Author Topic: How to re-assert my authority?  (Read 2556 times)

mozar

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How to re-assert my authority?
« on: August 10, 2018, 01:45:46 PM »
Or "authoritah" as Cartman would say. I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation. I should have asked for help earlier.

My tenant who I live with thinks I'm really kind. Things that make him think so: I usually say thank you when he pays rent. I fixed the patio light (he thinks I did it for him, it's broken again anyways). I forgot to lock the door when I left once and he thought I left it unlocked for him, I put down sand when it was snowing etc.
So on August first he told me (!) that he was going to be ten days late on rent. He has never been late for a as long as he has lived in my house (a year). How do I let him know that's not OK, or is it too late and I have to tell him to move out? I was thinking of raising the rent 25 dollars and having him sign a new lease. Maybe that will put the tenant landlord relationship back on track?

patchyfacialhair

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #1 on: August 10, 2018, 02:05:18 PM »
I assume you have an existing lease? If so, point out the due date on that and say "10 days late is not acceptable."

sailinlight

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #2 on: August 10, 2018, 02:12:04 PM »
That doesn't really seem like a huge deal to me. Ask him what the problem is, and make sure that he knows that you're not happy about it. But things happen, and you live with the guy, so it's not like he can hide from you.

Miss Piggy

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #3 on: August 10, 2018, 02:16:29 PM »
Is there no "late payment fee" or anything like that in your lease agreement? It's either on time or the tenant is kicked out? That seems a bit extreme.

(I am not a landlord. But do you really want to have to find a new tenant over a 10-day difference?)

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #4 on: August 10, 2018, 02:17:51 PM »
Today being 10 days after the first - rent is ALWAYS due ON OR BEFORE THE FIRST.

When you're reviewing the Lease Document both parties signed, read the stipulations of what happens when the rent is late - late penalty, etc.
Remind the tenant of the agreement both parties signed in the LEASE DOCUMENT, and bill them accordingly.

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #5 on: August 10, 2018, 02:48:36 PM »
There is a ten dollar late fee and I told him I would wave it this time. A conversation about why he was late might be good. I don't think he really wants to talk about it.
If I had said 10 days late is not acceptable, then what?

patchyfacialhair

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 02:52:02 PM »
There is a ten dollar late fee and I told him I would wave it this time. A conversation about why he was late might be good. I don't think he really wants to talk about it.
If I had said 10 days late is not acceptable, then what?

Then you wait for his response, to which you reiterate "Sorry you came upon that hardship. However, you agreed to pay rent on the first. If you won't be able to afford to pay rent on time we may need to discuss other options."

But that's moot, since it sounds like you're bending to him by waiving the fee and allowing him to pay late.

sol

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #7 on: August 10, 2018, 02:53:46 PM »
Our leases all have a per-day late fee.  You can pay up to 30 days late, you just pay a lot more.  After five days you get an eviction notice, which we have never had to do.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 03:25:03 PM by sol »

Miss Piggy

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #8 on: August 10, 2018, 02:56:18 PM »
There is a ten dollar late fee and I told him I would wave it this time. A conversation about why he was late might be good. I don't think he really wants to talk about it.
If I had said 10 days late is not acceptable, then what?

Devil's advocate (again, I'm not a landlord): Seems to me that it's really none of your business WHY he's late with the rent. He told you he'd be late. You waived his incentive to be on time. I think you missed your chance this time around, but you can be ready with a more firm response next time.

As far as the "10 days late is not acceptable, then what?" question, I'll leave that to the landlords here.

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2018, 03:06:36 PM »
Can you elaborate on per day late fees @sol ? In my state late fees can not exceed 5%

sol

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2018, 03:24:19 PM »
Can you elaborate on per day late fees @sol ? In my state late fees can not exceed 5%

Sure.  I could even quote you the language in the lease, when I get to a real computer.

