 10th.
I collected the rent from another tenant on Saturday. This tenant hasn’t been mowing the grass and the yard is an eyesore. After I got the rent, I gave her a “lease violation” notice and gave her 7 days to mow the grass and clean up the weeds OR we would do it and charge her $50. It was cleaned up the very next day.
Fair and Firm (with heavy emphasis on firm) is the key to successful landlording. Dealing with tenants is a lot like dealing with small children. If you give an inch, they’ll take a mile.
Finally, don’t give in to extortion. Anyone can threaten to sue you at any time. Meet the sheriff on Thursday and give em the boot! And YES, they may sue you, but what is your alternative - let the animals run the Zoo???