13 Replies

Hello all,

So as I alluded to in the title, I have tenants who are and delinquent and owe me February's rent, and now March. They called me saying they weren't able to pay because the one tenant's mother was diagnosed with cancer and they needed to put available funds towards treatment.  She had liquidated an annuity a couple months ago and allegedly it cleared the beginning of this month, that's when they said they'd send both months rent and late fees.  Now the month prior they were 2 weeks late because of "car trouble", and the month before they were 10 days late because they apparently misspelled my address.  ( I live in TX now, they are in NY.) The other 5 months they were late, but within the 3 day grace period).  They don't get along with the downstairs tenants and will be moving out come May.   I personally think they plan on sticking it to me as they haven't sent it yet or responded to my text from an hour ago now. 

I told them I expect to have the rent by this Monday(3/2)  I've never had to evict tenants  before, so I'm wondering what exactly the process is, if I have recourse to collect past rent, and how I can report it so it shows up on their credit report/personal background.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Post the 3-day notice.

After the 3 days have passed file an eviction with the court.

Either you or your property manager will need to appear in court to testify that the notice was given and that rent was not paid.

You can go after them for back due rent but it can be more hassle then it is worth as it is not always that easy to collect. Winning a judgment does not guarantee you payment.

Start an eviction.  Once they are behind they rarely catch up.  Give them a notice to quit and go from there.

@Lawrence Rutkowski  I second @James Wise  post a 3 day notice and start the eviction process.

If you're new to this you can usually find "flat rate" eviction attorneys that will handle the whole thing for a fee. As a rule of thumb: working with a previously good tenant is fine, done sparingly, but never ever ever a thousand times never fail to start the eviction process before the 25th of the month no matter what their excuse is. 

Why? because an tenant getting evicted can sometimes extract concessions from the judge in terms of time order to "find a new place." Except, they should have already been looking. 

Is the notice to pay or quit the same as a notice of petition, and petition?

Also, should they be served in person, or via mail? What is the best way to prove the documents were delivered?

They are snowing you. Evict.

Yep as mentioned the BS from the tenants is deep. The shoes are gone so time to save the watches......... : )

You need to run a rental business LIKE a business. How you do that is you explain that evictions will occur if rent is late. The notice will be posted and the process will proceed. 

Tenants will say all kinds of things to try and get more time. They may honestly be telling you truth and trying to get the money from charity, a second job, family, selling stuff off, whatever.

They could also be lying and there is no chance of paying you ever. It doesn't really matter as you follow the process the same. If they do not get the money in 2 to 3 weeks like they said then you are just that much further along and closer to getting them out.

The eviction continues and it can be stopped by the landlord when payment in full and late fees are made etc. I have seen landlords miss two months worth of rent because they were too cheap to pay 85 bucks to start eviction hoping the tenant would come through. This goes back to building in vacancy and eviction costs and it's not a hardship when you plan for it.

While eviction processes are standard to some extent they vary by state and some states and judicial systems are tenant friendly versus landlord. So it pays to talk to an eviction attorney in the state where the property is located and better yet that county. The attorneys will know the judges and how they look at things and what Is likely to happen from a results, time, and cost standpoint.

No legal advice given.       

We run a business.  Rent is due on the first.  It is late on the second.  I post notice and start the eviction process immediately.  It's funny how the notice and being served papers by the court will make most tenants pay.  If I receive full payment with late fees AND the court eviction filing fee, I will withdraw the suit.  If the tenant is serious, they will pay.  I do this one time only.  The second time I will proceed with the eviction.

I tell them that I am not their bank.  Borrow the rent from someone else if you are having a temporary shortage of cash.  Every excuse in the book will be given to get more time on your $!

@Joel Owens  

I can sympathize with the posts.  I have a question though.  I have tenants who pay consistently, but they always pay in the 5 days grace period I give.  Now, I've notified them that the rent is due on the 1st, and the intent of the grace period does not circumvent their need to pay on time.  Yet again, this month, the check was not  in by the first.  My other tenants have their payments in by the 1st like clockwork.

They are not violating my lease terms...but they don't seem to get  it.  Would you overlook or when the lease expires, notify them I will not renew the lease, and they have to move out?  Or do you suggest another option?

@David Moore  

That is why we don't give grace periods.  If you give it to them, some will take it.  Face it, your due date is the 5th.

Rent is due on the 1st and late on the 2nd.  No exceptions.

I have been through the same thing and thought by helping them they would find a way to get caught up.
Check with your local laws, some states have 3 day notice some have 5 or longer. Some states will "make them pay" for being a month behind and not evict until after multiply months of being behind.
I'm not a lawyer, just something I have gone through.

David you gave them the grace period per the lease so in that respect they are in compliance according to you.

If they are model tenants otherwise then no reason to get them out. If you want a shorter grace period then you could move it to 2 or 3 days if allowable upon renewal. Some states have quirky landlord tenant laws about structures of the leases and I do not know about your state.

No legal advice given. 

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