Author Topic: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!  (Read 4300 times)

Markywalberg

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First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« on: March 13, 2017, 05:31:11 PM »
HELLO MUSTACHIANS, I got quick question for the more experienced landlords on here. So my renters are coming up on not paying rent for 3 months and im gonna evict them soon if they dont pay. My question is that if they dont pay and i evict them how can i manage to still get the rent they owe me?  Some have suggested small claims court. Also though about selling the debt they owe me to a debt collector for a fraction of what they  still owe but im not sure how that process works either.

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2017, 06:02:02 PM »
Good luck. It heavily depends on the location of your rental because there are vastly different laws across the country.  If they really don't have the money then get the eviction process started as soon as legally allowed. Another option is to offer them money to leave. At this point, just hope they don't trash the place. A lot of this depends on how friendly your area is to renters (some places heavily favor the renter) and whether you think it's a temporary hardship (job loss but overall good people) or just a deadbeat. How long have they been tenants and is this issue new?


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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2017, 06:04:55 PM »
If I were you, I'd not wait any longer to start serving notices and evicting them.  Three months without rent is too long, but you probably already knew that. 

If they do not pay, then yes, you need to go get a judgment against them in small claims court.  In my opinion, getting that kind of judgment is easy, it's just a pain in the butt to service notices, summons, etc.  Once you get the judgment, you still need to use the court to collect against them, and that is only if they have money to collect against.  If they don't pay rent, I don't think your prospects of collecting are any good.

You could potentially sell the judgment for to a debtor collector, but I doubt you'll have a buyer.

So yeah, focus your efforts on eviction now. Cut your losses and move on to the next tenant.   

Oil Patch Adams

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2017, 06:33:47 PM »
If there is a judgement on them, they will never pass another background check for renting, never buy anything that requires a credit check, etc until they pay you.  This behavior is not acceptable.

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2017, 07:44:17 PM »
Just so it doesn't go unsaid, the right time to issue a pay or quit notice is within days of rent being late (the 15th of the month on the outside). These tenants should have been out MONTHS ago. I'm sure you have figured this out by now, but it bore mentioning.

Now, in all likelihood, it is unlikely that it will be worth it to you to pursue the tenants for the unpaid rent, even after months-- simply put, you can't get blood from a stone. This is why you should move to evict on a reliable schedule (and you should explain it to your tenants when you sign a contract). You are likely to lose more time and money pursuing a legal remedy than you would collect-- and even with a judgment, you may still never collect.

Were it me in your situation? I would either pay for keys, offer not to pursue them legally if they are out within 72 hours, or immediately evict.  Hopefully you got a sizable deposit, as a friend of mine in a similar situation found that tenants had left their dog locked in the attic for months, and it had eaten the walls-- and passed them onto the floor as explosive diarrhea. Crap in the toilet, garbage and food everywhere, pest infestation... these are all things that only get worse the more time you give a non-paying tenant. They have literally no reason to behave-- and they won't. Get in your car and post a 72 hour notice on the door today.
« Last Edit: March 13, 2017, 11:08:57 PM by iamlindoro »
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marty998

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2017, 12:51:13 AM »
Next tenants... set them up on automatic bank direct debits/credits.

Soon as they miss a payment send a text message. Earliest opportunity under your laws start the eviction process.

Check your insurance policy whether it covers loss of rent. Also check if you can recover money from the bond, or refuse to refund bond until the rent is up to date.

Scortius

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2017, 10:23:16 AM »
I agree with iamlindoro.  Tenant rights are strongly protected, which means that as a landlord you must take action as soon as possible.  For example, you should get in the habit of posting a 3-day notice exactly on day 3.  Going through the process does not mean you have to evict them, but if you do not do this, you cannot evict them.  Generally, this whole process is why landlords ask for a security deposit and first and last month's rent.  An eviction takes approximately 30 days in most states, which will be covered by the last month's rent.  This is also why it's so important to start the eviction process immediately, otherwise you'll end up in your situation, out thousands of dollars.

You are not likely to ever receive compensation from evicted renters due to their poor financial situation, regardless of whether or not you can win a judgment against them in court.  Once again, this is why you must start the formal eviction process immediately.  If the renters do pay later it is always easy to stop the process.  As it is, you are probably screwed and will need to consider this an expensive lesson.
« Last Edit: March 14, 2017, 10:29:36 AM by Scortius »

v8rx7guy

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2017, 11:02:51 AM »
Get the process going... now... two months ago would have been better!  For our first eviction it took almost a whole month after the process started.  We got a lawyer to work us through the process, it was not fun and was expensive.