Basically it's $20/day that they are late, up to 5 days.  But you can make it literally any amount at all, that you can get a tenant to sign.  On day six the legal eviction process starts with a written notice of eviction.
« Last Edit: August 10, 2018, 03:26:19 PM by sol »

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #11 on: August 10, 2018, 03:28:17 PM »
Wow. So after 5 days late you give them a 30 day eviction notice? . Yes, I would like to see the language when you get a chance. Thx.

patchyfacialhair

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2018, 03:55:35 PM »
Where I live, most landlords let you pay up through the 3rd. If you pay on the 4th, you're late and charged a fee, and the tenant is given a 3 day notice to comply, with late fees due each day. Certified funds may be a requirement if it's late. On the 7th, attorneys/district court are fowarded the eviction complaint and then the tenant is assigned a court date. Court date could be a few weeks after that, depending on the court's capacity. If court rules in favor of landlord, then a date will be set to send out the sheriff for the actual eviction. To stop that process, the tenant either pays or moves out before the formal eviction with the sheriff.

rothwem

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2018, 03:58:30 PM »
Mine is 10% of the rent after the 5th day. I should really make it a per day thing though, so that they don’t pay on the 29th and expect that it’s okay because they’re paying a little extra. I’ve never had an issue though, even though I did have one tenant that paid on the 5th every month.

But basically the way to assert your authority is to follow your lease. By allowing him to not follow the lease you’re running the risk of invalidating the entire document.

everyredpenny

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2018, 10:18:26 AM »
I think it's reasonable to waive the late fee for a first time offense, just make sure he knows that rent is expected to be paid on time.  So did he pay yet?

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #15 on: August 12, 2018, 12:15:19 PM »
Oh yeah, he paid exactly when he said he would. I think I will get him to sign a new lease with higher late fees. This has been a good learning from my mistakes opportunity.

Lmoot

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #16 on: August 13, 2018, 03:04:51 AM »
 Wow, I understand business is business but I am surprised at the heightened level of drama over a one time late payment after 1 year of flawless payments. And for a roommate at that. I hope you don’t get into the landlord in business for sure. I mean, it’s good to be assertive, but I feel like in this case it would’ve been heavy handed. I think waiving the fee and just letting him know that for you it’s only a one time thing and that you are serious about on time payments, was the right call in my opinion. From the tone of your post, it really seems like you have other issues with him. I personally would not want to live with someone who feels like they need to assert authority over me. I know that is probably not what you meant, but your tone just feels a little nasty for the circumstances.

 Like as if you regret saying thank you and changing a light, and are keeping tabs on little things you do for the household (does he not do things?). I get that living with roommates can be stressful, and nobody knows the whole story, if other things he’s done has built up this reaction from you, but you may want to evaluate how you really feel about living with this person before things escalate.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2018, 03:08:31 AM by Lmoot »

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #17 on: August 13, 2018, 01:30:08 PM »
I understand where you are coming from @Lmoot. I think I just have different circumstances that you may not be familiar with.

Cwadda

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2018, 01:54:46 PM »
In my state if rent is due the 1st, the tenant has until the 10th to pay it. Guess I live in a very tenant-friendly state.

belly05

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #19 on: August 14, 2018, 08:37:47 AM »
One thing that has really made the landlording process easier for me, especially the collecting rent part, is automating it. A great free service for this is Cozy. Their app will automatically remind renters (aka nag them) about paying rent. It also encourages them to just setup auto pay, and it will automatically apply a late fee if they are X days late (you can specify the date).

For me at least it takes all of the uncomfortable communication out of the picture. The software does the nagging, and the software applies a late fee if needed.

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #20 on: August 14, 2018, 10:53:51 AM »
Quote
One thing that has really made the landlording process easier for me, especially the collecting rent part, is automating it

Does the renter have to put in their bank information to the app? I've tried getting my renters to do a service but they balk when they have to submit their bank info.

Miss Piggy

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2018, 05:00:57 PM »
Quote
One thing that has really made the landlording process easier for me, especially the collecting rent part, is automating it

Does the renter have to put in their bank information to the app? I've tried getting my renters to do a service but they balk when they have to submit their bank info.

