Tenants that push the grace period every month

33 Replies

I have tenants that pay the last day of the grace period after normal business hours around 8pm.  What should I do?  I'm pretty fed up with this particular set of tenants not only are they personally inconsiderate showing up to my house at night to deliver rent right before they get a late fee, they are loud, have an unruly toddler, complain or make requests each time I see them, and they seem to break something every other month...  I'm unsure of how to proceed, how do I tell them to deliver rent at a reasonable time?

What does your lease say?

Why are they delivering rent to your house?

Get used to it.  If you offer a grace period, some tenants will use it.  If you don't like payments after the first of the month, change your leases going forward to say that all rent is due on the first of the month and the late fee is assessed as of the 2nd of the month.

If you have signed a long-term lease that allows for a grace period, you'll have to live with it until it expires.

@Jennifer Clancy

 Do you have a lease with a late fee charge? If you do, send them a reminder that the rent is due on the due date and not after that date. If the continue to pay late. I would not renew the lease, give them ample notice and make it stick. Check with the laws in your area and a lawyer if things get to sticky.

Good luck

@Jennifer Clancy

We have tenants who use to push the grace period.  Here, by law, rent is considered late and the landlord can service notice to vacate the day after rent is due.  Our normal policy is more relaxed: we do not assess a late fee until close of business on the 4th of the month and do not serve a notice to vacate until the 7th.  However, we do have a section in our lease for "frequent offenders":  for these folks we charge a late fee on the 2nd and will serve notice on the 5th.

After several months of always paying on the 3rd or 4th - only once in six months did they pay on-or-before the first - we advised them they were a frequent offender and send them the clauses from the lease as a reminder.  After two months of late fees on the second, we had trained them to pay on-time.   A year later, they are still paying on time.

As long as the check is coming in,  I wouldn't mind too much.  There's a grace period so in their mind it isn't really due until that day.  

On a separate note,  I wouldn't have them delivering the check to my house in the future and personally wouldn't disclose my address.  With the other stuff that,  that's what comes with the territory really with rentals.  You could hire a property manager to be a step removed. 

It all depends on what your lease says about the methods of payment and when it is due. Does it say that it needs to be paid by end of business on the day of the grace period?  Also, what are the payment methods spelled out in your lease.

I would highly discourage payment of rent at your place of residence.

Payment by mail, direct deposit, online services are the ways to go. 

Not much you can do. Live with it for now and do not renew when their lease comes up. Then you can get some good people in there.

I would switch to an electronic method of collecting rent or add a rent drop box to your porch; leave maintenance requests outside your door.  Bill them for repairs on destruction they caused.

I will have to agree that you might as well consider the due date to be the end of the grace period.  That's what I did.  And if you look at it that way, they're paying on time.  Just make it part of your schedule that you accept their rent at 8pm on the due date.  It's just an attitude adjustment you need on this one issue.

Now, on the other stuff, you have every right to not renew their lease.  But are they bothering other tenants by being loud?  Or do they just bug you?  Are the things they are breaking unreasonable or expensive to fix?  I'm just wondering if you took a deep breath, if they might be worth keeping.  After all, they are paying like clockwork every month.

I agree that if you want rent paid on a certain date and by a certain time, just put that in your next lease.

If you are in an area of harsh, cold , winter months make sure the end of your lease does not happen at the same time.

It will be very hard to rent.

So If you didn't like them and the lease was set to expire at an off peak market leasing time you might want to get rid of them now. Of course you would have to use legal lease violations in your lease to break the agreement. Some state laws have it to where you have to give some grace period and also where if you go to evict they get one chance to work out  a plan first and then on second default you can get them out.

Idea:  For new tenants only:  Offer "discounted" rent (your actual renting price) to anyone that pays by 1st.  "Regular" rent price (actually with your "late" fee included?) if paid after 1st. 

Originally posted by @Ken A. :

Idea:  For new tenants only:  Offer "discounted" rent (your actual renting price) to anyone that pays by 1st.  "Regular" rent price (actually with your "late" fee included?) if paid after 1st. 

 I do this on one of my units.  Rent is on time, every single month.

I am going to guess that if they weren't delivering the rent to your house, it may not bug you as much? Plus they wouldn't be able to complain about maintenance, etc.

I would definitely recommend collecting rent a different way - online is my preference.

Then, going forward make sure that your lease is very clear, and when it's late, charge the late fee. Lots of problems arise when rent passes the grace period and becomes late, but a late charge is not accrued.

The best way to shape a tenants behavior is to put fees in place that help manage the property. The idea is not always to make more money, it's to manage the property better and free yourself of these types of hassles.

Originally posted by @Jennifer Clancy :

I have tenants that pay the last day of the grace period after normal business hours around 8pm.  What should I do?  I'm pretty fed up with this particular set of tenants not only are they personally inconsiderate showing up to my house at night to deliver rent right before they get a late fee, they are loud, have an unruly toddler, complain or make requests each time I see them, and they seem to break something every other month...  I'm unsure of how to proceed, how do I tell them to deliver rent at a reasonable time?

Can't comment on the second part of the question where they are breaking things, etc.

But on the first part, personally I think it's part of the business. The first week of the month is never my own, I'll have tenants calling in with the rent, tenants calling up asking for their rent to be collected, all times of the day. That first week of the months, things are just up in the air. For me, it's just part of the business

If they come to the doorstep though, once they've paid I have two different methods of getting them off the doorstep:

1. "I'm really sorry, I've got to cut you short as I --insert excuse--"

2. "if you're still on the property in 5 seconds I'll set the dog on you". I do this with the fat tenants as I figure them running is the only exercise they'll get all month. 

