Am I heartless?
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Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Mar 7, 2018 6:23 PM
       Am I heartless? (by NE [PA]) Mar 7, 2018 6:25 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Amy [MO]) Mar 7, 2018 6:33 PM
       Am I heartless? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 7, 2018 7:02 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Frank [NJ]) Mar 7, 2018 8:20 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Barbara [VA]) Mar 8, 2018 2:52 AM
       Am I heartless? (by plenty [MO]) Mar 8, 2018 3:41 AM
       Am I heartless? (by WMH [NC]) Mar 8, 2018 4:38 AM
       Am I heartless? (by S i d [MO]) Mar 8, 2018 5:40 AM
       Am I heartless? (by cjl [NY]) Mar 8, 2018 6:06 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Mary [MI]) Mar 8, 2018 6:07 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Richard [MI]) Mar 8, 2018 6:37 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Beth [WI]) Mar 8, 2018 7:00 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Beth [WI]) Mar 8, 2018 7:02 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Vee [OH]) Mar 8, 2018 8:13 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Laura C [KY]) Mar 8, 2018 10:51 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Annie [IN]) Mar 8, 2018 10:51 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Busy [WI]) Mar 8, 2018 11:12 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Pat [VA]) Mar 8, 2018 11:36 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Wilma [PA]) Mar 8, 2018 11:54 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Laura [MD]) Mar 8, 2018 11:59 AM
       Am I heartless? (by WMH [NC]) Mar 8, 2018 12:55 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Tom [FL]) Mar 9, 2018 9:07 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Pat [SC]) Mar 9, 2018 12:34 PM
       Am I heartless? (by mike [CA]) Mar 9, 2018 12:51 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Janet [PA]) Mar 9, 2018 12:55 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Mary [IL]) Mar 9, 2018 2:05 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Cynthia [CO]) Mar 9, 2018 3:31 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Mar 9, 2018 8:21 PM
       Am I heartless? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Mar 9, 2018 11:18 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Lalit [OH]) Mar 10, 2018 7:25 AM
       Am I heartless? (by Honey [LA]) Mar 10, 2018 7:39 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Laura [MD]) Mar 10, 2018 7:53 PM
       Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Mar 11, 2018 5:55 AM
       Am I heartless? (by scott [PA]) Mar 11, 2018 7:20 AM

Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 6:23 PM

My tenant of four months was late with the rent again. She was late in December too because she was in a bad car accident and had to have multiple surgeries. This time her grandson had an allergic reaction and had to be life-flighted to the hospital. She texted me a picture of him in his hospital bed, and promised that she'd make the rent payment today. I texted her back, "Hope he feels better soon. Make sure you include the $50 late fee." Am I heartless?

Am I heartless? (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 6:25 PM

No. She's trying to pull at your heartstrings though. You can have a heart, just don't have heartstrings for them to pull at.

Am I heartless? (by Amy [MO]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 6:33 PM

Send the kiddo a get well card and an age appropriate gift. You can care, but business is business. If you were heartless you wouldn't have even posted this question!

I wish I could remember which gal on this forum said she had a friend remind them," this is just business, this is just business...". That was fantastic advice.

I struggle with this all the time. Sometimes I feel like I've a double personality.

Am I heartless? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 7:02 PM

No Robin, you are not heartless.

Stick to the lease. It's fair for her and for you.

Suggest she consider PayDayPlanRent and autodraft so she can be by her grandson's beside anytime.

If this means anything, when they ask "Can you wrok with me?" or "I'll be late" we PUT them on PayDayPlanRent. That way they only need $186, not the full rent.


Am I heartless? (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Mar 7, 2018 8:20 PM

what would your mortgage company say if you tried this?

Am I heartless? (by Barbara [VA]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 2:52 AM

I had one text a picture of an ultrasound allegedly showing a tumor in her uterus. I still evicted her. I also think it was a cyst she was showing me, and not a tumor. But what do I know...