They should be able to set up a recurring payment to you through their own bank's website.

Pootie22

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #22 on: August 14, 2018, 06:42:41 PM »
My tenant told me she could only give me half and the other half on the 15th, I said "Cool just make sure you add the late fee on there, thanks"

Mother Fussbudget

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #23 on: August 15, 2018, 02:27:33 PM »
The Mike Butler school of landlording (“Landlording on AutoPilot”) would have you ask the tenant if they would rather change the existing lease’s payment plan to an every-two-week payment plan. 
Then divide the current rent in-half, and make that amount due every 2 weeks. Get the tenant to set it up on-line, and automatic. 

Yes, the landlord will receive an extra month’s rent over a year.  That’s the cost of the landlord being willing to take payments every other week, and the extra overhead, paperwork, tracking, and headache that will cause the landlord.

Seadog

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #24 on: August 15, 2018, 02:36:51 PM »
Or "authoritah" as Cartman would say. I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation. I should have asked for help earlier.

My tenant who I live with thinks I'm really kind. Things that make him think so: I usually say thank you when he pays rent. I fixed the patio light (he thinks I did it for him, it's broken again anyways). I forgot to lock the door when I left once and he thought I left it unlocked for him, I put down sand when it was snowing etc.
So on August first he told me (!) that he was going to be ten days late on rent. He has never been late for a as long as he has lived in my house (a year). How do I let him know that's not OK, or is it too late and I have to tell him to move out? I was thinking of raising the rent 25 dollars and having him sign a new lease. Maybe that will put the tenant landlord relationship back on track?

Wow. That's almost comical. So basically, for something that has about $0.50 of actual lost opportunity cost attached to it, you want to get rid of an otherwise good tenant?

Saying "thank you" and replacing a light bulb, and other 5 minute chores are being excessively nice?

It sounds like you're insecure about making sure he knows who the big swinging dick is, and honestly can't stand when people nickle and dime me in such a fashion, and would probably try to wind down such a relationship. The value of a landlord/tenant (or any business relationship for that matter) is in predictability that you won't lose out on rent or money in the long run(ie never get paid), and he won't damage the place.

Frankly it goes both ways. Would you expect him to cut you slack because you're out of town and can't replace the light bulb next time within the limits set out by tenancy board? would it be reasonable for him to pursue damages? Good tenants and good landlord go both ways, and it works best when there is flexibility on both sides. Especially for something like 10 day late rent which has 0 real costs. Hell Visa has given me slack when I just forgot to pay by a week once...

wageslave23

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #25 on: August 15, 2018, 02:51:39 PM »
Or "authoritah" as Cartman would say. I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation. I should have asked for help earlier.

My tenant who I live with thinks I'm really kind. Things that make him think so: I usually say thank you when he pays rent. I fixed the patio light (he thinks I did it for him, it's broken again anyways). I forgot to lock the door when I left once and he thought I left it unlocked for him, I put down sand when it was snowing etc.
So on August first he told me (!) that he was going to be ten days late on rent. He has never been late for a as long as he has lived in my house (a year). How do I let him know that's not OK, or is it too late and I have to tell him to move out? I was thinking of raising the rent 25 dollars and having him sign a new lease. Maybe that will put the tenant landlord relationship back on track?



Wow. That's almost comical. So basically, for something that has about $0.50 of actual lost opportunity cost attached to it, you want to get rid of an otherwise good tenant?

Saying "thank you" and replacing a light bulb, and other 5 minute chores are being excessively nice?

It sounds like you're insecure about making sure he knows who the big swinging dick is, and honestly can't stand when people nickle and dime me in such a fashion, and would probably try to wind down such a relationship. The value of a landlord/tenant (or any business relationship for that matter) is in predictability that you won't lose out on rent or money in the long run(ie never get paid), and he won't damage the place.

