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Do you waive late fees?

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  • Do you waive late fees?

    We have a pretty strict "No Waiving of Late Fees" policy, however I have from time to time waived one for what I felt to be very good reasons. What- if any- are some reasons you would waive a late fee?
    You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

  • #2
    My default is to waive them, unless they're a problem tenant. I'm not in the late fee business. For those that are chronically late, I have no issue collecting the late fee, and they seem to have no issue paying the late fee. Most of my lates are due to credit cards being compromised and not processing properly, so I can spend the first week on the phone chasing these people for their new card numbers, or I can wait until they come to the gate and can't get in. Then they come to the office and wonder why..... I'm happy to waive the late fees then. I've had my card compromised a number of times and it's hard to keep track of where I have autopays set up and on what cards.

    My feeling is I can often get much more goodwill, friendship and appreciation waiving a $10 late fee than I can with almost anything else. It's worth $10 in most cases.

    Also, I should mention that I have a flat $10 late fee across the board, even though CA will allow me to charge up to 15% of the rental amount, which on my biggest unit could be over $45.
    In no way affiliated with Storman software.

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    • #3
      If they are within a couple of days of the cutoff and it's a good customer with a history of on time payments I will generally waive it. Otherwise No. Never had anyone question it.

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      • #4
        I don't waive 99.9% of all late fees. It is a very very rare thing for me to do. You waive fees and then the tenant is not motivated to pay on time.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          I'll waive them once for a customer if they contact me immediately after receiving the late notice. On a regular basis though, no. I agree that I'm not in the business of collecting late fees - it's a motivator to keep people on time.

          That said, it does bring in a few thousand dollars per year which helps offset uncollected rent that I occasionally write off.

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          • #6
            I will waive 1 late fee per customer. And when I do it, I make it clear that it's a 1-time courtesy and that their account is being noted that it can't happen again.

            In rare circumstances I will do more. For instance, right now, I have 2 customers in a war with cancer and undergoing chemo, etc. I will work with them a little more because they have a very valid reason for missing their deadlines sometimes.

            I'm not a tyrant, but the way I view it is if they want to pay late, that is their prerogative, but they have to pay for the privilege.
            MamaDuke

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            • #7
              Each customer gets 1 free pass, unless they were already a problem child. Paying late is a privilege, not a right, and that privilege costs a few bucks.
              A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on mine.

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              • #8
                We like most here will waive the first late fee only. Prior management would waive it if the had a good excuse. But once we made the policy of only waiving the first late fee, we noticed that we have way fewer people in the lien process. I am so glad we started this, fewer headaches.

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                • #9
                  I have a guy who wanted another late fee waived (he was late because the credit card wasn't updated on our side) so I waived that late fee. He wanted the one before it waived stating the whomever he spoke to said they'd waive it (it wasn't' me because I tend to opt on the NOPE side-I mean, you know it was late, we spammed you with late emails for crying out loud) . Unfortunately for him he'd already had a late fee waived in Dec 2016 so that is it.
                  When I had all of my ducks in a row-I realized that most of them were not even mine!

                  WA State

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                  • #10
                    We will waive 1 late fee IF and I mean only IF they pay it on the day after the cutoff (due on the 1st, 5 day "grace" period, I know PAC "grace" period). We will call them on the 7th if it is their first missed payment and if they pay, we waive the late fee and explain to them it's a 1 time courtesy, and we will NOT call next time or waive any more late fees. Sorry, cancer, grandma, forgot, having a baby, house burned down for the 3rd time, doesn't matter. People will make up any story to get it waived. Stuff happens, I understand and am sympathetic, but you need to treat everyone the same in my opinion.

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                    • #11
                      I used to make the mistake of saying "grace period" and was reminded here that to say that makes it all sound, to the tenant, like they have a "free" period of time.

                      I now call it the late period because they are late, period. It just means they have yet to get locked out and late fee added.
                      "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                      • #12
                        "Late Period". I like that

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                        • #13
                          Good extra income just so they don't get to the lien sale period
                          Dave (Woodee) Scott

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by letsgosonics View Post
                            "Late Period". I like that
                            Yea, when saying that I have gotten a few double takes and eyes blinking. Then I explain so even an entitled tenant can understand, "The rent is due on the 1st, it is later on the 2nd and even later on the 3rd and right up to a lock out and further lien actions/fees if needed".
                            "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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                            • #15
                              Our policy is also to not waive.
                              There are exceptions made though.
                              If the tenant calls and asks nicely, I will ask the home to the office for consideration BUT they only get 1 waive in a calendar year.
                              If they are a "problem" tenant, I tend to not even ask the home office, I will just call the tenant later and advise them that the waiver request was denied! LOL
                              Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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