I don't feel heartless. I know she has family in the area. The fact that they weren't willing to help her tells me something.

Am I heartless? (by plenty [MO]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 3:41 AM

If you didn't feel this'd be heartless. You are running your business and are human. Perhaps they "sorry to hear" and "include late fee" could have been in two separate text messages ...

Am I heartless? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 4:38 AM

I started NOT saying SORRY for ANYTHING to do with the business in 2016. I kept that vow for all of 2017 and now into 2018.

So whenever I start to write "Sorry..." I stop and re-phrase. Sometimes it's difficult to come up with alternate phrasing but I make myself do it.

So in your case I might have said, "Wow I hope he is okay!! Yes that's fine if you pay rent tomorrow, don't forget to include the late fee."

One of our tenants died late last year, and his wife didn't even TELL us until months later! Never skipped a beat with the rent. When she told us, I said, "Oh my, our heartfelt condolences!" I *could* have said I'm sorry there, though, because it wasn't business related.

Am I heartless? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 5:40 AM

Whenever potential guilt about rentals is involved, I ask myself 1 question: whom does lost income from rent impact? Me, my family, my spouse, my kids, the charities I support, the causes I care about, etc.

A few things to think about...

Bill Gates will not give me a free copy of Microsoft Office, and he's a multi-billionaire.

The late Sam Walton would still expect me to pay for a toothbrush from his store if I walked into a Wal-Mart and put it into my shopping cart, and he was a multi-billionaire.

The late Truett Cathy, a Christian man of amazing character and worth over $4.5 billion would still expect me to pay for a Chik-fil-A sandwich if I chose to walk into his store and eat it.

None of these multi-billionaires will ask me how my life is going, if my spouse/kids are sick, if I just lost my job, etc. See, that's not their business. Now if they chose, out of the generosity of their hearts, to donate something to me then that too is their business. It's not an obligation; it's not an expectation.

Generosity is a gift freely given by a heart moved to give. In contrast, with business there is an expectation and an obligation when someone takes a valuable good/service (i.e. rent/housing/roof over the head). She agreed to pay. You agreed to provide a house. That is the obligation and expectation.

Your lease says: "Rent of $500 is due on the first of each month and a late fee of $50 applies if not paid on time."

Your lease does NOT say: "Rent of $500 is due on the first of each month and a late fee of $50 applies if not paid on time, unless X, Y, or Z happens and my tenant finds herself short of money."

Anything more we need to discuss?


S i d, the heartFUL land lord.

. --173.17.xx.xx

Am I heartless? (by cjl [NY]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 6:06 AM

Not heartless at all in my opinion. SHE will think so but too bad. WHO sends a pic of a kid (or anyone) via text to someone to "prove" that what they are saying is the truth?

I would probably keep an eye on her because I think she's about to be a huge flake on you.

Am I heartless? (by Mary [MI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 6:07 AM

Why is she sending you pictures of her problems? Why is she involving you in her personal life? You have a landlord tenant relationship and that is where it should stay. She is working on you in a shameful way. Stay strong , this is business. I would really resent this type of entrapment .

Am I heartless? (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 6:37 AM

Well said, Sid.

Am I heartless? (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 7:00 AM

If I were expecting someone to help me out/show me some heart it would be someone I have a true relationship with. That is, my family and my friends. Not my landlord, not my banker, not my cell phone company, etc.

Am I heartless? (by Beth [WI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 7:02 AM

And, do tenants typically lie or tell the truth when rent is late?

Am I heartless? (by Vee [OH]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 8:13 AM

You are doing fine, in reality the medical bills will not be rolling in for a few months, that is when rent excuses might make sense but now is the time for autodraft - ach? I think it is called. pay day rent would make it more complex for both of you - logistics once a month is bad enough if they need the post office or you need them to answer the door.