Frankly it goes both ways. Would you expect him to cut you slack because you're out of town and can't replace the light bulb next time within the limits set out by tenancy board? would it be reasonable for him to pursue damages? Good tenants and good landlord go both ways, and it works best when there is flexibility on both sides. Especially for something like 10 day late rent which has 0 real costs. Hell Visa has given me slack when I just forgot to pay by a week once...

Try filling up your gas tank at a gas station and telling them you will pay for it in 10 days...  Especially for roommates who might not have the cash flow to cover the unexpected cost of having to cover BOTH portions of the mortgage/rent, I think it is very irresponsible of the roommate not to pay on time.  That being said if cash flow wasn't an issue, I would waive the late fee the first time and stress that from now on its due by the 1st or $10 a day late fee. 

Lmoot

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #26 on: August 15, 2018, 04:50:20 PM »
Or "authoritah" as Cartman would say. I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation. I should have asked for help earlier.

My tenant who I live with thinks I'm really kind. Things that make him think so: I usually say thank you when he pays rent. I fixed the patio light (he thinks I did it for him, it's broken again anyways). I forgot to lock the door when I left once and he thought I left it unlocked for him, I put down sand when it was snowing etc.
So on August first he told me (!) that he was going to be ten days late on rent. He has never been late for a as long as he has lived in my house (a year). How do I let him know that's not OK, or is it too late and I have to tell him to move out? I was thinking of raising the rent 25 dollars and having him sign a new lease. Maybe that will put the tenant landlord relationship back on track?



Wow. That's almost comical. So basically, for something that has about $0.50 of actual lost opportunity cost attached to it, you want to get rid of an otherwise good tenant?

Saying "thank you" and replacing a light bulb, and other 5 minute chores are being excessively nice?

It sounds like you're insecure about making sure he knows who the big swinging dick is, and honestly can't stand when people nickle and dime me in such a fashion, and would probably try to wind down such a relationship. The value of a landlord/tenant (or any business relationship for that matter) is in predictability that you won't lose out on rent or money in the long run(ie never get paid), and he won't damage the place.

Frankly it goes both ways. Would you expect him to cut you slack because you're out of town and can't replace the light bulb next time within the limits set out by tenancy board? would it be reasonable for him to pursue damages? Good tenants and good landlord go both ways, and it works best when there is flexibility on both sides. Especially for something like 10 day late rent which has 0 real costs. Hell Visa has given me slack when I just forgot to pay by a week once...

Try filling up your gas tank at a gas station and telling them you will pay for it in 10 days...  Especially for roommates who might not have the cash flow to cover the unexpected cost of having to cover BOTH portions of the mortgage/rent, I think it is very irresponsible of the roommate not to pay on time.  That being said if cash flow wasn't an issue, I would waive the late fee the first time and stress that from now on its due by the 1st or $10 a day late fee.

He’s the landlord, not a roommate. He shouldn’t have been able to, or gotten a mortgage that he couldn’t pay by himself without boarders. Someone you live with and have had some sort of relationship with for a year, is not comparable to a gas station attendant.
« Last Edit: August 15, 2018, 04:58:32 PM by Lmoot »

wageslave23

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #27 on: August 15, 2018, 07:57:32 PM »
Or "authoritah" as Cartman would say. I'm a bit embarrassed about this situation. I should have asked for help earlier.

My tenant who I live with thinks I'm really kind. Things that make him think so: I usually say thank you when he pays rent. I fixed the patio light (he thinks I did it for him, it's broken again anyways). I forgot to lock the door when I left once and he thought I left it unlocked for him, I put down sand when it was snowing etc.
So on August first he told me (!) that he was going to be ten days late on rent. He has never been late for a as long as he has lived in my house (a year). How do I let him know that's not OK, or is it too late and I have to tell him to move out? I was thinking of raising the rent 25 dollars and having him sign a new lease. Maybe that will put the tenant landlord relationship back on track?



Wow. That's almost comical. So basically, for something that has about $0.50 of actual lost opportunity cost attached to it, you want to get rid of an otherwise good tenant?