(NB, wife doesn't let me do 2.)

The first piece of advice I can give you @Jennifer Clancy  is to NEVER give out your personal address.  You should establish a PO box for collecting rent checks and use that address in your lease where rent is to be paid.  Then you can specify that rent is to be paid during business hours, so if they dont get it there before the PO Box closes then its late.

Not sure. Though a grace period is for those that mail the rent BEFORE IT IS DUE. If they deliver it in person after the due date, they are late...technically. Use that as a rational. Tell them anything in the po box the day the grace period ends, or delivered on the due date isnt late. Everything else is.

Originally posted by @Seth S. :

Not sure. Though a grace period is for those that mail the rent BEFORE IT IS DUE. If they deliver it in person after the due date, they are late...technically. Use that as a rational. Tell them anything in the po box the day the grace period ends, or delivered on the due date isnt late. Everything else is.

Yes ... I make it clear to our tenants that rent is late as soon as the second hand sweeps past midnight on the second day of the month.  The grace period is simply how graceful we will be before we assess them a fee or ask them to leave :-)

Originally posted by @James DeRoest :
Originally posted by @Jennifer Clancy:

I have tenants that pay the last day of the grace period after normal business hours around 8pm.  What should I do?  I'm pretty fed up with this particular set of tenants not only are they personally inconsiderate showing up to my house at night to deliver rent right before they get a late fee, they are loud, have an unruly toddler, complain or make requests each time I see them, and they seem to break something every other month...  I'm unsure of how to proceed, how do I tell them to deliver rent at a reasonable time?

Can't comment on the second part of the question where they are breaking things, etc.

But on the first part, personally I think it's part of the business. The first week of the month is never my own, I'll have tenants calling in with the rent, tenants calling up asking for their rent to be collected, all times of the day. That first week of the months, things are just up in the air. For me, it's just part of the business

If they come to the doorstep though, once they've paid I have two different methods of getting them off the doorstep:

1. "I'm really sorry, I've got to cut you short as I --insert excuse--"

2. "if you're still on the property in 5 seconds I'll set the dog on you". I do this with the fat tenants as I figure them running is the only exercise they'll get all month. 

(NB, wife doesn't let me do 2.)

I make it a point to NOT chase my money. I will accept it if I'm at the property but I don't ask. The rents come to my personal residence either by mail or in person, they just slide it in my mailbox.

My late fee starts on the 4th. Only had to charge it once, could have let that one go but then you know what happens.

Tenants either pay or not, if not then I proceed with eviction.  very simply.          

I have a tenant like this, but they are within the grace period, just on the last day most of the time or a day or two before the grace period ends. They seem to be improving, and after the first couple months the utility company stopped sending me notices that the service there was going to be disconnected, etc. I think they've gotten their act together, but it makes me uneasy. 

Right now I'm not doing anything about it other than documenting and researching rents. I can charge about $150-250 more pretty comfortably, so I might decide to raise the rents once their lease is up in a few months. It depends on how low maintenance they turn out to be overall; so far they are my lowest maintenance tenants, and they intend to stay for at least 4 years for their kids school.

We are not allowed to charge a late fee in RI until the 5th. I have one tenant who thinks this means he should always mail on the first so I get it on the 4th or 5th. Just annoying.  On renewal I went to a discount for rent electronically on the 1st.   He paid a week early this month which was not my intention.  I would have them pay electronically.  Most of my tenants are going to ACH deposit but I also can invoice them from intuit quickpay or use a rent service.  I would at least go to e-checks if I was you. If you prefer less face time with them just send them a note with a lease violation for paying after the due date if your lease has that provision.   State that you will be moving to electronic payment and even if not using electronic payment state you will not be available to accept in person payments in the future.   ( I would make this rule for all tenants. )

I'm sure there has to be someone else on here thinking "First World landlord problems"   

If rent is in before the due date then all is good.  Honestly as long as they are staying current I'm perfectly happy collecting fees.  I believe my lease state's 10% after the 5th & then escalates after the 10th.   Pay on the 6th every month, fine by me.  

You've learned the hard way not to ever give a tenant your home address.  Business address only, rent considered late if not received by 5:00 pm.

Many people myself included just procrastinate their lives away.  Frantically rushing to meet deadlines that shouldn't be a issue. 

I personally wouldn't risk Pi$$ing off a tenant trying to run them off.  Chances are they will move out eventually under normal circumstances and probably be less likely to trash the place.

Best of luck with the situation!

Allowing tenants to personally deliver rents to a home address isn't running a business.  It's giving the impression that your rental is a side hustle.  So your tenants get around to paying rent at the last minute, also not professional.  

Give proper notice as required by your state when noticing tenants regarding payment changes, and change the place of payment to a business address or PO Box.  Outline the terms of what is considered late (5:00 pm for hand delivery, postmark for mail). Then charge and bill for the first rent payment that comes in late....on the first day it is late.

Step up your game a bit.  You're the real estate professional, not the tenant.  Set a way better example.

Our State doesn't allow us to do anything (assess fees or serve them) until 10 days have passed.

Some tenants look at this 10 day period as a grace period, which it isn't. We tell them that they are playing in the margins as they agreed in the lease to pay the rent by the 1st of each month.

We also tell them that we do not renew leases for tenants who regularly play in the margins. Our properties are in a highly desired town with a scarce inventory of rental SFR's.

@Jennifer Clancy online rent collection works great.  We currently use Erent to collect.  You don't want tenants delivering rent to your home.  We also have a PO Box for the tenants that are not online yet or don't trust online (older).  They  still mail us checks. 

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