Lamest excuses for late rent

41 Replies

Had dinner one night last week with another guy who has had rentals for about 15 years and naturally the topic turned to deadbeats and why it's not their fault that they don't have the rent. The following is a compilation of some that had happened to us or that we had had first hand knowledge of:

Tenant called to say he's on the way over with the rent, I asked "full amount", he said "full amount. Hour and a half later he shows up (it's about a 10 minute drive) but he's about $300 short. What happened? "I saw a cool stereo system at the store and had to have it". I said hold on while I make a receipt for you. I typed him up a "3 day letter". Adios

Tenant said he was short because "dude, I had to get new tires for my 'TA' (that's a Trans-Am), last time I ever rented to anyone that was too much of car guy. Adios

Tenant says he started a new business, as a sheetrocker. I told him "no, you didn't start a new business, I did since you did it with my money". Also since sheetrocking is 90% labor and I figure you're stealing the raw materials from your boss". Besides, if I want to start a business, I'd start something more profitable. Adios

While I was repainted a place after an eviction the former (I was sleeping there) the former tenant came by and tried to steal a window A/C unit. He tried to tell the cops that he had purchased it and therefor he could take it. As he had been in the house 2 years and the unit was about 10 years old the cops told him if he came back around they would arrest him. Adios .

Called the tenant on the 3rd when the money wasn't there, he said "well I had it on the first, but when you didn't call I spent it". Adios.

Had a Realtor show up with a prospect one time, I thought it might be a bit odd that (1) most houses on the MLS were less money than mine, (2) agent had already printed and made copies of the applicants credit report, (3) tenant was driving his own (kind of a beater) car, while agent was in his (nice) car. Looked over the credit report and one of the things on it was a year old GMAC loan and some other stuff that didn't seem to fit the tenant (he looked like a "payday loan" kind of guy. I asked for his license and he handed it over, GUESS WHAT, not even close to the same name as that on the credit report. Adios

These are just a few that came to mind. What are some of your favorites.

all cash

I liked your topic so much, I've made it sticky!

My favorite excuse was from a tenant who did not know where to send the rent. We had sent several letters to him with our address, and an invoice with our address. When we called to find out where the rent was, he told us he had not remembered where to mail it. This, after having sent rent on time for the previous few months.

It gets me every time :lol:

Wow Cash, you've had some real characters as tenants, huh? Well at least you've got some great stories to tell now. I dig the topic, guys. No great stories yet, though.

I love the one that said "I had it on the first but when you didn't call I spent it".... omg.

I had a guy who turned out to be a bum tenant. I inherited him from the previous property owner. He never paid on time and we were finally able to convince him to move out. You should have seen the way he was keeping the place. It was disgusting. Clothing everywhere mixed in with trash. It was a real health hazard. Thank goodness he left. We have to do what we can to boot our bum tenants, that's for sure.


I think we all have stories about bad tenants. Its funny to hear other peoples problem tenants as well.

I had a tenant who said they mailed the rent out and they mailed it to the correct address. BUT they did not put a stamp on the envelope. They actual thought the U.S. postal service would still mail it out without a stamp.

You meet all kinds of people in this industry!

Why bother with tenants? People, lease option the joint! You get a better "tenant," and if they leave or default, you get a huge deposit (your fault if you didn't take one). If they buy the place, you got what you wanted. So, what. Do a 1031 and move the profits to another one, doing the same thing all over again.

For 15 years, I've never had a late payment, never had the guy change his oil from his Harley on my Dining room carpet, etc.

Lease/option----from the seller's/owner's perspective, is the best thing going. Why don't more use it? LACK OF KNOWLEDGE.

My client has a renter who is 5 months late on his rent @ $1,400 Per month. My client wants to convert this guy to a lease option. Refinance the house with a Pic-A-Payment Loan so the guy can make the payments.

I asked my client "You're Kidding Right" He replies, no the guy is coming over with a plan to do this. He also is going to do some upgrades on the House. I'm thinking of evicting my client. My client has to give this renter a 24 hour notice prior to coming to the house. Payments have been made with bad checks or no checks. Tenant says wife can't work because he is the bread winner... He is the MAN and my cleint want to put this guy in a lease option.

I think that WHEN the guy defaults on the Lease Option, my client will have a tougher time getting him out of the house then he will with a month to month lease...But... what do I know?

I figured this thread would be at least 1,000 posts long by now. Here's some that I heard before I sold all my rentals (seller financed), so now I don't hear excuses for late rent, just for late mortgage payments:

1. Man, I had to buy tires for my TA! I found out TA meant Trans Am, so I quit renting to people who were more in love with their cars than with a roof over their head.

2. I'm a bit short because I started my own (sheetrocking) business! No, YOU didn't start a sheetrocking business, I started a sheetrocking business, and if I wanted to do that I would've already done it with some hard working Hispanics, not with a lazy butt white boy like you. Besides non-payment you're also in vioation of lease for running a business out of the house.

3. Tenant calls and says on the way over with the rent. "It better be full rent" I said, "it's all there" he said. Shows up an hour and a half later (the house is about 2 miles away) but the rent is short $250! Hey you said you had it all, I HAD it all but I saw a cool stereo on my way over"! Let me type you a receipt I said and typed him a three day notice to quit the premises and gave him that with the receipt. I hope you like living in the stereo!

all cash

LOL! I love the stereo story! You just can't make that wackiness up!