Saying "thank you" and replacing a light bulb, and other 5 minute chores are being excessively nice?

It sounds like you're insecure about making sure he knows who the big swinging dick is, and honestly can't stand when people nickle and dime me in such a fashion, and would probably try to wind down such a relationship. The value of a landlord/tenant (or any business relationship for that matter) is in predictability that you won't lose out on rent or money in the long run(ie never get paid), and he won't damage the place.

Frankly it goes both ways. Would you expect him to cut you slack because you're out of town and can't replace the light bulb next time within the limits set out by tenancy board? would it be reasonable for him to pursue damages? Good tenants and good landlord go both ways, and it works best when there is flexibility on both sides. Especially for something like 10 day late rent which has 0 real costs. Hell Visa has given me slack when I just forgot to pay by a week once...

Try filling up your gas tank at a gas station and telling them you will pay for it in 10 days...  Especially for roommates who might not have the cash flow to cover the unexpected cost of having to cover BOTH portions of the mortgage/rent, I think it is very irresponsible of the roommate not to pay on time.  That being said if cash flow wasn't an issue, I would waive the late fee the first time and stress that from now on its due by the 1st or $10 a day late fee.

He’s the landlord, not a roommate. He shouldn’t have been able to, or gotten a mortgage that he couldn’t pay by himself without boarders. Someone you live with and have had some sort of relationship with for a year, is not comparable to a gas station attendant.

The point is people take advantage of people that they can.  I'm sure the renter also keeps extra money on hand in cash the landlord is short on cash and needs some extra money to pay the mortgage on time too.  People buy houses that they later can't afford to pay for by themselves all the time, thus looking for roommates to share the cost. 

Seadog

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #28 on: August 15, 2018, 08:45:35 PM »

Try filling up your gas tank at a gas station and telling them you will pay for it in 10 days...  Especially for roommates who might not have the cash flow to cover the unexpected cost of having to cover BOTH portions of the mortgage/rent, I think it is very irresponsible of the roommate not to pay on time.  That being said if cash flow wasn't an issue, I would waive the late fee the first time and stress that from now on its due by the 1st or $10 a day late fee.

That's frequently the case in all sorts of business relationships. Net 30 terms are almost standard, and frequently when buying large amounts of fuel, say for a chopper several times a day, the bill would go away and someone else would deal with it. As long as you get paid, it should make a different whether it's this week or next week unless you're a worthless payday loan company or a loan shark.

If you're running a landlording operation, and after a year are still so tight on cash that you can't handle half rent being 10 days late, you're doing something wrong. What happens when you have 2 months of vacancy? Or a major repair is needed, now you can't fulfill your obligations? If you're going to bully otherwise good tenants over 10 days, your shit better be squeaky clean. I've lived in places where the water and cable was cutoff for non payment of bills, but these are just "casual landlords". Like you say, overpaid for a home, figure they couldn't lose because RE only goes up, and then they want to make their poor decisions the tenants problems, who ran the numbers and determined it was obviously better to rent. Some people honestly figure that because they got 5% down together, that they're entitled to a no-lose situation in RE.

That said, I think it would be fine to calmly explain if that was the case, that he needs rent promptly because he's so poor at money management that he can't pay the bills otherwise. That isn't the case. Here he's looking to evict ASAP and asking how he can bully his tenant into submission.

Taking advantage? This is like borrowing milk for coffee from a room mate because yours ran out, and then offering to buy another carton when you got groceries next week. 

expatartist

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #29 on: August 15, 2018, 09:37:57 PM »
I'm surprised at Mustachians siding with the tenant. Paying rent on time has always been non-negotiable for me, no matter how badly off I was. At age 20 I might've tapped into my credit card once or twice to pay rent on time (when tuition was due at the same time). The relationship with our landlord is one of the most fundamental to daily life.

