Inherited tenant, behind on rent, no deposit or last months rent

4 Replies

My tenant has a history of being behind and I have not been able to remove him from the property yet. I should raise rents from $1000 to $1400 but I want back rent first. Last winter to catch up on rent he did a bathroom remodel for me at a great rate. He is currently behind by $1200 again, with 1k more due next week. I haven't lived in the area lately and admittedly have been doing a poor job at managing from a distance.

I now know to issue a pay or vacate immediately on late payment, -but how do I get a tenant to pay me back when he is already behind?

It is tricky because I feel like he has an edge on me without any kind of deposit/last month rent.

I am considering some kind of agreement with him working in his unit for a set time, at the end of which rent goes up. The advantage being the unit is rented while the work gets done, he catches up on back rent, and he possibly earns money for finding a new place.

I don't have a means of issuing letters while I'm away from town so we've been texting. How should I document the late rent?


Go easy ya'all, I know I'm making lots of mistakes here, I went from renter to managing three units and I just haven't been able to handle this one wildcard.


@Christian Shope ,

Close your eyes, take a deep breath and go to your happy place.  Imagine a world in which everyone did as they said they would and all paid their bills in full and on time.

Have that pictured?  Good, because that mental image is about as close as you'll ever be to getting your back rent.

Just get rid of the tenant, put him into collections if that makes you feel better (don't hold your breath on collecting anything), and learn your lesson. KEEP MOVING FORWARD.   

PS:  You might seriously consider a property manager.

@Christian Shope I think you need to decide if you’re happy letting the tenant decide when he pays, or if you’re ready to lay down the law.

I guess it might be okay if he’s doing work for you to pay off some rent... but you’re in a slippery slope area.

Most landlords here look at land-lording as a business. Rent is due the first, late on the 5th, and a pay or quit notice on the 6th. After 3/5/15days (depending on the state), the eviction process starts. (Adjusted for your lease of course)

If it were me, I would let the tenant know that things have been lax in the past, but starting October 1st you’re going to need rent paid on time including past due, or you’re going to have to start eviction proceedings. Even come up with a 15-30-day payment plan if you really want. But start making sure you’re paid on time.

Remember what happens if you don’t pay your mortgage or taxes on time!

If he doesn't have the $1200 he owes you now, what makes you think he'll have that plus another $1000 ($2200 total) in a week?  Why do you think he'll ever be able to come up with the back rent if he can't even pay the current rent?

@Marc Winter Haha! and thank you. I may not get the back rent, but I think I'll still try to get the value from some work trade. My other tenants have a first, last, and deposit. I screened them, and they are good tenants. Almost had to evict the other inherited tenant.