"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas A. Edison

"Get off that couch and go buy that rundown duplex" - me

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Be a Grinch!

We get feedback from landlords all the time who say they have trouble collecting rents in the Christmas season. Their January rent payments are spotty at best, with late payments the norm.

This can be for several different reasons, but mostly it's because of overspending this time of the year, especially by families with kids.

While we don't recommend being totally heartless, you do have to treat rent collection as a business function that is key to your survival...

If you feel it is unfair to demand rent when tenants have overspent, think of it in business  terms. You need income to survive, and for your rental business to succeed.

Can you call the bank, utilities, property tax collectors, etc. and ask to pay late because you overspent? How would that go over? Why should your tenant expect any different from you? Possibly because you have trained them to pay late...

Have you ever in the past ignored late payments? Accepted excuses for late payments? Not taken any action?

You don't have to be a complete hardass, but giving firm expectations is very important. If the 2nd rolls around and no payment has been received, we send a notice outlining the severity of the situation and the possibility of eviction. If they fail to act in the specified time (local landlord/tenant regulations vary) the eviction process is begun. Consistency is the key here.

This shows that you are professional, mean business, and late rent is unacceptable. Even with compelling excuses (when are they not compelling!) we send the notices. Sorry your cat had to have emergency surgery, but the mortgage comes out on the second, and the mean old bank don't care about any excuses!

Tenants will quickly realize it's just business. It won't  make them resent you any more. They understand they have to pay for the merchandise and won't hate the clerk who gives them their bill...      


  1. You definitely need to be firm. If the credit scores of your tenants is at least average for a renter, 650+, if they are late it is because they forgot, not because they do not have it.

    With lower score tenants you need to be very firm.

  2. Thanks for the comment. Agreed. If you are not firm, you are "training" them to pay late. BTW great blog!