I eliminate the problem by providing 13 self-addressed #6 envelopes with lease signing...stack of envelopes serve as a reminder and they are addressed to my post office box.

I do maintain a strict policy on collection - pay or quit on the 6th and follow up with eviction on the 11th. I have a $50 per adult late fee AND a $100 per adult "notice" fee so anytime a couple is late with their rent, they owe me $300 in addition to the rent so being late is a VERY EXPENSIVE mistake....

Cville - are the adult late fee and notice fees legal?

Alright, I have my first stupid tenant excuse, which came in lieu of rent this past weekend. "I just started a new job and they're holding my first paycheck, so I won't get paid until the 15th." This is on the first full month's rent!!! We let this woman move in mid-August, and pro-rated the rent for that month. So, she signed the lease two weeks into August, knowing she wouldn't be able to pay rent come September!!!

We've given her until the 15th to quit the property or pay up.

My question is this..... If we have to evict her, what's the process? Or, do any of you have a better suggestion?

Thanks in advance!


Ok -
This is one of my favorite topics, so of course, I had to dig it up from the grave. It is always fun revisiting posts from 3 1/2 years ago!

LOL makes me want to become a landlord :mrgreen:

I have to add this one. I actually had an able-bodied 26 year old man tell me he couldn't pay his rent because his pregnant girlfriend lost her job and she hadn't found a new one yet.

We had a guest speaker, (Eviction Lawyer) at our local meeting. Regarding P.O Box, you need to provide tenant the option to mail or drop off rent check at a business address. If you only provide a P.O. Box, good luck collecting any late rent in court. Reason being, the tenant can say he or she mailed the check. You have to give them the OPTION to mail or dropoff rent check.

This thread is hilarious. I don't have much to match these. I did have a girl tell me - "Why are you charging a late fee? I emailed you and told you I was going to be late!"

Originally posted by Eric Wang:
We had a guest speaker, (Eviction Lawyer) at our local meeting. Regarding P.O Box, you need to provide tenant the option to mail or drop off rent check at a business address. If you only provide a P.O. Box, good luck collecting any late rent in court. Reason being, the tenant can say he or she mailed the check. You have to give them the OPTION to mail or dropoff rent check.

I would double check that advice in your county. In the counties we have tenants there is no such requirement. In fact, we stipulate in the lease the method and transport of payment requirements.

I really don't have to many funny stories, because I won't even allow myself to listen to them. Save the drama for your mama.

Our rule is pay or your *** in on the street ASAP. We don't even accept partial payments.

i have to add a few....

tenants not paying for two months due to financial reasons. so we agreed to release them from their lease as lonmg as they left the property that week......and either the tenants or their friends made off with the copper wire in the house

w/in a 24 hour period a mysterious drunk driver ran over the mailbox and the doorjamb was ripped to pieces because there was a robbery at the house but both times no police report. and to top it off they only paid 50% of the rent stating "personal reasons"

i LOVE being a landlord

"It's Christmas and my grandson wanted new sneakers." ADIOS.

"I was arrested and had to pay my lawyer." ADIOS.

"My benefits checks ended so you'll have to wait until I get a job." ADIOS.

"My brother was arrested and I had to pay his bail." ADIOS.

"My child is sick and I had to buy medicine". I was standing in the living room when the tenant told me this one and happened to notice their brand new big screen TV. Obviously - evicted. I've heard this one at least a dozen times (usually without the big screen TV).

"My girfriend stole my paycheck to buy crack". Evicted

"I had to fix the van so that I could get to work." The guy actually bought a $400 Akita (puppy), that is on the vicious dog list. Evicted

I had one inherited tenant tell me that someone stole his rent and that he had proof - a police report. Sure enough, he paid a guy to buy crack for him and when the guy didn't deliver the crack, he called the police! Moron evicted.

"My social security disability check is late" is one I hear all the time, to which I reply "I don't care" and I evict them unless they have absolute proof. Evicted

"I had to buy food" is another popular lie. No-one has to buy food. There are an unlimited number of suckers that run food banks so that druggies can spend their money on drugs instead of food.

"You haven't fixed (fill in the blank), so I'm leaving." I've heard this one many times (especially in court) and in every case that was the first time I had even heard of the problem. Most of the time, there was no problem. I had one tenant that at the eviction hearing told the magistrate that raw sewage was backing up in the basement and that's why they didn't pay rent. I told the magistrate that they were lying. She evicted them. However, when I took possession of the house, I found out that they weren't lying. Their water had been turned off for nonpayment of the water bill. When you "flush" solids down the commode with almost no water, it gets clogged in the sewer line. When the commode would no longer flush, they cut the sewer line off in the basement and then started using the bathroom again and the sewage formed a giant sewage fountain in the basement. Evicted and I sued them for damages (and won).

One guy that I couldn't get in touch with was in jail (no excuses there). He got out the day of the setout and the police had to be there the entire day to keep him from fighting me as I threw all his crap down the stairs (setout his belongings).

It's really not that funny that tenants are so ignorant!


Stories like these are dreadful. I don't think i have the stomach for some of that stuff. I don't know how you guys do it!

When you're in the middle of it it's usually not funny.

But later on, maybe over a couple cold ones, you've got to try and find some humor in it.

Otherwise, this racket can burn you out.

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