Existing tenant tried to pay less than the rent

17 Replies

We just closed a small multifamily on 11/27 for house hacking. Current tenant lease will expired on December 31, 2019. Their current rent is $1350 which the city pays $243 for them. I went to pick up December rent and they're giving $807 money order and said they will give the remaining $300 on Monday. I refused to take it and told them I will pick up the full payment on Monday. I also informed them about their current lease agreement. It stated that rent are due on the 1st of every month. After the 5th, a $50 later fee will be charge.

Initially, we offered to renew their lease when it expired on December 31. We told them the new rent will be $1500 which is still below market. Averange rent for the area is $1700 based on Rentomater, the data and the realtor. We gave them rental application to field out and return in order to process their new lease. Which We have not yet received. Based on the portion of the rent payment, we are hesitate to extend the new lease. We are afraid they may not pay the rent.

How do we proceed? Should we tell them we will not renew their lease? Thank you.

lease when is expired on December 31,

If they can't/won't pay the lower amount, not sure how they would pay the higher amount. I wouldn't renew. You may have to give notice x days out of intention to not renew. If they haven't signed the new lease, make sure it doesn't revert to a month to month automatically... I'd get em out and start over with someone you pick out.

I’d say your doing everything right in this case . How do you proceed ? I’d proceed with caution ! If they can’t pay the rent now ....then how can they pay it 
when you jump it up substantially?

Originally posted by @Jay Bob :

@Theresa Harris

Thank you. Just incase if they're short again. Should I take it and give them the notice?

If you take the partial payment, then you may have problems if you need to evict for non-payment.  They know when rent is due and how much is due-no surprises. As someone else posted, there are some people who are bad at handling money and if the money is in their bank account, they want to spend it.

If tenants have the odd problem with a paycheck and let me know ahead of time that they will be 1 or 2 days late, I work with them as it doesn't happen often.  We all know things occasionally happen outside of our control, but being up front and honest about it is important.


Originally posted by @Theresa Harris :
...If you take the partial payment, then you may have problems if you need to evict for non-payment....


Good point Theresa (sorry the @ isn't working).  Check with a local landlord/tenant lawyer.  In our jurisdiction, we can accept a partial payment and then proceed with eviction for nonpayment.  *But*, once in the eviction process, accepting a partial payment may mess up the eviction.

How long have they resided there? With the new laws even if you decide not to renew you have to give ample notice that corresponds with how long they have occupied the unit. I would also take the money. I understand you do not want to start a relationship like that but take what you can get. The only time I do not take it is when eviction proceedings have already started 

@Jay Bob

Personally, I would take whatever money they are giving you today, and then on Monday take the rest of the rent. And then hand them a lease termination for the least amount of time allowed by law (probably a move out date of January 31).

Get rid of them, and list for $1,700 if that’s market rate. Why would you set rent at $1,500? Losing $200 a month, $2,400 a year, $12,000 over 5 years. That $200 a month invested at 7% gains is $14,239 over 5 years, $34,210 over 10 years.

@Anthony Wick

Thanks for your advised. Based on her application, I made some for calls. Her employer confirmed she works there. I also spoke with the previous owner he said they are quite and clean. He advised to offer them month to month lease for three months and see how it goes. If they pay on time for that period, to extend them full year. He said sometimes they are late and he had to remind them.

To evict someone in NYC, it take 6 months to a year or even more. Not a landlord state. Next one will be out of state.

So that means you need to give them a 90 day notice to vacate if it hits the three year mark. Then if they do not you serve with a 14 day after that time expires and then file in court. So depending on how often your municipality hears landlord tenant cases you would be looking at, at least 5 months before you got them out. Gotta love NYS 

@Jay Bob

Just to be clear, they wouldn’t be “evicted”. It would be terminating their lease at lease end. But MTM is good too if you think they will be good tenants.

@Michael agreed !! Take the 807... charge the late fee on the 5th and post notice to evict for non payment if you want as well

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