Tenant is late on rent

17 Replies

I have a tenant whose rent is due on the 1st with a grace period through the 3rd.  I contact him on the 5th and was told he is in the hospital and he would pay the rent plus the late fees.  I still have not received the rent as of today.  It sounds like this is just an excuse.

This is the first time I met this problem so I would really appreciate any help on how to deal with it.  Should I serve him a 3 day pay or quit notice?  Does it have to be written or email is fine?  When should I start the eviction process?  I am in Texas BTW.

Thanks so much for your help!

You need to check Texas Landlord/Tenant statutes as it is spelled out exactly what must be done.  If you don't follow the procedures to the "T" you leave the gate wide open for the tenant to bring in an attorney who specializes in wrongful evictions - and you know how that will go.

Before you ever rented any property you should have familiarized yourself with Landlord.Tenant laws there in your state and or area. Look them up and I am sure you will find out what is the right and legal process you should follow. 

@William C.

 I am not a hard a** landlord like some on here, but I think you should call the hospital and see if they are actually in there.  If they are, it must be bad for them to not be discharged and paying rent would be the last thing on their mind.  They already agreed to pay the late fees, so I would just wait for it for a little while.  This is also why you have reserves for unforeseen events, if you don't have reserves you are doing it wrong.  I dont know how your mortgage works but I have a leeway till the 15th of the month to pay, so a late payment wont affect me till the 15th.  If you keep pursuing them it might make you look like a greedy landlord that only cares about money and ruin the relationship you have with them.  Showing compassion goes a long way and they might see you in a new light and do extra things to take care of the property or not bother you with issues with the property anymore.  Not sure what your situation is with them, but those are just some examples of what could happen.  Again this is just what I would do, others might suggest differently.  

Originally posted by @Royce Talbo :

@William C.

 I am not a hard a** landlord like some on here, but I think you should call the hospital and see if they are actually in there.  

Due to HIPAA regulations, the hospital will be unable to confirm or deny that they have a patient.  Depending on the sophistication of the hospital, you *might* be able to get around that by calling the main number and just asking to be patched through to your tenant's room and say you don't know the room number.  But you can't call admissions and ask them to confirm that he is or was a patient there.

@Linda Weygant Good to know I figured there was something with confidentiality, what you said about patching them through is what I was thinking, but wasn't sure if you had to go that far.  If they ask who is calling just say their brother ;)

Maybe the tenant really is hospitalized. I get it that you have a business to run but geez can the tenant at least get well enough to be dismissed from the hospital first?!  You were informed that they will pay the late fee and rent already. Since you don't have a right to their hospital records you will just have to wait. You're a landlord and should have monies in reserve for sitations like this should you have a mortgage to pay, smdh....

Kudos,

Mary 

William,

Going along with Royce and Linda you could offer to waive any late fees if the tenant can provide documentation that they were in the hospital. This would not violate any privacy laws, you are showing compassion, and you would have proof. If they can't produce the proof, which would not be difficult for them to get, then you can put on the late fees or move forward however you need to. Good luck!

Liz

Originally posted by @Linda Weygant :
Originally posted by @Royce Talbo:

@William C.

 I am not a hard a** landlord like some on here, but I think you should call the hospital and see if they are actually in there.  

Due to HIPAA regulations, the hospital will be unable to confirm or deny that they have a patient.  Depending on the sophistication of the hospital, you *might* be able to get around that by calling the main number and just asking to be patched through to your tenant's room and say you don't know the room number.  But you can't call admissions and ask them to confirm that he is or was a patient there.

 Not always.  Very frequently, one of the forms you are asked to sign at admission is a waiver that allows the hospital to confirm that you are a patient if someone calls.  Many people sign it.

So he can call and see.  If there is a negative answer, it doesn't mean anything.  But he may get a positive answer, in which case he should not be a bloodsucking leach, and give his tenant the time to get out of his hospital bed before going legal on him.

Originally posted by @William C. :

I have a tenant whose rent is due on the 1st with a grace period through the 3rd.  I contact him on the 5th and was told he is in the hospital and he would pay the rent plus the late fees.  I still have not received the rent as of today.  It sounds like this is just an excuse.

This is the first time I met this problem so I would really appreciate any help on how to deal with it.  Should I serve him a 3 day pay or quit notice?  Does it have to be written or email is fine?  When should I start the eviction process?  I am in Texas BTW.

Thanks so much for your help!