Seadog

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #30 on: August 19, 2018, 07:03:51 AM »
I'm not siding with the renter, obviously he's in the wrong, however his fault is on par with (assuming electric was included) leaving the lights on downstairs overnight. A party foul, but one whose real world consequences is measured in cents. The response OP is looking to enact is appropriate for a situation where "He told me he's not paying me rent ever again, had a party, drank all my booze, and smashed a keg through my picture window".

Can't wait for the OPs next post about a problem employee. "Had this guy come 2 hours late for work after a decade of great performance. Apparently his "mom" had a stroke and he had to get her to the hospital, but he let me know in advance. How do I a) ensure I don't pay him for this day, b) fire him c) avoid any form of severance."

endofwit

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2018, 05:57:03 PM »
Yea, way too much siding with the tenant on here. Though you've never served a notice to quit, it becomes pretty natural after a few of them. Why should the landlord be giving the tenant an interest-free loan? 5% late fees in my state. Haven't had to charge one for two years as tenant screening has gotten much better and the bad ones have moved on. Quit saying thank you in person. Writing it on a receipt would be okay, but in person (verbally) just seems weird. I would say "pleasure doing business with you", or something along those lines.

mozar

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2018, 08:14:01 PM »
I never said to him that I was going to or planning to evict him if he as late. I was sharing my thoughts on the situation and using the forum as a sounding board.
So I told him that the rent was going up and there would be new late fees and he said he loves living here and would be happy to sign a new lease.




electriceagle

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #33 on: August 22, 2018, 08:51:31 AM »
There is a ten dollar late fee and I told him I would wave it this time. A conversation about why he was late might be good. I don't think he really wants to talk about it.
If I had said 10 days late is not acceptable, then what?

Depending on where you are located, giving him a break this time may force you to do the same next time.

Here in California, failure to enforce your lease can be construed as permanently waiving the lease terms. I don't know about your state.

BicycleB

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #34 on: August 22, 2018, 02:49:15 PM »
Voting for @Pootie22's response.

I have rented to numerous roommates in my house. My observations/experience:

1. In practice, I normally give a "pass" (no charge) the first time a roomie is late, IF they communicate ahead of time. This does support that I value communication, which I do, because it reduces surprises and allows me a smooth path to resolving problems in general. I say, "thanks for communicating, that's important to me. I won't charge the late fee this month if you pay according to your new plan."

2. If there is repetition, or lack of communication, or they slip from the new payment schedule, I invoke the late payment charges.

3. Twice I've had people who were periodically late. One had a self-management issue. The late payment fees were necessary and not always sufficient to keep lateness from extending longer and longer. At one point, when I delayed invoking them, the late rent piled up and when I tried to discuss/collect, renter complained to a local tenant advocacy center. The good news was that when they read my agreement and my documentation of the circumstance, they told the renter I'd been more forgiving than necessary; there was nothing to complain about. Due to experience, I knew the guy would catch up if I let him/ pushed him now that he was working again... and if he left, I'd lose collection leverage. I figured I was better letting him pay rent plus $100 catch up per month. It worked - he eventually paid in full. We agreed on partial late fees during the catch up period, so I profited a couple hundred dollars due to successful resolution. By then, relations were fraying due to other issues. At that point I terminated the lease. It should be noted that I essentially have month to month leases with all roommate/renters, so that I don't have to put up with crap if I don't feel like it.

4. The "catch up" case above illustrates the principle other posters mentioned - an occasional late payment is meaningless if you have cash and the renter makes good on it. I have a current roommate who works on tips and occasionally is short. Every few months he asks for a few days late. The lost interest is tiny, the loyalty keeps turnover low (aka, means that he puts up with my low tolerance for his TV noise). Peace and prosperity abound.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2018, 05:48:03 PM by BicycleB »

Lmoot

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Re: How to re-assert my authority?
« Reply #35 on: August 22, 2018, 04:00:21 PM »
^ this guy gets it. Contracts are necessary, but people are not robots. I wouldn’t want to be a landlord like I am, if I felt like I had to behave in such a clinical way, with no regards to the circumstances.