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Always-late tenant wants bigger unit

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  • Always-late tenant wants bigger unit

    I have a tenant that is currently in my smallest unit (5x5), and pays $35/month. She has been here since September 2019. Since January 2020, she has been 2 or more weeks late with payment 7 times, including November, which is now 24 days late. She has mentioned the last couple of times she paid that she needs a bigger unit. She hasn't been specific about how much bigger, but has asked what I have available. So here's my question: do I allow her to move to a bigger unit knowing she already can't even keep up with what she's paying now? If $35 is a struggle now, how much of a struggle will twice that, or more, be? I was thinking of telling her that, with her history of late payments, there will need to be at least 6 months (if not more) of on-time payments before I will allow a transfer. Of course, she is always free to rent something bigger elsewhere, I really wouldn't mind.
    Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

  • #2
    If I was nearly full, i would be less interested in that business, but if I'm in rent up phase I'd rather have a slow payer than no rent from an empty unit.

    You might also require her to put a real credit card (not a debit card) on file for automatic payment so that you get paid on time and she can deal with catching up with her credit card company, not you. On the flip side, if you are getting a late fee and she never gets more than a month late, you should be well compensated for the hassle.

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    • #3
      I think it would depend on the tenant. Can she not afford it or does she just get her check late? I have several tenants that pay late every month because they don't get a check until mid month and they are fine with it.

      If she was a problem tenant that gave you grief every time she was late, I wouldn't bother, but otherwise, I don't see why you wouldn't just gladly collect the late fees each month.

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      • #4
        I recently had a tenant that was late on her small unit on a regular basis and she paid the late fees. She wanted a bigger unit and I asked how she would do that with always being late on the smaller unit. She assured me she would be on time and for the last 7 months, she has not been late. To me, IMO, it is a case by case basis.
        "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

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        • #5
          Originally posted by SimplySpace View Post
          I think it would depend on the tenant. Can she not afford it or does she just get her check late? I have several tenants that pay late every month because they don't get a check until mid month and they are fine with it.

          If she was a problem tenant that gave you grief every time she was late, I wouldn't bother, but otherwise, I don't see why you wouldn't just gladly collect the late fees each month.

          She isn't one of my problem children so no issue there. I don't know if it's a check issue, she does work so it's not like she's waiting for a social security check or anything like that. Sometimes when she pays it's part debit card, part cash.

          The more I think about it though, even though her late payments started in January, I'm wondering if some of the issue is covid-related. It's possible that where ever it is she works had shut down at one point, or she may even have had her hours cut. Even if that's the case, taking on the expense of a larger unit when you appear to not even be able to afford the cheapest one I have is not a good idea.
          Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by DairyGirl View Post


            taking on the expense of a larger unit when you appear to not even be able to afford the cheapest one I have is not a good idea.
            I agree with this. Just saying, I wouldn't assume they can't afford it unless you're ok with her taking her business elsewhere.

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            • #7
              There are two types of late tenant: those who pay late, but do so consistently without you having to say a word....and those who you have to constantly be after in order to get anything from them. If this tenant of yours is the former, then I say rent the larger unit and continue to collect late fees. If the latter, I'd probably decline and hope they decide to just move.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by RMRSS View Post
                There are two types of late tenant: those who pay late, but do so consistently without you having to say a word....and those who you have to constantly be after in order to get anything from them. If this tenant of yours is the former, then I say rent the larger unit and continue to collect late fees. If the latter, I'd probably decline and hope they decide to just move.
                This is what I think too. Shaking people like a piñata is fine but not when it consumes a bunch of hours of failed contacts in your month because they only pop up like a ground hog to pay on alternate months.
                "Carpe the HECK out of this diem."
                WA state

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by RMRSS View Post
                  There are two types of late tenant: those who pay late, but do so consistently without you having to say a word....and those who you have to constantly be after in order to get anything from them. If this tenant of yours is the former, then I say rent the larger unit and continue to collect late fees. If the latter, I'd probably decline and hope they decide to just move.
                  So far she appears to be one of those tenants that just pays late all the time; I haven't had to do anything other than send a past due notice. I guess I won't know how it will go until/unless she actually moves into a bigger unit.
                  Too many freaks, not enough circuses.

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                  • #10
                    We have a tenant like that here. She would always pay the next month for the previous month and late fees to keep her out of lock cut status...for at least a year, but I never had to hound her for payment; I knew when she would pay. She came in at the end of last year and needed an additional 10X10 CC unit. I was hesitant but rented it to her. Since then, she has never missed a payment on either unit and no late fees have had to be added. Maybe she was just going thru a rough patch, I'm not sure.

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                    • #11
                      We have plenty of tenants that are always paying 1 month late consistently. As long as shes never more than a month late, I'd go for it and enjoy the extra late fees.

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                      • #12
                        I had a client who was always 25 days late in making her payment every month. She called the late fees (There were two that totaled $25) a convenience fee. It wasn't convenient for her to pay earlier so she paid the late fee....
                        Throw kindness around like Confetti - But don't get glitter in your eyes!

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Tall Terri View Post
                          I had a client who was always 25 days late in making her payment every month. She called the late fees (There were two that totaled $25) a convenience fee. It wasn't convenient for her to pay earlier so she paid the late fee....
                          Yep, as long as they realize they're not going to be able to access their unit during that time!

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                          • #14
                            Dairy Girl Enjoy the late fees!!!Like RMRSS said

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