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10 Guidelines for Landlords to Follow When Rent is Not Paid

  1. We get what we allow.
  2. Be businesslike and professional.
  3. It has nothing to do with respect. If you’re in this for respect, you’re in the wrong business! Residents don’t pay out of respect, they pay to avoid the pain of late fees or convictions.
  4. No pain, no gain! Just like our kids, residents won’t do what you want until there is some kind of pain to avoid or eliminate – not until Mom says, “No supper until your room’s cleaned!” Set a deadline with a consequence.
  5. Our judge was VERY clear and even emphatic at our landlord association meeting last month:“Standard practice” overrides any lease clause. If there are no late fees, dropping fees, accepting late, 5 days grace, etc., then HE must allow the same in court. His example: 5 days grace by the landlord forces him to allow 5 extra free days for the evictee. (I STILL cannot understand why landlords even give grace periods!)
  6. Residents lie. And landlords tend to be gullible. We WANT to believe in people.
  7. In the end, they didn’t pay because they flat out don’t have the money. You cannot get blood from a stone. No amount of letters, talk, chest puffing, threats, etc., will make a hill of beans difference. If they can’t pay, they can’t and they need to go. No hatred or harsh words – just time to work something out or have the judge tell them they gotta go.
  8. Landlords play games with grace periods, unenforced late fees, let rent slide, etc., then get upset when the resident blurs the lines.
  9. Stay in control. The landlord is in charge, not the resident.

– Reprinted from Mr. Landlord