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Do you waive late fees?

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  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Originally posted by letsgosonics View Post
    I tell people I will waive their late fee if they pay before the deadline......
    I see what you did there. LOL!

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  • letsgosonics
    replied
    I tell people I will waive their late fee if they pay before the deadline......

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  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    I have said this many times on this forum. "A storage unit is not a NEED it is a WANT". Whether they call in to let me know they will be late, has happened a couple of times, the tenants still know we have auto pay and that takes all the guesswork out of it and gets the rent paid, in the hospital or on vacation or just scatter brained forgetfulness, it works.

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  • AngelaESSTX
    replied
    Our first $15 late fee is applied on the 8th and again on the 21st. I rarely have any tenants ask to waive them. Sometimes I will on their behalf if they usually pay on time. I have a tenant who's husband has recently passed and she lost track of her bills for about a month. When she came in to pay, I waived one of the fees for her, but she never asked. The tenants that do ask, are the problematic ones who I have a note to not waive anymore late fees in the front of their payment screen. I will tell them, If you can bring me some kind of proof that you were hospitalized during that time, I will waive one...they never do. We only run about 25-32 vacant units at any given time, out of 557 and a lot of our tenants have been here for years so they know the routine we are also very clear about it and have new tenants sign addendums listing the dates and prices of the late fees, clean up fees, etc. as well as it being on their leases. We call and email before late fees and after so they are aware. One tenant, who is always asking for waived late fees, figured if she called to let us know she was going to be late, we shouldn't charge her the fee. If I pay any of my bills late, I get a late fee and know I will!
    Last edited by AngelaESSTX; 22nd August 2019, 12:51 PM.

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  • MamaDuke
    replied
    Originally posted by tonaselfstore View Post
    All that being said, you all have a ton of experience in self storage and I'll ponder my small extensions and whether they will continue :-)
    What does your state lien law say? That is what you should be following for the date the late fee applies - without leeway.

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  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Bear in mind that the tenant has the whole month ahead of the month the rent is due to pay you. Sounds like your rent is due on the 1st. They are late on the 2nd and even later on the 3rd and again the tenant has all this time to pay the rent before the 10th. Adding leeway to he payment date, IMO, just enables them even more. You said a key thing though. You have turned the facility around and if your method works for you then keep on keepin' on.

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  • tonaselfstore
    replied
    I understand what you are saying. Maybe A little background on this facility will help...

    When I took it over 18 months ago, the manager was a little flaky on record keeping and never charged late fees. When I took over and righted the ship (40% vacancy rate to full, 35% late every month to less than 10%) I started charging late fees. The rule I setup is that I give you one mulligan, after that no exceptions. As for the flexible date, it is offered to everyone when I call/text/email around the 7th. This month the 10th was on a Saturday and we are not open. So I told them all that they had until Monday morning at 9am to get it in. I view it as a courtesy and extending good customer service. I firmly believe customer service is the reason we are full, we have less late tenants and less move outs month over month.

    All that being said, you all have a ton of experience in self storage and I'll ponder my small extensions and whether they will continue :-)

    Matt

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  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Originally posted by lady5563 View Post

    Why have a 10-day late fee policy is you choose to who and WHEN you would apply a late fee?
    Exactly. At this point the lease should say "on or about this time". No one, and I mean no one, is ever motivated to pay the rent on time if late fees are credited. Six years ago I took over here with reports telling me the average receivables at the end of the month were between $8k to $12k. Within 2 months the credit back of late fees stopped and now my average receivable at end of month is less than $200. Half the time I have $0.00 receivables at end of month. Can't say that will run tenants off either. They averaged 100 to 140 vacancies at the end of the month. Now I average less than 10, since about 6 months in when I took over. Great tenants that you want to keep will appreciate a facility that is ran like a "tight ship". They always feel safer there.

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  • lady5563
    replied
    Originally posted by tonaselfstore View Post
    Late fees kick in on the 10th of the month for us. I will typically extend it slightly so if the 10th is on a Tuesday, I'll give them til Friday. But once the grace period is over, the fee goes on. The only time i will give them a break is the first time they are late. After that, it's $20 every time.

    Matt
    Tonawanda Self Store
    Why have a 10-day late fee policy is you choose to who and WHEN you would apply a late fee?

    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Deviate from what the lease says and you stand a chance of ANY tenant telling you that since you don't follow the lease then why should they. If you do then make sure you document what you said to the tenant about a grace period and what they said and why you are doing it. Following the lease keeps you out of trouble.

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  • tonaselfstore
    replied
    Late fees kick in on the 10th of the month for us. I will typically extend it slightly so if the 10th is on a Tuesday, I'll give them til Friday. But once the grace period is over, the fee goes on. The only time i will give them a break is the first time they are late. After that, it's $20 every time.

    Matt
    Tonawanda Self Store

    Leave a comment:


  • pacnwstorage
    replied
    Originally posted by Orkocean View Post
    We pretty much never waive, if it's an error on our side then that's a different situation such as when we changed software and autopays did not transfer over. But we call everyday, sometimes twice a day, email every other day and go over the fee's in detail during move in. Train them from the get go it doesn't get waived and you don't have issues.
    Yep, tenant training is very key. I also cover the ramifications of being very late and the oncoming auction.

    Leave a comment:


  • Orkocean
    replied
    We pretty much never waive, if it's an error on our side then that's a different situation such as when we changed software and autopays did not transfer over. But we call everyday, sometimes twice a day, email every other day and go over the fee's in detail during move in. Train them from the get go it doesn't get waived and you don't have issues.

    Leave a comment:


  • rssbillings
    replied
    I only waive late fees if the late fee day falls on a weekend (we are closed weekends) and I can't prove it wasn't in the drop box before the due date, or, if there are software hiccups. Otherwise I don't generally waive a late fee.

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  • lady5563
    replied
    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

    Leave a comment:

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