I have purposely not updated you on my dealing with my tenant because I knew that this day would come. My tenant from hell is leaving my house. Let the celebrations begin! Usually I give you the long version of my dealing with my tenant, but this time I figured that I would give you the short, short version.
As you already know, my tenant has a habit of not paying the last portion of her rent on time. A program pays about 80% of her rent to me directly and she had to pay the balance. If she didn’t pay her rent by the 6th of the month she would incur a late fee. She had been on a decent clip for about 2 months with paying her rent on time and then she fell off the cliff.
In April she paid the rent on the 12th of the month after a three day notice and a phone call. She insisted that she couldn’t pay the late fee because her car was in the shop and she had been in the hospital and blah, blah, excuse. I’m immune to them since she always has some.
The end of April loomed and I realized that the lease would expire in May. I’m supposed to give her a thirty day notice if I was not going to renew her lease. I gleefully wrote out a notice of lease non-renewal (Word) and sent it certified mail with return receipt along with a bill for the late fee from April and the amount due in May. I checked the USPS site every day for delivery. Nothing. They left 2 notices and she didn’t pick up the envelop. Damn. What to do now?
So I sent her a second set of mail. This time it was priority mail with signature confirmation which was delivered on the 9th of May. I knew that she had received the notice plus my bill for her past due late fee, the current month’s rent, and since it was the 6th of May when I mailed the notice, another month’s late fee when I received an alert from my bank that payment had been made. Sexy! But somehow, it was short $50!
Then my phone began to ring. Egads! It was my tenant calling. Since I was at work, I decided to call her back when I could speak freely. I finally called her back with steel in my backbone, ready for the coming fight.
She first could not understand how she had incurred late charges. I told her to check the payment confirmations that I had sent with the letter demanding the balance of the rent. She then relented and admitted that she did owe the late fees. We then turned to the non-renewal notice. She finally admitted that she understood why I did not want to renew the lease with her, however she insisted on staying in the house until the end of June. I told her that there was no circumstance in which she would be in the house through the end of June, but I was prepared with a compromise.
I gave her through June 15 to move and told her that she would not have to pay me anything for the month of June, since the program paid 80% of her rent. If she was out on time and returned the home back in a decent condition (not even back to the way she found it), I would give her 100% of her security deposit back plus a portion of the rent that would have been paid on her behalf for June.
Money talks and her bullshit walked. With the carrot dangling in front of her eyes, she readily agreed. I sent off our agreement in writing and had still another carrot. My county will give an abatement to renters in the county if the landlord lives out of state and agrees to assign the benefit to the tenant. Since I can’t collect the abatement as an out-of-state resident, my tenant could, if I agreed. If she returned the house to the condition in which it was given to her, I would assign the abatement to her as well.
So here we are a little over one month to go. She’s happy, I’m happy and Cujo will have a new home. Hopefully, she’ll be gone on time with the house back into some decent condition. I fully expect to have to repaint the house, put in new flooring where Cujo ripped out the flooring, and rip out the new carpeting that was installed. I love dogs, but renting to people with BIG dogs causes major damage to your property. I will not rent to pet owners again. Sorry.
So what do you think about the situation? Do you think she’ll be out on time? Will I finally be rid of her and have some peace? Let me know in the comments.
This post was included in the carnival of Personal Finance #308 hosted by Control Your Cash.
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