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Unlocking Units That Were Late on Payment

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  • Unlocking Units That Were Late on Payment

    I'm a total sucker and feel guilty if someone who is late on their payment and has been locked out needs to get in asap calls. So I drop what I'm doing to run out and unlock, but I need to stay firm. I manage the 240 units that my husband and I own and I'm going to have 2 kids under the age of 2 next month so I have to start now!

    I have a tenant calling me today (Saturday). I'm completely full to capacity so I've updated my voicemail to say such and don't answer when I get to that point, but screen my messages. Rent was due on the 7th, I mailed and emailed notices on the 8th and locked them out right away. Now it's the 20th and they're blowing up my phone because they need in their unit. I haven't called them back yet because, honestly, I want to enjoy my Saturday with my family.

    Am I being a bad manager by not letting them in immediately? Please let me know how everyone else handles this!


  • #2
    Can they pay online? Or do they mail a check? Have they paid yet? No access whatsoever if they haven't paid. IF they're offering to pay on one of the voicemails definitely get their payment, otherwise they can pack sand.
    Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

    WA State

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    • #3
      You're not a total sucker-you're compassionate but sometimes you can be too compassionate because, just like kids and dogs, there are boundaries that they need to learn or they're going to, in a kids case-burn their fingers, or in a dog they've eaten that piece of gum that will make them sick. Trust me, SOOO much experience talking..lol
      Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

      WA State

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      • #4
        Tenant that called indicated that he wants to set up auto pay going forward. I would definitely get payment before I unlock. I just want to be able to start setting boundaries with turnaround times on unlocking units. It feels like more often than not no one thinks about paying their overdue bill until they're out at the units and see they're locked out and need to get in asap.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by StorageBrett View Post
          Tenant that called indicated that he wants to set up auto pay going forward. I would definitely get payment before I unlock. I just want to be able to start setting boundaries with turnaround times on unlocking units. It feels like more often than not no one thinks about paying their overdue bill until they're out at the units and see they're locked out and need to get in asap.
          Perennial self storage problem-whether you're onsite or not.
          Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

          WA State

          Comment


          • #6
            We have a sign posted in our office that says : " Please note: Late payments received after closing may result in your unit not be accessible until the next business day." I have had many tenants over the years sneak in a payment through the mail slot after we were closed only to raise hell leaving several voicemails threatening to sue or stating how inconvenienced they are because they showed up after hours with a truckload full of stuff- we cant just keep them locked them out if they paid! Sometimes I wonder if they are operating with a full deck. I've actually said to a few of them "Lets break this down so I understand why you are so upset: You paid late, you paid after I was closed and gone home for the day. I had no way of knowing you paid as the office phone number is not my home phone number, and like most employees anywhere in the world-I do not check messages once I clock out for the day. So you are upset because you paid late and I am supposed to magically just know and drive all the way down here at a moments notice to unlock your unit, which coincidentally would not have been locked had you paid your rent on time,not to mention you were told at the time you moved in about this policy and it is clearly posted here for you to see AND it is also printed and posted on the mail slot as a reminder. So please tell me again why we should be held responsible for you not getting into your storage unit? Shall we go over the steps again on how this works?" I do not put up with the attitude. They can be mad, I dont care. Their lack of planning does not make it an emergency for me.

            Also: If they have the option to pay online be sure to put that disclaimer on there too!
            Last edited by wc1974; 20 June 2020, 06:17 PM.
            You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....

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            • #7
              Well if they paid their bill on time they wouldn't have this issue. And yes, that is my response to them. I make it clear from day one what happens when you're late I also tell them to call me if they are late because I will do my very best to work with them within reason. Once the unit is overlocked their gate code doesn't work either. I put a DaVinci lock on the unit and text them the code once I confirmed that we've been paid. If they pay with cash I withhold the combo lock until I confirm it's been paid in full. As far as I know, they could have dropped an envelope full of air into my after-hours box I'm not taking anyone's word that the cash in the box until I can count it. I'm sure as heck am not making a special trip to collect $100 bucks or less from a tenant who doesn't manage their money correctly.

              The Davinci locks have been a real lifesaver for us, like yourself we have two kids and the usual obligations on the weekends. I would highly recommend them as they have paid for themselves several times over just in gas savings alone.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bubba View Post
                Well if they paid their bill on time they wouldn't have this issue. And yes, that is my response to them. I make it clear from day one what happens when you're late I also tell them to call me if they are late because I will do my very best to work with them within reason. Once the unit is overlocked their gate code doesn't work either. I put a DaVinci lock on the unit and text them the code once I confirmed that we've been paid. If they pay with cash I withhold the combo lock until I confirm it's been paid in full. As far as I know, they could have dropped an envelope full of air into my after-hours box I'm not taking anyone's word that the cash in the box until I can count it. I'm sure as heck am not making a special trip to collect $100 bucks or less from a tenant who doesn't manage their money correctly.

                The Davinci locks have been a real lifesaver for us, like yourself we have two kids and the usual obligations on the weekends. I would highly recommend them as they have paid for themselves several times over just in gas savings alone.
                That's what I tell them when they start crying and threatening because I didn't take the overlock off the minute they paid. If they had paid on time they wouldn't have this problem. They've inconvenienced me by being late, so I'll inconvenience them for a couple of days. And I don't answer any calls on the weekends. My voicemail directs them to the website where they can check availability or rates and rent online too.

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                • #9
                  twotoejoe exactly.

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                  • #10
                    OK, first thing. You need to raise rent. You should never be 100% full. Being full means you are under market value for your property.

                    As for customers who expect immediate access, I have found that using management software that allows for online payments combined with "Davinci" combination locks allows you to receive payment and give them a code for unlocking without much hassle.

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                    • #11
                      It is in our rental agreement that delinquent payments received outside of normal operating hours will not be granted access until the next business day. They signed it. They were told at move in. End of story.
                      Stephanie Tharpe
                      President
                      A+ Management Group, LP
                      Nashville, TN
                      www.aplusmanagementgroup.com
                      615.288.2162

                      TNSSA Board of Directors
                      www.tnssa.net

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                      • #12
                        Many, many moons ago I used to care about getting that lock off as soon as humanly possible!
                        Years have gone by now and God help them if they call the emergency cell after hours because they can not get in!
                        God help them!
                        That's all I am going to say!
                        Don't put off until tomorrow, what you can do today.

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                        • #13
                          We never remove the over lock right away. They show up after hours or 5 minutes to closing, I just tell them we will get it off sometime tomorrow. If they don't want the hassle, just pay on time.

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                          • #14
                            We charge an immediate unlock fee of $30 if they can not wait until the day we are scheduled to be there to overlock and unlock. We do not have an onsite manager on any of our 12 locations.
                            Dave (Woodee) Scott

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Steve_hajewski View Post
                              OK, first thing. You need to raise rent. You should never be 100% full. Being full means you are under market value for your property.

                              As for customers who expect immediate access, I have found that using management software that allows for online payments combined with "Davinci" combination locks allows you to receive payment and give them a code for unlocking without much hassle.
                              I've raised rates twice this year and my phone is still ringing off the hook!

                              Comment

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