late rent payment

10 Replies

I purchased my first property this year and first tenants which have been better than expected so far. Last night I received a call from them letting me know that they will be late with the next months rent, but promised to pay it with late fee with in 5 days. Since they have been really nice and have taken good care of the property i'm thinking of waving the late fee. Any advice?

If they were nice they would pay their rent since you too have Holiday Expenses!!!  

Thanksgiving this month, Oh Oh Christmas next month, and Oh oh New Years Day.  

Make them pay November's rent, December's Rent, and January's rent, and if not, serve them with a Notice to Quit for non-payment of rent.

I'm nice to my Mortgage Company, but they want the Mortgage Payment this month, next month and New Years.  Hey....But...I'm nice!! :(  Surely they can wait until next year for me to catch up..right?

Hmmm, I had to pay extra money for groceries this month with Thanksgiving and all, and I'm nice to the Grocery Store people.  I shop there all the time!  Why do I have to pay for my groceries this month, when they know we have expenses because of the Holidays, after all.....I'm nice  !!

I'm not trying to be sarcastic with you, Jim, I'm just trying to give you some examples. This is a business, just like the Mortgage Company Guy, and the Grocery Store.  Why do we feel that being  a Landlord entails giving everyone a break!  

Make them pay their rent, too bad so sad, if they need for the Holidays.  You need it too.  

Just my 2 cents.

Nancy Neville

If they have been there a while and paying every month then I usually give them a break as long as I get it by the middle of the month and I start eviction process if I don't get it by the end of the month

Never, ever, and I mean NEVER waive late fees!

That's like saying, Go ahead and pay whenever you like!

Don't establish a bad precedent with your tenants.

How long have they been with you? Is this early in the tenancy? If they're long term, I would (and have) waived the late fee once. 

Thanks for the info.
I think I already knew the anwser to that but I know it doesn't take much for things to get tight once in a while. As long as it's not more than a few days from payment.

I'm on both sides lol. Since they've been good paying otherwise, you say, "okay, I'll waive the late fee if rent in full is received by X date. If it's later than that, there will be a late fee and we unfortunately would have to file rent court as well." Follow this up in writing/email.

Or, just simply see if they pay in full with the late fee by the date the 5th day like they said. Not one day later if no payment, move forward with court. Don't let it build up. It'll only get more difficult to get your money and for them to catch up on rent.

For good tenants, I have waived a late fee once if they have an unusual unexpected expense.  

@Jim L.  First off, I will say that I think there is no definitive right answer here, but I will go against the grain on this one...

I have adopted a loose policy (unbeknownst to my renters obviously) where I will waive a late fee IF the tenant has never paid late before. However, I never give something without trying to get something back. So, if I "feel" as if doing so will generate some goodwill, I will waive the late fee. If I think the that it won't, I'll enforce it.

Goodwill is important to me because the more a tenant feels like I'm on their side, and not "the man" the easier they will be to deal with, the more communicative they will be, and the more understanding they will be if and when things go wrong with the rental.

A word of caution though... if you do waive a late fee, BE SURE they believe you are doing them a favor. They must feel as if you are making an exception because you're trying to be nice. You must also make sure they understand it is a one time deal. If you do this but come across as soft or that there will be leeway with you on future rent payments DON'T DO IT.

Hope this helps and welcome to the world of landlording!

Originally posted by @Wes Shive:

A word of caution though... if you do waive a late fee, BE SURE they believe you are doing them a favor. They must feel as if you are making an exception because you're trying to be nice. You must also make sure they understand it is a one time deal. If you do this but come across as soft or that there will be leeway with you on future rent payments DON'T DO IT.

Yes, exactly. We have awesome tenants in one of our properties that had never paid late. Close to 2 years into their tenancy, they did say they would be a few days late and would pay the late fee. I let them know that because they had never been late before, and I appreciated how well they took care of the property, I would waive it this one time. They were never late again, going into their 3rd year now. Goodwill, for good tenants, does go a long way.

But for newer tenants, no. That sets a bad precedent.

I have an idea. Instead of waiveing the late fee, wait to make sure they pay it when they promised and then offer a gift card in its place. There fore charging the late fee so it will be documented not only for this tenant but any furture ones as well.
Any thoughts?

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