Am I heartless? (by Laura C [KY]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 10:51 AM

I did that also for months and finally told tenant that if she continuously was late, I'd start enforcing the late fee. She was getting a discount anyway because she was family member of another tenant. She said she'd put it in mail but was late the next month, got offended and wound up moving out with an attitude. No problem. Another renter who is consistently early or on time is paying full-price. I read though that you can't pick and choose who to enforce and who not to enforce so I began enforcing the late fee from then on.

Am I heartless? (by Annie [IN]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 10:51 AM

No, you are not heartless. We have been doing this for over 30 years, so we should know better.

We made the mistake of renting to a couple -- house foreclosed on, he was suffering from cancer treatments, disabled son had died a couple of years ago. We were able to confirm all these things were true, doing the background check. They were marginal on some things, but seemed really sincere, and we thought we would be doing the right thing. We have been blessed, and thought maybe it would be a good thing to try and help someone who has fallen on hard times.

Tried to help them out by only charging prorated rent for the 6 days of September, with a full deposit, and the October rent due on the 1st. Didn't get the rent as promised in October; contacted them and got the rent a few days late by check. It bounced. Should have threatened to turn it over to the County prosecutor, but didn't. They made the check good, and paid an additional $25 for the NSF.

Come November, no rent again. Had to give them a 10 day Notice (Indiana law); no response, so filed in Court, but now we are getting into the Holidays (Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years), so can't get them into Court until January 5th. Husband dies on Christmas Eve. Court does evict on the court date, and Court gives 10 days to get out.

Damage hearing not until the end of April.

She leaves a bunch of stuff behind; we box, bag it up and put in storage. Contact the Court; have to hold onto it all until the Damage Hearing.

Last week, found out they left over $200 in Water/Sewer bills, so as the landlord it falls to us to pay it, or they will not turn on the water for a new tenant. They can lien the property, and we don't want that.

Bottom line -- in the future, when wanting to do good things for others, we will contribute at Church, to the Salvation Army, BUT ANYTHING when it comes to the rental business. --104.152.xx.xx

Am I heartless? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 11:12 AM

I thought your response was very kind. You offered good wishes, and a way to remedy the late rent without Notice to Quit.

For me, another part of being a 'good' landlord, and ' decent' human being is providing a well-maintained home at reasonable, not usary, rates. And you do.

The tenant may have hoped to get by without a late fee, but, is probably happy that she is not being given the heave-ho.

Late fees add nicely to income. And, provide tenants with options.

Am I heartless? (by Pat [VA]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 11:36 AM

We just had a tenant of 5 months call us Monday & say the BF had just decided to leave (she is a CNA = no $$) and she didn't have the rent. Wanted to know if I'd drop the rent, I asked her how much? $550.00 to what? This is a 2001 three bedroom/two bath singlewide. I told her I MIGHT do $500.00 but would be checking to make sure no one else was living there besides her & 2 kids. She said she'd let me know in a week but I still sent her the required 5 day pay or quit with amount owed for this month because I only have $400.00 deposit.

Hoping she leaves, because she can't afford it at that.

Business is business, and don't take it personal. I have to tell myself this every day.

Am I heartless? (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 11:54 AM

Robin, no, it's not heartless of you. She did not contact you about rent due, I assume, on the 1st - and she's been late 4 times. That photo was meant to sway you - don't let it.

"Generosity is a gift freely given by a heart moved to give." That's perfect, Sid. I have a family member who expects money out of me who needs to hear that.

Am I heartless? (by Laura [MD]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 11:59 AM

Your response was fine. Turn the situation around. Suppose her water heater broke and you did not have the money for a repair now because of a car accident or illness, but would have it in 10 days. If you texted her and said I will be able to make the repair in 10 days because XXXX. Do you think she would be OK with that....NO.

Am I heartless? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Mar 8, 2018 12:55 PM

Laura/MD: exactly!!