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2017, 11:12:50 AM »
If they have a good, steady job they are invested in, you can garnish their wages. The lawyers I have worked with and inquired into, generally will take on the collection aspect of an eviction as well for 20%-33% of the judgement collected. If they have low-paying, meaningless jobs, they will just find a new job if you find them & serve a garnishment on them. Then you have to find and serve them again. If they have protected income, you can't garnish that. Most won't have assets (bank accounts) to go after or will close it and get another bank account.

If you can't collect from them, I like to 1099-C them for what they owe. Make sure you have an EIN so you don't have to put your SSN on the form and mail it to their last known address. It won't get to them so when they file their taxes for that tax year, their refund will be reduced if not rejected for lack of claiming all income. Interest and penalties may also apply. I don't get any money from them but I wasn't going to anyway. Although I do receive the satisfaction of getting the last word. ***NOTE*** some accountants say this is inappropriate while others have told me it is exactly right since I am forgiving their debt and that is considered income. Get your own professional advice and stick to your own risk tolerance.


Oil Patch Adams

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2017, 11:36:16 AM »
That is brilliant

Blindsquirrel

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2017, 05:22:48 PM »
  Yes, start the eviction process now if you have not done so already. Set up an account at www.clearnow.com today and tell future renters you only take direct deposit. Kick them to the curb ASAP!
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Markywalberg

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #11 on: March 18, 2017, 05:03:47 PM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again. So we gave them a 15day notice to either pay 2 months or they have to be out by then. We got 2 months rent on the last day so now they are only down another 2 months on rent so when they come up late this next time ill do the same thing and if they pay they will be 1 month behind and ill just repeat until they are no longer behind or they are evicted. If I do evict  will keep the entire security deposit and then go to small claims court and try for garnished wages.

Another Reader

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #12 on: March 18, 2017, 05:36:09 PM »
What you have are professional tenants that have done this before and will do it again.  They know the eviction laws better than you do. If they are on a lease, give them notice to move at the time specified in the lease or by law in your jurisdiction.  If they are month to month, give them the minimum notice ASAP and get them out.  Yes, you will lose some rent money, but you will save money in the long run.  These folks are probably destroying your property and the damage is worse every day they are there.

My guess is you did not do a very thorough background check when you rented to these people.  You need criminal history, as well as credit history for every adult living in the unit.  We don't just check convictions, we check locally for all court cases.  The new rules from HUD (hopefully to be rescinded by Ben Carson) require you not to consider criminal history alone in denying applicants.  You have to meet a test of showing the applicants are likely to cause material problems in the future based on the type and recency of the criminal record.

I completely agree with "No Nonsense Landlord," who occasionally posts here.  Credit scores correlate well with tenant behavior and performance.  He requires a minimum credit score of 625 for new tenants and his units are not in Class A neighborhoods.  Read his blog, it's very helpful for new landlords. 

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2017, 05:54:29 PM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again.

What municipality is that?  If that's true, I'm guessing it's more nuanced than that-- I doubt it's a blanket prohibition on eviction during winter.
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iamlindoro

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #14 on: March 18, 2017, 05:59:55 PM »
My guess is you did not do a very thorough background check when you rented to these people.  You need criminal history, as well as credit history for every adult living in the unit.  We don't just check convictions, we check locally for all court cases.  The new rules from HUD (hopefully to be rescinded by Ben Carson) require you not to consider criminal history alone in denying applicants.  You have to meet a test of showing the applicants are likely to cause material problems in the future based on the type and recency of the criminal record.

Agree, and I would add that I recommend actually picking up the phone and performing an employment check (don't trust what they put on their application), as well as speaking to the current landlord. If there's no landlord, or something doesn't add up when verifying employment, pass.
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Another Reader

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2017, 06:19:29 PM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again.

What municipality is that?  If that's true, I'm guessing it's more nuanced than that-- I doubt it's a blanket prohibition on eviction during winter.

Some jurisdictions in the upper midwest prohibit evictions during the winter because of the dangerous cold weather conditions.

