Author Topic: Tenants are late every month. What to do?  (Read 2358 times)

GodHimself

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Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« on: April 09, 2020, 01:11:51 PM »
I have 2 rental properties that I bought 2 months ago. They were being sold by the same owner. Anyways, during these 2 months, the tenants are late on their rent every month. The fee is $5/day for every day they're late.

Is my late fee too lenient, which is what's causing them to not care about being timely with payment? Should I increase the late fee? I'd really like to be paid on time.

Thank you.

Papa bear

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2020, 02:34:29 PM »
Are they under lease? Because then you have to do what your lease says. 

Also, some localities put limits on what a “reasonable” late fee is.  You should look into that as well.

My late fee is $25.  In reality, I don’t care what it is and I rarely enforce it as long as I get my rent.   


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diapasoun

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2020, 02:37:11 PM »
What do you mean by late?

They pay on the 2nd instead of the 1st?

Or they pay on the 19th?

Those are very different situations imo and need to be treated differently.

(And like Papa Bear says, if they're under lease, you need to follow the rules of the lease.)

GodHimself

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2020, 02:39:19 PM »
They're like 8 days.

Yes, they're under lease. What we're arguing about is how the next lease should be, for August 2020.

srad

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2020, 03:04:57 PM »
why are they late?  do they get paid on the 5th, or do they just forget to pay until you mention something?

For a new lease, absolutely change it to "Your" lease, its your property now.

My leases state if not paid by the 5th, theres a $25 late fee and an additional $5 per day until paid in full, which PIF includes the late fee. 

Papa bear

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2020, 03:05:39 PM »
Do you get $35 late fee every month? I’d take that as a win.  And how do you have collection set up? Electronic? A check? Find out why it’s taking so long.


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Model96

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2020, 04:40:38 PM »
If they have been reliable long term tenants doing the same thing for a long time, with no other issues, I wouldn't bother as it probably would cause more problems than it solves.
I always have taken a different tack when dealing direct with people such as tenants, versus the approach to dealing with paperwork with faceless corporate entities.....

norajean

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2020, 05:58:15 PM »
They are completely and totally late on the rent every single month, month after month, for a whopping grand total of TWO months in a row.

Dicey

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2020, 06:29:41 AM »
They are completely and totally late on the rent every single month, month after month, for a whopping grand total of TWO months in a row.
Don't forget to include the change of payment addresses. It feels like our newbie LL is getting a harsh dose of the joys of dealing with tenants.

OP, ask them why. If it's because they don't get paid until X date, then be a mensch and adjust their due date. End of problem.

waltworks

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2020, 09:13:07 PM »
They're like 8 days.

Yes, they're under lease. What we're arguing about is how the next lease should be, for August 2020.

If you have tenants with income, who pay their rent (even late) your #1 priority is to keep them. Period.

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rothwem

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2020, 03:51:42 PM »
My late fee is $100 after the 5th, and a notice to gtfo (pay or quit) three days after that. I’ve never had to actually serve the gtfo order, but I have had a tenant pay the $100 before. They were never late again after that.

I also asked them why they were late, they were college kids that “just like totally forgot man”, so I started sending them a reminder text every month on the 4th.

Anyways, I think your fee might be a little lenient, but there’s nothing you can do about it until the release renews. In the meantime, I’ll echo the others that you should probably try to find out the reason why they’re late. Reminders don’t hurt either.

ROF Expat

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2020, 02:41:22 AM »
Like a few previous posters, I wouldn't view tenants who pay a little bit late a problem as long as they consistently pay their rent and late fees every month and aren't causing any other problems.  A renter who damages your property, one who misses a few months of payment and has to be evicted, or even a couple of months of an empty apartment will give you a new appreciation for these folks. 

Also, I seem to recall that you have a property manager.  Personally, I'd stop sweating this kind of thing and let the manager earn his/her fee.   

theoverlook

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #12 on: April 14, 2020, 07:59:12 AM »
There's a tenant in our building (commercial) that, under the previous owner/manager, was a constant problem for collecting rent. The previous owner hounded them every month for the rent, had over a dozen letters they had sent to them complaining, notices, etc. After we took over, I sat down with the tenant to talk about it and they said their clients pay around the 1st or later so it's hard for them to pay on the 1st. I said - how about we make the due date the 10th? The tenant's eyes lit up and they agreed, and we have literally never had to contact them about the rent for 10+ years and two five-year lease renewals. Stress 100% gone.

Sometimes a little flexibility can resolve a problem without any actual losses on either side of an issue.

Then again we had another tenant that was constantly late and making partial payments and strung us along for years and finally shut down. So there are of course other outcomes.

ducky19

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2020, 08:50:13 AM »
why are they late?  do they get paid on the 5th, or do they just forget to pay until you mention something?

For a new lease, absolutely change it to "Your" lease, its your property now.

My leases state if not paid by the 5th, theres a $25 late fee and an additional $5 per day until paid in full, which PIF includes the late fee.

Our fee structure as well. We used to just have a $25 late fee after the 5th of the month, but then we had some tenants who used that wording to float themselves an entire month for $25. We updated the lease with our current policy when they renewed and their rent was late a lot less frequently (still happened) after that.

You definitely have to learn what works for you, and every region / area is different. I have to agree though that if you have good tenants that do pay their rent (albeit late), find out why it's late and fix the issue.

Car Jack

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #14 on: April 22, 2020, 02:23:50 PM »
Back when I was away at grad school and renting out my house with a manager, my manager told me that in general, renters assume that if they dropped that rent envelope into the mailbox by 11:59 pm on the 1st, it was on time.  Didn't matter that the manager didn't see it till the 10th. 

Wrenchturner

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Re: Tenants are late every month. What to do?
« Reply #15 on: April 22, 2020, 08:12:25 PM »
Back when I was away at grad school and renting out my house with a manager, my manager told me that in general, renters assume that if they dropped that rent envelope into the mailbox by 11:59 pm on the 1st, it was on time.  Didn't matter that the manager didn't see it till the 10th.

Unless a contract stipulates differently, isn't that interpretation by the renters correct?