Am I heartless? (by Tom [FL]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 9:07 AM

HEARTLESS!!! According to many tenants some present and some former, mostly former tenants they may consider their landlord heartless. AND the L.I.B.E.R.A.L judges that rule in tenants favor; AS the landlord scratches his or her head with all his or her evidence to back up their claim against the deadbeat tenant may consider landlords heartless.

As an owner/landlord you buy a property: SFH, Mobile home, Multi Family...

Now you assess the work needed to rent the unit to your prospective tenant. Preparing the unit. You may change the locks and be ready to rent that day OR you may up date the unit making it the best unit in your market asking top dollar for the unit.

Now you screen the prospects. AND you choose a prospect. They move in with your new iron clad lease. 6 months into the lease a financial problem occurs with the tenant and they call whining about their financial down turn. HOWEVER, as the landlord: you have real estate taxes to pay. IF NOT PAID AND DELINQUENT PROPERTY will be foreclosed and SOLD. Insurance must be paid. Water, electric, gas and garbage pick all must be paid if not a lien will be filled by a few of the utilities against the unit and shutoffs will occur. Heating shut off during the winter months can create some major problems with burst water lines.

MORTGAGE; if there is a mortgage it must be paid if not foreclosure will occur.

Tenants can whine about financial downturns in their life. Then landlord can whine to the taxing body, mortgage company, utilities, and sometime zoning and building code, etc. However they DON'T care they are moving forward with the lien, foreclosure, etc...

TENANT OWNS a pc of paper called a lease. Once the lease is expired, tenant moves, they still own a pc of paper thats not worth being scratch paper and its really not worth toilet paper at that point. Maybe they could bundle it and use it to keep warm by building a fire. Otherwise it's worthless at this point. The landlord continues to own the real estate with the goal of mortgage free, maintaining and improving the value of their investment. With the profits after all expenses and taxes consider re-investing in more real estate. Using profit for daily living expenses. Investing in retirement fund. Taking a vacation! Buying that dream car! Going out for dinner! Hiding it in a mattress! OR placing it in special accounts for future uses. AND the ways to spend it and invest are countless.

HOWEVER, when a tenant does not pay for whatever EXCUSES they may have landlord NOW has to dip into his or her reserves to pay the hard costs. THEREFORE, the whatever the financial problem of tenant. The tenant needs to pay a penalty or vacant the premises.

UNLESS landlord is a 501k registered charity or a church then they can let the tenant slide. Most likely NOT!!!

IF landlords are heartless in the eyes of the tenant then OK thats fine. Money Bags! Slumlord! Scammer! and other expletives landlords have been called and will continue to be called. Oh well!! When you offer a rental unit that is safe, secure, and in the best possible condition. You expect the tenant to pay the monthly rent on time, pay the utilities, maintain the place in as is condition or better condition when tenant moves. ZERO TOLERANCE!!!

NOW as a Landlord IF you so choose to let the tenant take financial advantage of you thats your choice. Being a proactive Landlord instead of a re-active landlord is the best solutions for the landlords bottom line. --99.56.xx.xx

Am I heartless? (by Pat [SC]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 12:34 PM

Is your written lease agreement contingent upon EVERYTHING being right in their lives? Mine is not. Her problems are her problems. You did not take her to raise. I bet if you dig a little she has done the same thing to every landlord she has ever had. GET her out of your home. I tell them upfront "Our written agreement is NOT contingent upon everything being right in your life. Rent is due on the first, late after 5:00 PM on the 5th and we file eviction without fail on the 16th day of the month. I can't help who died, I can't help who has been sick, I can't help who lost a job. Those things are really none of my business. I suggest if you stumble into a problem of not having enough money at any time, get with your friends, your relatives, people that know and trust you and then pay your rent on time! I should not even know your personal business!! I don't tell you mine!" I do this before they fill out an app, before I show the home and again at move in. If they are looking to be trouble, they usually move on! I have GREAT tenants! I do say it nicely but FIRMLY.