Markywalberg

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #16 on: March 18, 2017, 11:02:34 PM »
So tenant had good credit (642) and no criminal history and paid rent on time for first 6months before falling behind and had verified income more then 3x the rent we asked for. I guess the reason they gave us was a car transmission broke down and they had a recent death in the family which they had to help pay for. Either way it makes no difference to me (not to sound cruel) but I dont think these are tenants that had any red flags that showed up in the screening process.

Bateaux

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #17 on: March 19, 2017, 01:10:19 AM »
Good luck.  My rental is vacant because having people live there isn't worth the pain.  Had domestic abuse as well as no payment of utilities or rent.  Real estate is a nightmare.   I fund REITs for real estate investing now.   Use my rental as storage. 
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Slow2FIRE

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #18 on: March 19, 2017, 01:25:29 AM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again.

What municipality is that?  If that's true, I'm guessing it's more nuanced than that-- I doubt it's a blanket prohibition on eviction during winter.

Some jurisdictions in the upper midwest prohibit evictions during the winter because of the dangerous cold weather conditions.

My parents said the same thing about Montana.  They ran into that problem a few times back in the 70s and 80s and eventually sold their rental property in the state in the 80s.

marty998

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #19 on: March 19, 2017, 04:11:01 AM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again. So we gave them a 15day notice to either pay 2 months or they have to be out by then. We got 2 months rent on the last day so now they are only down another 2 months on rent so when they come up late this next time ill do the same thing and if they pay they will be 1 month behind and ill just repeat until they are no longer behind or they are evicted. If I do evict  will keep the entire security deposit and then go to small claims court and try for garnished wages.

I agree with Another Reader. You are getting played. Get them up to date, and evict.

Document every interaction as well.

Car Jack

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2017, 07:37:17 AM »
Be careful about holding the security deposit.  Know the lease and law.  You can't just hold the security deposit without documenting damage for which you hold it.  It is not just money to pay the rent that's unpaid.

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #21 on: March 24, 2017, 09:08:33 AM »
Be careful about holding the security deposit.  Know the lease and law.  You can't just hold the security deposit without documenting damage for which you hold it.  It is not just money to pay the rent that's unpaid.

The security deposit may be used to cover unpaid rent in many jurisdictions, so it's definitely right to be aware of the laws (and the lease you're using) as to whether you can do it in yours.
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Secretly Saving

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #22 on: March 24, 2017, 09:16:04 AM »
The time that has passed is water under the bridge now.  Start the process now to get them out!  Follow up with all of your documentation, notices etc and get the clock ticking.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #23 on: March 28, 2017, 07:09:38 AM »
I would have evicted after 5 days.  You have lost any rent you have not received, unless they have great jobs and you can garnish wages.

What were the credit scores?  And income?  Odds are, this is your fault, not theirs.

Give them until the weekend to move out.  Then contact an eviction attorney on Monday at 8 AM.

When they move out, I need a place to stay for free too.  Please let me know when I can move in.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2017, 07:11:56 AM »
I would have evicted after 5 days.  You have lost any rent you have not received, unless they have great jobs and you can garnish wages.  You have to get a judgment first, they hire a collection company to chase the debt.  If they have poor credit and transient jobs, you will not get 0.01 from any of the lost rent.

What were the credit scores?  And income?  Odds are, this is your fault, not theirs.

Give them until the weekend to move out.  Then contact an eviction attorney on Monday at 8 AM.  You will be vacant for at least another 3 months as the place will be in shambles.  Hopefully you have a great backup cash pile.

When they move out, I need a place to stay for free too.  Please let me know when I can move in.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2017, 07:13:52 AM »
Be careful about holding the security deposit.  Know the lease and law.  You can't just hold the security deposit without documenting damage for which you hold it.  It is not just money to pay the rent that's unpaid.

The security deposit may be used to cover unpaid rent in many jurisdictions, so it's definitely right to be aware of the laws (and the lease you're using) as to whether you can do it in yours.

You can use the security deposit to cover unpaid rent after they move out, or even while they are in , in ALL of the USA.  Unpaid rent is damages.  A tenant cannot use the deposit to pay rent in many areas.

