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Being nice doesn't pay.

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  • Being nice doesn't pay.

    In our business it seems like everyone is going through a major life event when they come to us needing storage. I will always listen and have empathy for folks going through a difficult time in their life. This past week a tenant called and said they need to rent a unit for their friend who was involved in an abusive relationship, the other half was in jail and this was their moment to escape. The tenant had a great record of paying on time, never an issue, just a perfect tenant if there was ever such a thing.

    This was on the weekend and she asked if she could pay on Tuesday, I told them sure, no issue. They asked if they could park their trailer for the night, we have room, sure. Are you starting to cringe yet?

    Tuesday comes, now it's going to be Friday. Nothing. The trailer is still there. Saturday morning they call and said my bank card if frozen due to the federal reserve being hacked. I'm not aware of this, I admire them for the set of balls they have to come up with something. I almost told her in my "day job" that I work with banks daily. But I decided not to. She said she would come on Monday to drop money off but could she still have access to her unit. I told her as long as she pays her bill she will have access.

    It was grand central station yesterday at the facility. While I was talking to some people who stopped by I noticed their friend came in and loaded some stuff up in the truck and left. I immediately went and overlocked their units and called her up to tell her about the overlock and told her I'm charging her daily for the parking of the trailer. All of a sudden she was going to go get a pre-paid visa card to call us and so far we haven't heard from them. Being nice doesn't pay.

  • #2
    About every two years I get caught up and bend a rule. Long time tenant asks me if she could use the unit next to hers to sort through her unit and reorganize. I told her not without a lease. She said it will only be a day or two and could she rent the unit by the day. Told her no.

    She comes in the office later to pay her bill and says she and her husband will pull everything out and block the aisle. I have 3 of the 10 x 16 size units available and so I said you know what? Just use the unit next far a couple of days. You have to lock the unit andb be done by Tuesday at 5PM. "Thank you, Thank you. Last night was three weeks. The unit was overlocked and numerous phone calls and emails unanswered she shows up and I got a lease for the month.

    She asked if I was upset. I told her only at myself for believing people.


    • #3
      Just like I said in another topic about how to treat people. Everyone is the same, no one gets special treatment. I've been burnt enough in my years that I don't care who you are *even if related to me* you follow the same rules as everyone else. I could hate you personally, I could love you personally. How I feel outside of work isn't how I treat someone while i'm at work.


      • #4
        Been there, burned the t-shirt. My bleeding heart used to get me into trouble. My daughter inherited that from me (poor kid). Now I am not into offering any kind of favors.
        Even duct-tape can't fix stupid. But it can muffle the noises.

        WA State


        • #5
          Recently a tenant's husband came in to ask would it be ok if they paid for June and July around mid-July. I told him that their things would certainly not be sold by then, but they would be locked out in a couple of days since the grace period for June was almost up. He was understanding. The next day his wife (the actual tenant) called up in response to receiving a late notice.

          "My husband already talked to someone about this!"

          I explained to her that he indeed had, and I had told him about the lockout (though I did waive their fee as a one-time annual courtesy). She then explained how she is currently out of work and looking for a new job.

          "We're just looking for a little understanding. Could my husband come get just a few more things out of the unit today?"

          I calmly explained to her that I could now allow that, but reminded her that I had waived their late fee and that their things weren't going anywhere as long as they paid when promised.

          "You can't just let him get a few things?"

          I explained how that would be unfair to all the other past due tenants, many of whom I'm sure would love to get something from their unit.

          "But how would they ever find out?"

          If the entitled attitude apparent in that conversation doesn't prove why it's best to stick to your guns, I don't know what does. I can just see them vacating and never hearing from them again. Funny thing is, when I do stick to my guns, these tenants almost always find a way to get us the money. Funny how that works...
          Last edited by RMRSS; 14 June 2020, 06:52 PM.


          • #6
            Must be something in the moon. I have a tenant who has been with me for 5 years or so. He has always paid, but recently he waited until the 9th every month. We had become pretty good acquaintances in the last couple of years; we would sit and talk for hours at a time. Right after my hospitalizations a couple of years ago I even let him come by my house! So the 10th of this month comes around and I haven't seen his payment. I sent him a text and an email advising him if he didn't pay by the end of business he would incur a late charge. The day goes by and no payment. In every other case I would immediately overlock, but I figured it was no problem in me getting paid so I let it slide. I go by Friday the 12th and his unit is cleaned out.

            So I sent him a nice text thanking him but advising him of his balance, as all rent was due on the first. He replies that he didn't owe me anything, that rats had gotten into his stuff and ruined 1,000's of dollars worth of stuff. Of course I advise him that he signed an agreement that states if he was in the unit on the first he was liable for the entire next months rent and that it wasn't covered by insurance unless he provided it. I also asked him if he planned on stiffing me over $89 and that I thought we had become friends. No reply. He also got his move out email advising him of his balance. No reply. Guess I'll chalk this one up to experience.


            • #7

              I think the well water in North Georgia has something in it. As of Monday morning still no call from this tenant. A lot of these people will ask if they can drop money off and my answer is yes, only when I'm there. Then they go that's not fair! My response is neither is paying on time as we have bills that are due just like them.. Or I could come up there today but it will be a $75.00 fuel surcharge to come and meet you. They could easily drop an envelope of air into our collection box or short us. I don't trust anyone when they get into desperate times.


              • #8
                Don't lose faith. I'm a strong believer in karma. Also, it's great to help out those real genuine good tenants who never ask for a darn thing and always pay their bill on time! Don't forget to check in with them and let them know how great they are


                • #9
                  Madman Thanks for the feedback. This tenant did finally call in today and pay and was very apologetic about the whole thing. I do believe she just needed a few days to get it together. I've been there myself plenty of times in my life. You brought up a good point about rewarding our tenants who are not a hassle. We are doing a giveaway this month for either a $100 wal-mart gift card or an RTIC cooler. Contest rules are pretty simple, must be a tenant with no late payments to win.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by KrisinWA View Post
                    Been there, burned the t-shirt. My bleeding heart used to get me into trouble. My daughter inherited that from me (poor kid). Now I am not into offering any kind of favors.
                    Same. I tell people its not mine to give away. If I give you something for free its stealing from my employer and well... I just wont do that! If they press I just turn it around on them and ask them if I came to their work and wanted something for free would I get it? Would they waive policy just for me? Probably not, so stop asking me to jeopardize my job so you can get out of paying a late fee, or whatever it is they want. Not. Gonna. Happen.
                    You Laugh, I laugh. You cry, I cry. You take my coffee...may God have mercy on your soul....


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