Here’s a new one.
My tenant doesn’t want me to evict him because, I quote, “I’m being honest about not being able to pay rent [so you should cut me some slack]”
Baffled? Yeah, me too.
But the reality is, this massive, delusional fanny believes he should be entitled to exemption on the grounds of being honest about his financial difficulties. In return for his “good deed”, he wants more time. He also wants me to get on my knees and lick the lint out of his belly-button as a special bonus prize.
Essentially, the fact he said, “Yeah, I can’t pay rent, I’m having financial difficulties” should qualify him for some extra breathing space. Unfortunately, admitting the problem isn’t the first step to recovery around these parts.
I’m genuinely perplexed by my tenant’s perception of reality. Why would being honest about financial difficulties make any difference? Also, it’s not like he had any other choice but to be honest. The money was not in my account 28 days after it was due, how many other reasons besides from not having the money could there be?
In a couple of days time my tenant will be 2 months in arrears, so I sent him a text-message informing him that I’m going to serve him with a Section 8 notice, on the grounds of rent arrears.
I didn’t want him to be totally surprised or confused by the notice, so I gave him a little head’s up. I wasn’t being aggressive or unreasonable in my text-message, at least I don’t think I was. I wasn’t even trying to threaten him; I was genuinely being informative, and even threw in a few sympathetic words. Although, in that situation, I’m sure he’s stressed and under pressure, so my sympathy probably made matters worse.
Unfortunately, he’s put me in a position where I need to at least make proactive steps to limit the damage, because I can’t run the risk of giving him more time. If he pays, cool, then I won’t escalate matters.
The thing is, I’ve been patient enough, and I was prepared to wait a little longer, but he’s sucked my patience dry after telling me he would clear his arrears on two separate occasions, but failed to deliver… both times! That’s a sure-fire way to exhaust my patience, because I’ve lost my trust in him.
That’s seriously one of my biggest pet-peeves. I don’t mind when tenant’s need a little extra time to pay rent – I understand it happens – but I do mind when tenants mess me about and lack courtesy e.g. promising to pay rent and then not doing it. Shizzle like that flips my noodle. Don’t give me false hope, be honest with me.
My text-message seemed to have aggravated him (not surprisingly, but unnecessarily, in my opinion) because his response was snotty, and consisted of the following key points:
- So far as a landlord, all I care about is my money
So far, since he’s been in arrears, all I’ve cared about is his lack of money to pay rent.
Wait, am I being a freaking abnormal landlord here? What does he want me to care about when he’s in arrears? Unbelievable!
- His honesty about not being able to pay rent should count for something, and I should be patient
I appreciate honesty in all forms, and I’ve been patient. But that doesn’t change the fact he’s in arrears….and betrayed my trust by feeding me bullshit.
The fact is, the more he gets himself into arrears, the tougher it will be for him to dig his way out. So I’m not just doing this for my sake, it’s also for his (but mainly for mine). If I give him breathing space, he’s unlikely to escape from a downward spiral. Tough love.
- I am putting pressure on him by threatening him with a Section 8
I would be the dumbest landlord on the planet if I didn’t apply pressure on a tenant that’s fallen in arrears. What does he expect me to do? Give him a pedicure and feed him grapes, so the whole ordeal is more bearable?
- He cannot tell me when he will be able to pay, but at least he has been honest with me
- I’m acting like a very unprofessional business man
Yeah, sure, a landlord chasing rent and preparing for a worst case outcome is unprofessional.
I ‘spose lying about paying rent is utterly noble?
What I don’t understand is why some tenants get angry at the landlord when they’re in arrears and face eviction. What exactly is the landlord doing wrong? It’s fucking crazy.
Anyways, I’m just mumbling. Mumble, mumble, mumble!
If anyone is having problems with rent arrears and is lost in a cloud of unsexy confusion, I would advise seeking help from a professional eviction service.
Disclaimer: I'm just a landlord blogger; I'm 100% not qualified to give legal or financial advice. I'm a doofus. Any information I share is my unqualified opinion, and should never be construed as professional legal or financial advice. You should definitely get advice from a qualified professional for any legal or financial matters. For more information, please read my full disclaimer.