It’s been a while since I updated you on my tenant from hell. First, I have to say, thanks for following this saga. From the outside looking in, I know that it sort of looks like a soap opera, and some of you now know the story better than I do myself. If you don’t, just browse through the rental property category to get caught up. Now, last time that I updated you on my tenant, I made a surprise visit to the house and found hell and chaos waiting for me. We hoped that she would be able to pay her rent until her lease expires in April. She even gave me a check for January’s rent ahead of time.
Lo and behold the check was quite rubbery and bounced its way out of the ATM machine. The check was no good. I was left with a $10 returned check fee and a portion of the rent unpaid. Sigh. I thought we had moved past this whole not paying the rent thing, but I guess not. It just happened that my brother had to be in Pennsylvannia on the day that I found out that the check bounced. I promptly wrote up a notice of returned check, Googled up the nearest Fedex Kinkos to his location and had him deliver the notice to her. The notice stated that the check bounced and she had to pay the balance of the rent as well as the returned check fee within 3 days or she would have to pay the late fee after that day. Too nice, I know.
What my tenant didn’t know was that I my brother and I had been speaking on the phone before he knocked on the door. when she opened the door, he held the phone in his hand where I could hear the conversation. When she read the notice, she exclaimed that she didn’t know how the check could bounce because she has over $600 in overdraft protection. In fact, her exact words were, “I never f*ck with my rent. I always pay my rent on time.” I guess she thought that my brother wasn’t aware of our monthly clashes about the rent. She assured him that the rent would be paid within a day and that she would call me to speak. Somewhere in their conversation while Killer (the mastiff/pit bull mix) was barking in the background my brother could actually hear me laughing on the phone. He had to put the phone in his back pocket.
Did she call me? No. Instead, she had her daughter call me to ask me to call her! Did you get that? I didn’t answer the phone. This is not elementary school. She signed the lease, not her daughter. Her daughter doesn’t even live there, so I have no dealings with her. I waited until the following day to call her, and of course I didn’t get her since she never answers my calls. Instead, her daughter called me back saying that she might have an appointment. No problem, she still had two more days to pay. I told her daughter that her mom could call me if she’d like, but if she had my notice, she should follow the instructions in the notice.
You know what happened, don’t you? Day 3 passed with no rent as did day 4. I readied my notice to vacate for mailing on day 5 when my phone rang bright and early in the morning. It was my elusive tenant. When a conversation starts with, gosh, I feel like I’m on a sitcom, “Listen, what had happened was…” Yes, that was the beginning. I knew that everything after that would be lie after lie. So, long story short she claimed that because she had supposedly put a stop payment on a check for that account, the bank rejected anything that would have pushed her into overdraft. She claimed that she would need a week or so get to the money to me. I pointed out that we were already at the 19th of the month, and I had been more than generous. If she could not pay January’s rent, what would make me think that she could pay February’s rent?
Sob story ensued along with begging and pleading since I was “such a good landlady”. I told her that I would give her until the first of February to pay both January and February’s rent in additional to all fees. I stated clearly that this did not mean the second, third or fourth, and that a bank does not accept stories, so neither did I. I also told her that if she did not pay the rent or attempted to make a partial payment I would send a notice to vacate on the second of the month. There were no second chances. I figured the judge would give her until the end of February to leave, I could take March to renovate and be open for business in April. She agreed to have everything to me on February 1st. I plan on shooting off a letter with the copy to be placed in my files on our agreement for this past due rent.
I was discussing this with my brother when he filled me in on the back story of what really happened. His friend owns a home that he rents to my tenant’s daughter. Are you following? It turns out that the daughter was arrested for drug possession along with her drug dealer and mom bailed her out of jail. How does my brother know? Because the daughter didn’t pay her rent either and since her landlord didn’t believe her sob story either, she was forced to eventually tell him the truth since her rent money went to bail. I’m pretty sure that my rent money went to bail as well. Lovely!
Anyone willing to take bets on whether I will get the back amount owed plus late fees, the returned check fee and February’s rent on the first of the month? Someone has to be adventurous.
Oh, and since we’re on the subject, I can tell you that I am doing a soft launch of a sister blog to these series of posts appropriately titled, http://mytenantfromhell.com. I’ll give you one guess what it’s about. You can register and share your own tenant from hell stories. I plan on publishing one new story every week, so if you have your own story to share, feel free!