Markywalberg

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #26 on: April 01, 2017, 04:09:38 PM »
Okay appreciate the advice, Not really sure how them not paying rent is my fault but I did allow it to carry on to long so ill take that. I know when I moved out of and apartment they said I owed them $60bucks for some crazy reason and a week later they sold that small debt to a collection agency and I was hoping I could do the same but it doesn't sound like that is a possibilty. I will probably be starting the eviction process on the 5th if they dont pay. They came up with 2 months rent last time so I will have to see if they can do it again or boom same day eviction giving then 14days to get out.

iamlindoro

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #27 on: April 01, 2017, 06:01:50 PM »
Not really sure how them not paying rent is my fault but I did allow it to carry on to long so ill take that.

NNL Was asking whether you pulled credit reports, criminal and eviction histories, etc.  If you skipped these steps, then you were asking for a poor tenant.

I will probably be starting the eviction process on the 5th if they dont pay. They came up with 2 months rent last time so I will have to see if they can do it again or boom same day eviction giving then 14days to get out.

I feel like you still might be missing the point here-- if your tenants are once again over a month behind on rent, then (again) you should have already evicted them by now.  If I understand what you're describing correctly, your tenants were three months behind, then paid two months worth of what they owe.  You allowed them to stay.  Now they're about to be two months late again.

Even if we assume that you're correctly interpreting the law in your municipality (still haven't told us where you are) and that you couldn't evict during winter months, you should have proceeded with the eviction when they didn't become completely current the first time.  When the tenant owes three months worth of rent and pays two, the tenant gets evicted.  You are asking for trouble over and over here.
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MaikoTsumi

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #28 on: April 03, 2017, 07:35:35 AM »
Just and update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again. So we gave them a 15day notice to either pay 2 months or they have to be out by then. We got 2 months rent on the last day so now they are only down another 2 months on rent so when they come up late this next time ill do the same thing and if they pay they will be 1 month behind and ill just repeat until they are no longer behind or they are evicted. If I do evict  will keep the entire security deposit and then go to small claims court and try for garnished wages.

I need to be proved otherwise, but I don't believe you're accurate about winter month eviction.  Point me to your local ordinance, or at least provide where your rental resides.  Winter month eviction prohibitions usually originate in myth and not statute.  You need to talk to a lawyer, since you are not capable of handling this yourself.  At a minimum, buy an hour of time with a local eviction attorney so you don't continue stumbling through this.

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #29 on: April 03, 2017, 08:39:21 AM »
Chicago for one doesn't have any kind of winter eviction law. Also 642 isn't good credit; it'd around 30th percentile.

Read up on the eviction process and follow it to the letter. This includes wording of notices, proving delivery of documents (certified mail, take photographs of letters posted to door). Deadbeats suddenly become very crafty if they can catch you on a technicality. If you keep giving them ANY slack they will keep taking advantage of it.

Markywalberg

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #30 on: April 04, 2017, 03:09:08 PM »
For the history check we did run a credit report and criminal history as well as check on the current employment. I think alot of people are thinking i just let them move in no contract or any checks or anything but yes sometimes you can check all these things and still get hit with no paying renters. Just because they check out on all those counts doesnt ensure anything just makes it more likely. In the future I will just be giving the eviction notice once they fail to pay one month. Just an update for everyone they actually paid in full today so they are no longer behind. (I got lucky, but ill take it!!!!!!!!!)

patchyfacialhair

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2017, 09:24:20 AM »
Glad it worked out. I used to work in property management. Our leases stated that rent was due no later than 11:59pm on the 3rd of the month.

On the 4th, even if it was a Sunday, I, or my manager, would go in early, post checks, and review online payments, and hand-deliver 3 day demands for anyone with a balance over $100 at that point.

Deliquency was always super low, and it made "arguing" with problem tenants super easy. Sorry you don't have the rent, but this is a business and we've given clear deadlines.

We also reviewed all the deadlines when they signed the lease. No only rent due dates, but notice due dates as well. When you treat adults like adults, they usually act like adults.


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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #32 on: April 06, 2017, 06:25:57 AM »
For the history check we did run a credit report and criminal history as well as check on the current employment. I think alot of people are thinking i just let them move in no contract or any checks or anything but yes sometimes you can check all these things and still get hit with no paying renters. Just because they check out on all those counts doesnt ensure anything just makes it more likely. In the future I will just be giving the eviction notice once they fail to pay one month. Just an update for everyone they actually paid in full today so they are no longer behind. (I got lucky, but ill take it!!!!!!!!!)