Is Texas on a new time zone?  Yesterday was the 5th.  Today is the 6th and it's not end of business day.  Did you speak with this tenant less than 24 yours ago? Did he pick up his phone or was it text? And when did he say he would deliver the rent?  Does he need you to pick it up?  

Are you really sitting around thinking the rent will arrive today without a specific delivery plan?  If you're asking if it's ok to do a quit or pay via email I'm going to suggest you get professional management help.

Originally posted by @William C. :

I have a tenant whose rent is due on the 1st with a grace period through the 3rd.  I contact him on the 5th and was told he is in the hospital and he would pay the rent plus the late fees.  I still have not received the rent as of today.  It sounds like this is just an excuse.

This is the first time I met this problem so I would really appreciate any help on how to deal with it.  Should I serve him a 3 day pay or quit notice?  Does it have to be written or email is fine?  When should I start the eviction process?  I am in Texas BTW.

Thanks so much for your help!

Texas law currently only allows service of 3 day notice by:

In Person or delivered to an adult in the house

Taped to the inside of the front door

Certified mail

If this seems out of the norm for your tenant who has been on time until now, I would give it another day and them make contact with specific arrangements to pay

512-293-3885

call your tenant. Ask them what room they’re in.  You’ll be in the area, and you'd like to drop a get well card off to them.

if they make excuses, then you have your answer.  They're playing games.  Act accordingly. 

if they give you the room number, you have your answer.  If you want, you could have a nurse deliver the card.  Then call your ten

This way you eliminate the "wait and see" approach. 

A good landlord is both strong and fair.

Thanks everyone for your replies!  The tenants are a couple and their adult son.  My main question is if one of them is in the hospital, why the other people in the family cannot send the rent on time?  Don't they have to pay utilities and gas and food etc? It does sound like an excuse to me.

The latest I heard from them is they will try to give me the rent by end of this week.  That would be at least 10 days late.  I am considering sending them the notice and if they don't have the rent by end of week, I am going to start the eviction process.

I am dealing with a similar issue with a tenant here in Texas as well. However, my TT always asks every month to pay the rent late, so I am starting the eviction process and hoping he pays the rent before I have to file. 

Steps in Texas:

You can choose to give them the option to pay or not. If you do give them the option to pay...you have to first send them a notice of the rent and late fees due. (hand deliver to anyone over 16yrs, taped to the inside of the main door, or via certified mail)

Once you've sent that, you can send a notice to vacate property via the methods above, but if you are giving them the option to pay rent in full plus late charges, you can send via certified mail but you have to give them 5 days instead of 3. The other methods are only 3 days. 

If you decide you just want them out of the property, then you do NOT need to give them formal written notice of the amount of rent due... you can simply send a 3 day notice to vacate. However, if you do this, you are not allowing them the option to bring rent current... 

If you have a good history with these TT, I would send the late rent notice and go from there... That way you're covering your bases but don't need to be overly aggressive. At the end of the day, this is business... but I like to help my good TTs when life throws them curveballs. 

I got a message that my tenant was in the hospital due to being in a car accident.   It was a lie.    I'm not being heartless, but bills are still due when they are due.  I started searching facebook and figured it out pretty quickly and began the eviction process.   

Call the company that holds the note on the property and say that you'll make the payment as soon as the tenant who is in the hospital pays you.  See just how empathetic they are?

@Veena J.

The only required notice in Texas is the 3 day notice and it does not in any way preclude you from accepting rent or not allow the tenant to come current

512-293-3885

I have had so many "bad" outcomes to this type of situation that I do not allow late rent regardless of reasons. If my tenant is late, there is a late fee. After 5 days I post a notice and then turn over to my attorney. I have found that since starting this practice my tenants respect the rent due date and understand this is simply part of our agreement.

While I don't want to come across as an unfair landlord I have had to realize this is a business deal. I am not in this for charity and unfortunately there are professional tenants out there that will take complete advantage if they are allowed. Good luck, ultimately I would be strong and fair. Always do what is right and never feel like you owe a tenant a free ride. You will not be successful at this game giving rent away no matter what bad luck tenants run across. Good luck to you!

407-877-2427
Originally posted by @Greg H. :

@Veena Jetti

The only required notice in Texas is the 3 day notice and it does not in any way preclude you from accepting rent or not allow the tenant to come current

 That's what I thought too-- I haven't been able to get ahold of my atty yet, but from what I understand, written notice of late rent due is only required if the 3 day vacate gives them the option of paying rent late which is up to the LL... I could be wrong but I sent notice of rent due just in case to make sure I have airtight evidence for eviction. 

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