Am I heartless? (by mike [CA]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 12:51 PM

heartless would be if you laid the fee on the first late and it was this fact set. it's not though...she was late 1/2 of her term SO FAR. perhaps a better angle is to ask if she can afford the home truly. it appears that ANY hiccup means her problems are yours. her GRANDSON? how is that HER emergency?

Am I heartless? (by Janet [PA]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 12:55 PM

Tenant was consistently late but only sent rent, never the late fee.

When he called me for the third time (relative died, car needed four new tires, another relative died), I said, "Everybody has problems. My husband just totaled his car and is seeing all kinds of medical specialists. But I still have to pay my bills."

Third month he was late, went to court, filed for previous late fees, current rent and current late fee. All of a sudden he "got it" when the court tacked on another $140 in costs.

Right on time this month. Some can be trained, some cannot.

Keep the former, dump the latter.

Am I heartless? (by Mary [IL]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 2:05 PM

No you're not heartless for asking for the late fees due to you. It is a business and you are the Boss!

Am I heartless? (by Cynthia [CO]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 3:31 PM

I teach caregivers how to care for themselves.

One important lesson is

Regret is feeling bad about something that happened.You regret her son had medical needs.

Guilt is doing something to intentionally hurt another. You did not intended for her rent to be late. Make sense. Try using regret instead of guilt it changes the feeling.

Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 8:21 PM

Thanks for all your insights. She paid the rent yesterday with the $50 late fee, and thanked me for my patience. :)

Am I heartless? (by BRAD 20,000 [IN]) Posted on: Mar 9, 2018 11:18 PM


You are once of the nicest people I know!

Newbies will call me cyncial but pros will shout AMEN - when we get heart tugging stories, carefully crafted to push our sympathy buttons or activate the Mothering gland, we usually discover a month or 2 later it was a lie (or a distortion of the truth).

I stopped playing God and deciding which sad case was worthy of letting them slide. I treat EVERYONE the same - fair and according to our agreement.

We also go back and double check the screening and sometimes find something we missed that shows they were habitually late with former LLs. New information is often revealed at lease signing, or handing over the keys, fresh Facebook posts, etc which plugs into the screening to paint a different picture.

At least you are not scamming like NE!


Am I heartless? (by Lalit [OH]) Posted on: Mar 10, 2018 7:25 AM

Whenever you treat your tenant, make sure you follow the guideline set by fair housing laws without any sympathy. Everybody should be treated same, no exceptions. If you waive late fees for one then you have to waive for all. What I do is waive only first late fees for all. Tenants all the time calls city, county, and federal offices on you all the time.

Am I heartless? (by Honey [LA]) Posted on: Mar 10, 2018 7:39 PM

I don't have problems with most of our tenants. But I have been thinking of a new policy, for everybody of course, and it goes like this. The old way: Rent is due on the first (1st) of the month, and late after the 3rd of the month.Late Fee:$ 50! New way: Rent is due on the first of the month, and late after the third (3rd). Late Fee: $50 max. Please include $10 a day for each day rent payment was not received by the 3rd. (By the 8th of the month, if they hadn't paid yet, I would already be on his case.) This includes weekends and holidays.

I want to start this new policy with the very next new tenant.

Most tenants pay on time, but there is always the slowpoke.

What do y'all think about this idea?

Am I heartless? (by Laura [MD]) Posted on: Mar 10, 2018 7:53 PM

Honey, check your local laws. Lots of states/localities have laws regulating what & when late fees can be charged.

Am I heartless? (by Robin [WI]) Posted on: Mar 11, 2018 5:55 AM

Honey, I have a late fee structure similar to yours. One day late, $25 late fee. $5/day after that to a max of $50. Without the daily charge, once they've incurred the late fee there's no incentive to pay up.

Am I heartless? (by scott [PA]) Posted on: Mar 11, 2018 7:20 AM

good conversation all.

I think, next time we have a tenant payment issue - we will put things in perspective for them by matching the discount they receive from the local utility companies, car loan, credit card and similar consumer debts.

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