I took a deep cleansing breath before beginning this post, however, I can not guarantee that I will make it to the end of this post without bursting into virtual hair pulling. Early last month I told you about my tenant that has been consistently late in paying her rent. I hadn’t charged her the late fees outlined in our lease agreement and decided to begin charging her the late fees if she was late with November’s rent. Lo and behold, it is now the 12th and I have yet to receive the balance of the rent that she is responsible for.
I’m not a stalkerish type of landlord. I don’t call or write or bug her at all. I let the grace period of 5 days go by. You know how Jesus rose from the dead on the 3rd day? Well, she came out of hiding on the 6th day, which happened to be last Saturday. She must have called me 10 times that day saying that she was going to pay the rent by depositing directly into my bank account. I never answered her phone calls and allowed them to go to voicemail. I did call her back on Wednesday to tell her that i had not received the rent and to ask if she needed any additional information. She didn’t answer my voicemail or return my call.
It’s now the 12th of the month and I will be sending out a notice of non-payment and demand for rent which will include the late payment fee of $50. In the state where I own my rental property, there is no limit to the amount that I am allowed to charge, but I am pretty reasonable. My buddy that owns 3 rental properties near me has the same issue, but he like to begin calling his tenants from the 3rd day of the month until they pay. That’s not my style.
If you are thinking of owning rental properties, I have some tips for you to follow when dealing with suck ass tenants:
- For every decent, rent paying tenant that you have, you will get stuck with 2 bad ones. It’s nothing that you have done. Shit happens, so be prepared for the worst including a tenant who smokes, has 2 cats, a devil worshiping son, and bad hygiene habits. Or is that just mine?
- Make sure that you’re smarter than your tenant. By that I mean being organized enough to have your paperwork in order so that when you have to slap your tenant with some legal paperwork, you’re in the right.
- You may have to be hardass. I didn’t want to be, but if your tenant thinks that you’re a pushover, that chainsmoking woman will never pay her rent on time. A decent landlord can let some things slide but a smart landlord knows when to stick it to her…Uh, I mean your tenant.
- As a landlord, you have the right to send your tenant a notice in the mail, hand deliver a notice or leave a notice on the door saying that the tenant has not paid the rent and that they have three days to pay it. After the three days are up, you do not have to accept the rent from the tenant, even if the tenant offers the full amount. You can then start eviction proceedings.
- Bone up on the eviction process in your state. The state where I own my house is pretty good on getting deadbeats out. If needed, I can have her ass out of my house by the end of the month. It pays to know the process.
I’m not above evicting someone for Christmas. For those of you who told me that I should cut her some slack, I’m sorry to say that I was right.
UPDATE: Here is a template version of the Notice to Vacate For Non-payment in Word format that I mailed off today. I hope that you never have to use it, but just in case you do…
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