Take the "lucky" but might be wise not to allow them to renew the lease or to hold over.

NoNonsenseLandlord

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2017, 06:42:54 AM »
For the history check we did run a credit report and criminal history as well as check on the current employment. I think alot of people are thinking i just let them move in no contract or any checks or anything but yes sometimes you can check all these things and still get hit with no paying renters. Just because they check out on all those counts doesn't ensure anything just makes it more likely. In the future I will just be giving the eviction notice once they fail to pay one month. Just an update for everyone they actually paid in full today so they are no longer behind. (I got lucky, but ill take it!!!!!!!!!)

Congrats!!  Some renters do come back from the 'dead', but only if they have decent credit and income.  I had one come back after getting ~$3,000 behind in my earlier days.  Thank God for the EITC!  Now I just send the eviction letter as soon as possible and that seems to work.  With 25 renters, I have 2-3 weak links.

Just an update, with local laws we cant evict during certain months (winter months) the third month was the first month we are allowed to evict again.

In MN, we can evict on Christmas eve.  I do not think a Winter eviction is illegal anywhere.  People can even get the utilities turned off in the Winter, if they have not entered into a payment plan with the utility company, it happened to my renters a long time ago.  The same ones that got $3,000+ behind.


NNL Was asking whether you pulled credit reports, criminal and eviction histories, etc.  If you skipped these steps, then you were asking for a poor tenant.

Exactly.  Or if you pulled credit and ignored a low credit score.  Actually, a 642 with plenty of income is not too bad.  658 is the average renter credit score from what I have read.  I have seen a landlord take a tenant with a 390 credit score, and they thought the tenant would be good.

When your renter is behind, instead of thinking the tenant needs help, think of them as stealing or delaying your retirement plan.  Think about eating cat food, while your tenant dines on steak.  Think about missing a vet visit for your Dog, or your kid suffering without the proper medication because your renter took that money.  That should help you get the right attitude.

Markywalberg

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #34 on: April 14, 2017, 11:33:57 PM »
Ya ill admit that i got lucky but in the future ill just mail the eviction notice after one month of being late.

iamlindoro

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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #35 on: April 15, 2017, 08:42:18 AM »
Ya ill admit that i got lucky but in the future ill just mail the eviction notice after one month of being late.

I... feel like you still aren't getting this.  One month is way, way, way too long. Many landlords would consider one WEEK way too long. You should be sending a pay or quit notice as soon as rent is late, or immediately following any grace period established in the lease. You should move forward with formal eviction proceedings if the rent isn't paid within 72 hours of that.
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Scortius

  • Bristles
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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #36 on: April 17, 2017, 10:28:57 AM »
Ya ill admit that i got lucky but in the future ill just mail the eviction notice after one month of being late.

I... feel like you still aren't getting this.  One month is way, way, way too long. Many landlords would consider one WEEK way too long. You should be sending a pay or quit notice as soon as rent is late, or immediately following any grace period established in the lease. You should move forward with formal eviction proceedings if the rent isn't paid within 72 hours of that.

Yep, you can't just mail an eviction notice without going through the exact proper procedure.  In my state that starts with a 3 day notice of delinquency.  Go to your local library and check out a copy of your state's "Renter's Handbook".  You might be amazed at how many laws are out there protecting your tenants.  I'm not saying that's a bad thing, just know that as a landlord you need to understand the exact letter of the law, otherwise you are asking to get screwed over by tenants who know how to play you.

Goldielocks

  • Magnum Stache
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Re: First Bad renters NOT PAYING RENT!!!
« Reply #37 on: April 19, 2017, 11:05:07 AM »
Ya ill admit that i got lucky but in the future ill just mail the eviction notice after one month of being late.

I... feel like you still aren't getting this.  One month is way, way, way too long. Many landlords would consider one WEEK way too long. You should be sending a pay or quit notice as soon as rent is late, or immediately following any grace period established in the lease. You should move forward with formal eviction proceedings if the rent isn't paid within 72 hours of that.

The first eviction notice is treated more like a warning to pay up, or else the eviction gets "real" on a later date.  Most tenants pay up and some are never late again, and there is zero impact to having received the notice if paid in full by the date allowed on the notice.    Some jurisdictions will take note of repeating offenders who pay up "just in time" repeatedly.