Advice about rent issue

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Jody, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Ok so this month lots of things happened financially, good and bad. I paid off my car and got the title in my hand today. Too excited about that. No more car payments and I have a fairly decent car. I live in an apartment and its small but I like it. My rent is due on the 1st. I didnt pay it because I was catching up utility bills and i had two days less pay this month. I don't qualify for any programs or anything like this and will pay the rent at the end fo the month. I have almost always paid on time and am a good tenant. Things are getting ready to get better for me financially and I just need this landlord to hold on for just a short time more. Next month, I will not have the 360.00 car payment that I had before, and i am working extra this month at our yearly convention. I need to know how to approach the landlord, and ask him for more time. Am i really off base even asking him, or thinking that he might be able to wait. I have had friends that have owed thousands of dollars in rent and not been evicted. I feel like a heel not being able to pay, really seriously. If I had been able to I would have paid on time, it just wasnt possible. I think even if he would take me to court I would still have the money to pay when we did go to court. I don't want all of those costs though either. Ugh, i don't like being behind, I am sure no one does! It's stressful. On top of that both dogs have to go to the vet, I called them today and will get them in after I pay the rent for 260.00. Not complaining cause I love my dogs. He's been calling me all day and I have not answered because I am stumped at the conversation that we need to have. Ugh, I don't deal well with this type of thing. I just shut down. Any suggestions on what to say to this man, i have to answer him soon, or I will really make him mad. Do I just say I don't have it, and won't have it till the 31st. I guess I don't really have a very good reason as to not having it. I probably should not have paid the utility bills but being inthe dark didnt agree with me either.
  2. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Off to take an ativan, be back in a minute. Even thinking about it makes me very anxious.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    If you've lived there for a long time and have NEVER been late before, simply tell him the truth. You had a short paycheck and you had to decide between rent and utilities and decided that the utility company would be less willing to work with you. Tell him EXACTLY when you will pay it and how much (including any late fees specified in your lease), then apologize (sounding as remorseful as you just did here) and tell him it won't happen again. Most landlords won't have a problem if the tenant has a good history and just hit a snag that is GUARANTEED to be fixed soon. It will cost him more to evict you than I'm sure he's willing to pay if you're just a little late this ONE time.

    Good luck. Yea, avoiding him will only tick him off and that would NOT be good.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    A partial rent payment would have been better than none at all... it's no fun being between a rock and a hard place. But having been in the landlords shoes (sort of, my parents were landlords)... a partial payment with explanation is better than no payment.
  5. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Yes I agree with the partial payment. Maybe the weather won't be too bad this weekend and maybe I can have a garage sale. I don't know that I could make much, but it's worth a try. I would feel a lot better if I had something paid on it too. I don 't like this one bit. maybe I should have paid the rent and not the utilities and tried to stay somewhere for a couple of weeks until my next pay. Sometimes I really doubt which is the logical thing to do, some people just get it and its the right thing for some reason, my brain just doesnt work like that. I do it one way, and in the end the other way is the way i should have gone. Drats, don't know where I would have stayed with a kid and two dogs...
  6. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would just talk to him candidly if you have been a good and decent tenant. Landlords dont get many good tenants these days and they really dont want to go through the hassle of looking for new ones. If you are going to be able to catch him up so soon he should be fine with it, I know I would be. Are you sure you cant get help with rent one time?
  7. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jody, as a landlord, being kept in the loop is the most important aspect of working with my tenants. Not getting a rent payment and hearing nothing, a landlord assumes the worst. A call to let the landlord know you've hit a wall this month but will get back on your feet in the next 30 days goes a long way. You will probably still owe the late payment (and we charge $50 after the 5th of the month), but it keeps the relationship honest. I have waived the late fee because someone was honest and upfront with me about a late payment and had a history of paying on time. Let your landlord know.

