The Dog Ate My Rent Money: Is There Ever an Acceptable Excuse for a Tenant to Pay Rent Late?
Landlords have a lot on their plates on a daily basis. They may have to show a unit to a potential resident one hour then handle the turnover of a recently vacated unit the next. What’s more, being a landlord means you have to deal with people day in and day out, and not just one kind of person. You never know who’s going to apply to live in your building and even if that person’s rental and employment backgrounds come back squeaky clean, you can only anticipate so much.
A major issue that landlords face unfortunately regularly enough is dealing with late payments. While a grace period is always helpful for tenants, a tenant paying rent late every month or completely missing a payment altogether needs to be avoided.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest excuses people make when they pay rent late.
Common Excuses for Late Rent
If you’re a landlord, you’ve probably heard every excuse under the sun when it comes to late rental payments. But even though you may have your own history dealing with a tenant paying rent late every month, there’s always an excuse or two that can top it.
- Mailing it in late: Some people may say that their check is just running a bit late because of the post office running behind. Everyone likes to pick on the post office. If someone makes a case for this, it would be wise to check with them soon after.
- Having a rough month: While landlords handle money every month, they’re not certified accountants who can help people budget and handle their own finances. A tenant paying rent late every month may make the excuse that they’re having a rough month and won’t have the money to cover rent.
- Slow work: For those who are self-employed, it’s actually common to blame late payments or partial payments on a lack of business. This excuse is usually used over and over, not just once.
- They’ve been sick: Another sympathy searching excuse is one related to being sick and needing to pay medical bills. Tenants know that landlords will have to feel some sympathy for people who haven’t been able to work because of an illness or injury.
While it can be easy to feel sorry for a tenant paying rent late every month, you must know that rent has to get paid somehow. Without rent payments or full rent payments, it’s possible that they could be putting you in a tough situation financially speaking.
Landlords should be strict when it comes to rent payments. While a grace period of a few days is understandable, there should be stiff penalties if someone pays rent later than a week at most. Landlords should be sure to encourage communication with their tenants and not be afraid to meet with them face to face to hash out what the matter is.
Additionally, it’s always important to keep your cool during late payments. Dealing with late payments and a tenant paying rent late every month can be frustrating, but you won’t gain anything from threatening them in some way.
Landlords should also invest in rent default insurance, which is meant to reimburse you for loss of rental income in the event of a defaulting tenant. Interested in learning more? Contact us or apply for an instant quote today!