WWYD--renter issues

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
WWYD--renter issues
11
Sat, 06-05-2004 - 5:00pm
Okay--chalk it up to me being naive...we rented out our other house in mid-April. Last month the rent was due on May 1st. My renter was a few days late, but called and said the money was coming and then dropped it off. Her rent was due June 1st this month and I still haven't gotten a check. I called on Thursday (6/3), dropped off a letter reminding her of the terms of her lease yesterday (6/4) and still haven't heard back from her. I just called today (her rent is four days outstanding) and her son said, "She's sleeping, can you call back?" To which I replied, "Um, this is Christi, please have her call ME back when she wakes up!" I'm seriously pissed, I'm not running a charity here, and am starting to feel a little taken advantage of. I told her she could pay the security deposit over a 3 month period, I've received exactly 10% of it in two and a half months. PLUS, she wasn't happy with the refridgerator I bought, so she had me return it and upgrade--she owes me another hundred bucks for that. So all told, she owes me a good 2Gs. Per the terms of the lease, I can liquidate her assets in MY house after 30 days, and I get a 10% late fee after 10 days, but it's only day 4 AND I need the d*mn security depo. Obviously a chunk of this is my fault for being too nice (and believe me, I'm not EVER going to make THAT mistake again), but how would you handle it? I mean, she's got freaking KIDS OLDER THAN ME, I don't want to play RENT POLICE every month, you know? WTF? I've never rented before, so I guess I just went into this a little blind as I can't imagine not paying my rent on time. Grrrrrrrr.

WWYD?

C

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iVillage Member
Registered: 10-23-2001
Sat, 06-05-2004 - 6:15pm

What length of time is the Rental Agreement?

 


 


iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 06-05-2004 - 6:31pm
Welcome to the world of being a landlord. First off, the laws vary by state, but up here, rent is NOT considered late until the 5th. I dont even start looking for it until then-I have tenants who pay me on the 1st, tenants who pay me at 10pm on the 5th. The way my leases read, if I dont receive the full amount of rent by the 5th I can charge a $50 late fee. If I dont get it by the 10th, I charge a 2nd $50 late fee and at that point can initiate eviction proceedings.

You need to look at the landlord/tenant laws for your state to clarify your rights and hers. Myself, I wouldnt be sweating over rent paid on the 3rd vs the 1st. But I've been doing this for 10+ years so its old hat to me now. You learn how to read people real quickly in this business, thats for sure! And I'll tell ya now, most of the laws are set up to protect the tenant, NOT the landlord (sigh)

Also, dont upgrade anything else. If she wants to upgrade, let her do it on her dime and if you want to reimburse part/all of that by rent deduction, you can. But you do NOT have to do ANYTHING as far as cosmetic stuff. If its not a safety issue or a non working appliance, you certainly dont have to change anything simply because your tenant doesnt *like* it, kwim?

Good luck and go get a copy of those landlord/tenant laws TODAY!

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Sat, 06-05-2004 - 8:55pm

ITA.

Mondo

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 1:46am
I agree about the deposit. While I have been known to work with people who dont have the full deposit up front, I pretty much always insist on at least half of it, and I have gotten hesitant about that. Usuallly the person who pays their deposit in full right off is a timely payer overall.

We also have access up here to criminal records for our state. I run a background check on all prospective tenants. I dont do a credit check, but criminal records checks will show evictions and collections! So it gives me a GOOD idea of them (like the guy who neglected to mention he was a convicted felon.....for attempted murder! Yikes!)

I'm pretty careful anymore, because like CA, its just not that easy to boot 'em out once they are in!

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 11:32am

I almost forgot - when I first bought the house, I had an undercover DA cop knock on my door (looked like a homeless

Mondo

Avatar for 1969jets
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 1:19pm
If I were you I would find out what you need to do to start eviction proceedings in your state. People take that kind of thing seriously. When we were landlords we never rented to anyone who could not come up with the security deposit. Period. Our feeling is that if people have so little money that they cannot come up with a few thousand dollars for a security deposit they were not worth the risk as tenants. We simply could not afford to carry a property without a renter for any length of time.

This tenant has already proved that she cannot even come with the rent on time (2 months in a row). There is no way she will ever pay you the security deposit. Cut your losses and try again with a new tenant.

Jenna

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-29-1999
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 3:16pm
Thanks guys! She actually dropped off a check last night (while we were out) and will be dropping off another on her payday (Friday). Then we'll be up-to-date.

This is definitely a learning experience for me...

C

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-18-2004
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 5:38pm
Glad it's working out. My "landlord" style is determined by my experiences having rented various apartments, townhomes, condos throughout my life.

Mondo

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 06-06-2004 - 8:46pm
Oh man cristi. Get a really good agent. it is worth *every* penny!! we rent out our previous house as well, and havent had one problem in 5 1/2 years. he takes 8% which is a little higher than average, but this guy is right on it, knows the laws, and doesnt beat around the bush about anything. im not crazy about realitors per se, but this guy(who is actually qualified to sell real estate as well) only handles the rental part of his business. he is in court on the eleventh of every month with renters who dont pay, or pay late constantly. we have our rent check in our hand(minus his fee) well before the first of the month every single month. as around, and when you talk to agents, ask what their steps are as far as taking people to court for late rent, back rent, no rent etc. they should be very versed in the law.

as far as handling it yourself, we havent done it, so i cant help, sorry.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Mon, 06-07-2004 - 12:54pm
I don't know. My friend was a landlord for years and it was hell for years. I think either you can afford not to have your property rented out for extended periods of time so you can find a reliable long term tenant and then landlording isn't too bad...or you can't and it is.

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