  8. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    I agree with Sharon, speak with your landlord and be honest with him about everything. The sooner you speak with him, the more credible you come across. .
  9. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jody, I agree with Sharon, being honest and keeping your landlord in the loop creates an atmosphere of trust. Figure out exactly how you can pay him and then tell him and keep that agreement no matter what. Then if you are ever in this predicament again, he will trust your word. Apologize and explain your situation honestly.
  10. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Jody, I rented for years and years.........and years. Rent was one thing I was anal about, and even with husband and his issues with money during our early years, it always got paid. (he knew I'd have killed him if not)

    That said..........we were having money issues while katie was living with us when kayla was a baby. husband had issues with talking to people on the phone and with stuff like this, avoidance was his policy if he though he could get away with it. And so.......brilliant husband went 2 months without paying rent, without telling me........and without a word to the landlord. Brilliant because we were on a MONTH TO MONTH lease! Fortunately, we were excellent tenants and were never late with rent prior.........and we had a nice landlady who had grown up poor and knew hard times could befall anyone. She called me one morning to see if something was wrong, if perhaps husband had lost his job. Now since I wasn't in the loop.......I had no clue what she was talking about, so I asked her what was up. I nearly come unglued when she told me husband was 2 months late on the rent. (he was also trying to keep utilities on......2 extra people were killing us that way) So I was honest with her and told her we were having issues. (she already knew katie had come to stay, she'd given us her old crib for kayla) She was relieved that husband hadn't lost his job and we were not intending to move. She's not had much luck with decent tenants, still doesn't to this day. She was more than willing to work with us........and we paid 50.00 extra a month until we were caught up again. That worked because I then forced husband to go to the county for help with the utilities, forced katie to go to welfare and WIC which eased our food budget by a ton and we could do it.

    Another time.........husband did come to me that we couldn't pay it. I forget the reason but it had to be awfully good. I called her and explained, we paid it later in the month. A non issue.

    My mom was such a strict landlady that I would never have rented from her if she wasn't my mom......and trust me, she was just as strict with me. She had a tenant who couldn't do rent for well.......honestly she didn't know how long because she'd lost her job. She'd been a great tenant. She called mom up and explained. And mom told her not to worry about it just try to find a new job as quickly as she could. I think she missed a month or two, but she and Mom worked out a way for her to pay the back rent and still be able to make her monthly bills ect.

    A landlord can't work with you if they don't know what is going on. If you're a good tenant, well.....I've never seen one that won't work with a good tenant if they can. My landlady was using our rent to make the actual house payment she owed on the house (well double the house payment, she got the house for a steal and was paying it off fast) and she still worked with us. Mom owned the homes she rented out right so didn't have to worry about that. Income from them went into savings and an account set up for needed repairs.

    If they don't have a clue what is going on.......then they also have no clue of your intention to pay soon as you can.

    And I've always found it best to be honest.

  11. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    I agree with the others. It must be difficult when you have an anxious personality BUT don't wait for him to call you. Take a couple of minutes to think about what you are going to say and write down a little check sheet to use when you call.

    Mr. Smith this is your tenant Jody Y.

    I'm sorry I haven't called you sooner but frankly I've been embarrassed and a little worried about the call.

    As you know I have paid my rent on time since moving into the apartment and I am very happy here.

    This month for the first time I do not have the money to pay you on the due date...this is not the beginning of a should be the first and the last time there is a delay.

    I will be able to pay you X on ? date and y on ? date to get caught up. Starting in November I'll be back on track for paying on time. Would that payment method work for you?

    Whatever is the truth and that you know you can do should be written down for your reference. I have no past experience with renting but I have had to pay late for other things over the years and on those occasions I called the people to forewarn them and they appreciated it. Fingers crossed your landlord appreciates you. I bet he does. DDD
  12. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Thank you all for the advice. DDD, I think I can do that. That sounds like a plan to me. Maybe with something written out I can get through it without my voice trembling or bawling. I have been having sleep issues and and small panic attacks because of this rent issue. Need to get it over with asap.
  13. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    Oh my gosh you guys I so blew it. I called him and he was very curt and said he needed the money by tomorrow. I just said I would try to gt it somehow. He said he would stop by my work at 9 am in the morning. Now another anxiety ridden evening worrying about 9 am in the morning. No I am not going to do that I am just going to have to call him back and tell him there is no way its going to happen. Oh my gosh this is really getting to be a big big deal and it should have been fairly simple if I wasn't such a dummy sometimes. ugh. He didn't really give me a chance to speak to him about it, it was just like need the money and need it tomorrow, what time can I come get it?
  14. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    I have been feeling like I am all over the place lately, Problems with concentration, and just slow in allthings. At times I have felt more like a kid and not an adult. Driving has gotten difficult, becasue I am always looking at people walking their dogs and the pretty leaves and ladscaping and the color of paint on the houses. I feel like I am certainly leaving in my own little world. Work is getting extremely difficult, and the easiest of tasks like talking to my landlord seems huge to me. Ugh. I ran out of my trileptal last week for my bipolar and called to have ti refilled and as I am sitting at my desk, I am thinking boy I am sure not taking as many pills as I used to. Then it dawned on me, I never ever went to pick up my medication. These things started prior to me not having my medication, but I thinkit certainly has increased my inability to speak up and take care of things. On my way on my lunch hour to go get my medicine. Some of this is just plain old fibro fog and it does seem to get worst during this time of the year. When I get back I am going to close my office door and handle this rent situation head on. Thanks ladies for listening to me.
  15. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Jody, take your appropriate medications, take a moment to just breathe and calm yourself down and then make the call to your landlord. Sending you supportive and calming hugs and lots of strong board ju ju and good vibes for you to get the exact outcome you desire..........
  16. Mattsmom277

