I just "ruined" my tenant's Christmas (unintentionally)

5 Replies

Following what I thought was usual procedure for instituting yearly rent increases , I just sent a tenant a rent increase notice to be effective January 1st. Bumped rent about 10%, or $130.

It wasn't more than two days when she called me, yelling on the phone, quite upset that my actions were now going  to deprive her  of being able to provide "Christmas" for her family, yada, yada, yada.   I empathized with her, and certainly don't want to  be like a grinch, but made me realize maybe my timing was bad. Maybe I should have waited until February or March to raise rent, or do it in November instead?  Has anyone else encountered this?  

@Ed B.

$130 ruined her Christmas? Sounds like a crappy Christmas. Anyways, your job as a landlord is to provide housing for money, not provide Xmas for her kids. She can always choose to move out.

You could change the date of raising rent, but you’re under no obligation to. She’s MTM I am assuming? If a tenant called me up yelling, their next notice would be a move out notice.

Yeah, that was probably too steep. On the other hand, there is sufficient rental demand that my new rate is close to market rate. Besides, I'd love for this tenant to decline the increase and just move, since I'd prefer to just replace her. But I agree, my timing was not the best. I should have been smarter. Thanks for the input!

yes, she's month to month.  Not the first time she's called me to yell on the phone. Believe me, I want her gone. So, the rental increase was part of strategy to get her motivated to find another place to live instead of evicting her.  About five years ago a similar thing happened in  Christmas. No rent increase, but I was simply trying to collect monies owed from an irresponsible tenant. Again, I got told "you're not going to deprive my kids from having a Christmas."  Truth be told, I think even adult tenants want to have a "good Christmas (whatever that may mean)"  I like  Christmas, too, and prefer not to be embroiled in problems during the holiday season, so I can certainly empathize. But  tenant's can't expect to cause problems during the other 11 months of the year then expect to have none in December

The very first time that a tenant abuses me over the phone, is the last time.  Thereafter, I only communicate with them in texts, so that there's a record of it.   And they're usually evicted pretty soon, because abusive tenants don't tend to pay the rent on time.

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