Establishing Monthly rent due dates? Newbie alert

6 Replies

Good morning guys, I recently purchased my first multifamily here in RI and am living in the bottom floor and renting the top floor. I have been very picky in the choice of my tenants but I believe I have found a well suited family. Prior to writing up the lease I had met with them and they had some very random questions. Me being a rookie and eager to seal my first deal, I am now worried they may have read me too well and used that to my advantage. First, the father wants to move a small 8x6 shed that is in the "middle" of a rebuild onto the property. though my lot is only .31acres, i do have enough room for it next to my current shed, or even in their separate driveway, does this sound like the beginning of a horror story ? The major concern of mine is that though I originally specified that rent was due the 1st of every month, they asked if they could make it the first Friday of every month, and of course I caved. Did I just set myself up for future issues? Though we spoke of this in person, should I still keep it in the lease agreement as the 1st of every month... is that even legal? 

@Drew LaVallee It's important to remember that some people learn that it doesn't hurt to ask. I think it's important to not be offended or feel like you need to cater to your tenant. In the future, I recommend slowing down the conversation and asking why. That will serve two functions. 

One, it will put the burden on the tenant to explain or try to sell you on changing your original expectations. For instance, if you had stopped and asked why your tenant wanted to pay on the first Friday of the month you might find that it works better for when your tenant gets paid. Or you might find that they just pay all of their bills on the first Friday of the month. Either way, you get to learn a little bit about the intent of the request. 

Second, it will slow things down. More often than not, time is valuable for the sake of a negotiating process no matter what is being negotiated. I like to be cognizant of this and typically recommend to my clients that they sleep on it in order to think through all the hypothetical scenarios that they can think of. 

All of this can be tough to remember when it's your first rental. When you only have the one rental, it's probably a little easier to be flexible because you aren't trying to remember who is on what schedule. I have one client in particular who says that you don't want to need to remember anything. Not only do you not want to waste resources on attempting to remember, but it is also more conducive to scaling your portfolio. Can you imagine trying to keep track of 25 different pay schedules and amounts? Whether it's your goal or not, I'd recommend looking at potential changes that way. It will help you to make decisions and to be confident telling tenants that your decision is based on how you operate in contrast to flexing to your tenants concerns. 

My concern with the shed is if they leave it there, whenever they move out.  If it isn't something you'd want to have stuck on your property, I'd go back to them and only allow it if they pay an extra security deposit.  An amount that would cover your cost and hassle to have it removed, if it gets left behind.

I'm a smaller time landlord (6 doors) and have to admit that I would allow rent to be paid on the first Friday of the month.  I'll assume they get paid every other Friday or something like that.  The one thing I would find a bit obnoxious about that is the rent would always come on a different date.  In addition to writing in the lease that the rent is due on the first Friday of every month, I would also have an addendum that outlines EXACTLY what date the rent is due each month over the course of the next year.  I would have also asked for an additional $25/month for that accommodation. 

My leases state that rent is due on the 1st and that it is considered late after the 5th. I go and pick it up from my drop box on the 6th. I someone's rent isn't there I'll stop at their apartment and ask if I can grab their check while I'm there. After that point they have a $25 late fee until the 10th. After the 10th we have issues and I will start eviction proceedings. 
As far as the shed, it would depend on how long their lease is, or how long they plan on staying there. If they are short term or not someone you think will be there for a long time, then I'd say no. I've had people ask about adding swing sets. I just tell them that it's a safety issue, and an "everyone else will want to get one too" issue. We have a big city playground next door.
Good luck with your new venture!

You are only allowed a one month security deposit in RI so higher deposit is out. If you agreed to the shed you need to set limits. For example it can be no biggere then x dimensions, it must be placed in x spot, it must be finished by x date, it must be painted? specify a color., must be moved when they leave? Your town will have dimesions requiring a permit for the shed, they must cover if required. Append to the lease and sign. On the first friday did you put it in the lease? If not I would not allow it long term. I would honor the verbal agreement temporarily and move to the same date every month so the late date is clear. You can only charge late fees at 5 days late. you need to both agree whats late. I had one guy I had to specify a time he was such a jerk. good luck.

Awesome guys! thank you for all of the help I will check into the Permit thing as well @Colleen F. , as im in westerly im sure they have a bunch of silly laws and requirements .

Personally, just my initial read on the situation is that they live week to week.  The sense that I am getting from the superficial information provided is inconsistency.  PM me, and if your willing to discuss some more of the details, I will be happy to evaluate further. 

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