Author Topic: Rant about my new tenants  (Read 3511 times)

former player

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Rant about my new tenants
« on: January 31, 2016, 03:57:40 AM »
OK, so I thought I had everything set up.  House has been thoroughly sorted - painted throughout, carpets cleaned, everything cleaned, a few niggles on the plumbing and electric upgraded, garden tidied.  Tenants found through reputable local agency: middle-aged couple, excellent references from lawyer, accountant and consultancy.  Local connections and an accountant-verified mid-six figures income: they want a place to rent for a year or more while they look at building their dream home.

Second month's rent is late.  Only a day so far, but I'm pissed.

Best laid plans, and all that.

2Cent

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2016, 05:28:52 AM »
Don't complain. This is probably a startup problem. A friend of mine was renting out an apartment in Londen. After moving in, the just didn't pay any rent. It took 6 months to get the court to evict them, and then they disappeared.

GrOW

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2016, 05:54:18 AM »
It can be a hard line to walk but for me I find that hitting them with very direct email and hand delivered letter explaining late fees and next steps available to me (ie. legal steps) is the way to go. I can soften it in how I present it with the hand delivered step. I can listen to their reasons and sympathize so I appear fair. But my ultimate goal is to let the tenant know that the property is a very important asset to me and that I will not settle for anything short of timely payment nor will I delay in protecting my rights as a landlord.

Good people going through rough times will take advantage of a weak landlord and deprioritize their rent payment in favor of other payments where the owner/lender is less forgiving. Don't let it happen to you.

ender

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2016, 06:42:33 AM »
... when is rent due?

You posted this on 1/31, which strikes me as an unusual day to have rent due.

former player

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2016, 07:22:07 AM »
Don't complain. This is probably a startup problem. A friend of mine was renting out an apartment in Londen. After moving in, the just didn't pay any rent. It took 6 months to get the court to evict them, and then they disappeared.
Yes, it's turned out to be a start-up problem.  But yikes, way to get a landlord worried with your friend's story.  I guess you could do all the proper checks and still a tenant could decide that this is their opportunity to take advantage before they move on.
It can be a hard line to walk but for me I find that hitting them with very direct email and hand delivered letter explaining late fees and next steps available to me (ie. legal steps) is the way to go. I can soften it in how I present it with the hand delivered step. I can listen to their reasons and sympathize so I appear fair. But my ultimate goal is to let the tenant know that the property is a very important asset to me and that I will not settle for anything short of timely payment nor will I delay in protecting my rights as a landlord.

Good people going through rough times will take advantage of a weak landlord and deprioritize their rent payment in favor of other payments where the owner/lender is less forgiving. Don't let it happen to you.
I sent a polite enquiry by email this morning, and got a very prompt response after the tenant checked their account that the automatic bank payment had failed and a special transfer had been made, which has now shown up in my account.  Phew.

... when is rent due?

You posted this on 1/31, which strikes me as an unusual day to have rent due.
Rent due monthly in advance, on 30th of the previous month (29th for Feb, I guess).   I'm in the UK, and electronic payments to and from bank accounts for a typical rental amount are usually free and instant, so weekends and bank holidays aren't really relevant.


Hopefully all just a teething problem.  I think part of the reason I was worried is that I own the house jointly with my brother and have made all the letting decisions so far: if it goes wrong I've let him down.  Not that he would be anything but understanding, but still.

adamcollin

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2016, 10:56:12 PM »
Did you include any clause for late payment in the rental agreement?

former player

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #6 on: February 02, 2016, 01:45:16 AM »
Did you include any clause for late payment in the rental agreement?
There is provision for payment of interest (which only amounts to anything if the delays in payment have been pretty significant).  I'm not sure that penalty payments would be enforceable - and in any case, if someone's not paying rent they probably don't have money for a penalty payment on top.

There's a fair amount of pressure on houses to rent around here, and landlords usually want references from previous landlords so the chances of someone settled in the area and with a good income majorly defaulting on rent should be fairly low.  I hope.

norabird

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #7 on: February 02, 2016, 08:12:13 AM »
I think administrative problems in getting the payment to work properly are normal in the real world for new tenants. Doesn't mean they're unreliable; relax!

zoltani

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #8 on: February 02, 2016, 11:00:15 AM »
Yeah, relax or you will have a tough time in the landlording business. And it is that, just a business. They were one day late and you already got pissed. No time for emotion to creep in, just take the necessary steps to get payment or get them out.

I have a tenant (2.5 years) that is notoriously late, usually about 3-4 months out of the year. I just smile and collect the $150-200/year extra in late payments.

zoltani

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #9 on: February 02, 2016, 11:02:33 AM »
Did you include any clause for late payment in the rental agreement?
There is provision for payment of interest (which only amounts to anything if the delays in payment have been pretty significant).  I'm not sure that penalty payments would be enforceable - and in any case, if someone's not paying rent they probably don't have money for a penalty payment on top.

There's a fair amount of pressure on houses to rent around here, and landlords usually want references from previous landlords so the chances of someone settled in the area and with a good income majorly defaulting on rent should be fairly low.  I hope.

I am curious about the bolded statement. What do you mean you are not sure if late payments are enforceable? You should know your local laws thoroughly or you will get screwed over by someone that does know them and uses them to their advantage. If you are not interested in studying the law or enforcing it then hire a manager.

former player

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Re: Rant about my new tenants
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2016, 05:59:56 AM »
I'm not sure that penalty payments would be enforceable
I am curious about the bolded statement. What do you mean you are not sure if late payments are enforceable? You should know your local laws thoroughly or you will get screwed over by someone that does know them and uses them to their advantage. If you are not interested in studying the law or enforcing it then hire a manager.
The general rule in the UK is that only costs incurred from a breach of contract (which includes a tenancy agreement) can be recovered.   If I had a mortgage on the property I might have wanted something about paying any extra costs on that arising from late rent, but as I don't I can't see what other costs a penalty payment would cover, other than the reasonable rate of interest (6% per annum) already provided for in the lease.  I don't think the law allows charges for eg the costs involved in chasing up late rent.  The USA seems to have more leeway in imposing those sorts of additional charges.

I've used a reputable letting firm to find reputable tenants.  I'm prepared to keep a close eye on the payment of rent, and to be asking the tenant about it soonest if it is late.  There's a good inventory of the property signed by the tenants, a requirement for it to be left clean and in good condition at the end of the tenancy, and a decent deposit in an appropriate deposit scheme, which I can keep back as appropriate if there are problems with that.  The property is within a mile of my own home, so I can keep an eye on it as I pass by.  I think I've done everything I reasonably can.   But it is still a little nervewracking to know that about half a million pounds of your assets is in the hands of someone you haven't really developed a bond of trust with.