    Mattsmom277 Active Member

    Hugs. I'm sorry! Could you post date a cheque for the date you know with 100% certainty you will have it? You could then make your apologies, explain, and hand over the cheque.
    Hang in there. Been there and I know how hard it is.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Do you have a rental ombudsman? Or other rental support organization? They can tell you what your rights are, what you can and can't do - and what the landlord can and can't do.
  18. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Not a problem Jody. Just relax, take a few moments to calm yourself before calling him back.

    His curt response is likely because he's had other renters stiff him in the past or make a pattern of the behavior, he's learned that with certain people demanding the money the way he did causes them to produce it. A scare tactic. It's a common thing, actually he wasn't even original in the delivery. He reminds me of my late step dad. lol He couldn't make you move immediately if he wanted to, unless you're doing month to month.......but even then I'm pretty sure he still has to give 30 days notice.

    But you can't produce what you don't have. It is the 16th. That is a LONG time for him to quietly wait for his rent without saying anything to you on his own about it. If he was hurting for the money he would've contacted you by the 5th or 6th. So just explain to him the problem as calmly as you can. If you get emotional, don't worry about it, keep right on talking. It shows this is NOT a common practice for you and you're upset about it.

    You can do it. Sending strong positive thoughts your way. Just imagine us standing around you loaning you our strength as you talk to him if you get really anxious.

  19. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    I hope this morning wasn't awful and that you were able to speak with him yesterday.

    One thing is a must for you - you need to know the laws in your state. In my state, I have to send a letter of default out at close of business on ther 5th or on the 6th to let a tenant know they are in default and include the current month past due, any applicable late fees, amount in arrears (if any), and give them the date the letter is prepared/mailed and the date the amount is due (in our state it is 5 days from the date of the letter).

    If we receive their payment in the five days - non issue. If not, we have to file (and that costs us money) and unlawful detainer at which time we get a court date (usually at least 30 days from that date) and the sherif delivers to the address. Most tenants will pay when they see that - if they make a partial payment, we have to send them a letter of acceptance with reservation (which basically means we are receiving your partcial payment but still have the right to proceed with the court case) and that letter must be presented in court, for which we also have to pay legal fees.

    If the judge sides with us or the tenant is a "no show", we then have to file a writ of posession (eviction) which is either 10 or 15 days (can't remember) from the date the writ is filed, which costs us more money! The sherif then delivers that and schedules the eviction usually for 9 am on the scheduled day. If that day comes and we have not received the past due amount, the sherif meets us there to make sure the tenant moves out peacefully and that the tenant shows. If the tenant does not show, we are legally allowed to remove their belongings and place "on the street". If it is raining, we are legally obligated to do a lock out - meaning we change the locks and the tenant has the next clear day to move out.

    As you can see, it is a long and drawn out process (usually a total of 60 days or so in this state) with lots of court filings and legal requirements in our state. I would imagine that your state has a version of their Illinois Tenant Landlord Act online that you can access.

    I hope this response finds things worked out to an agreeable degree.


  20. Jody

    Jody Active Member

    It went okay, I told him I would pay it on the 31st. He's going to charge me late fees. I assumed he would. He wasn't very nice about it but he's not pursuing any legal action against me at this time. Thank goodness. I can't remember who it was but someone on our board had a squatter tenant that they couldn't get rid of and then on the news the other night I saw how a woman bought a house and she and her daughter moved in and found another person living in their home. They are now cohabitating in this woman's house. Now that's what I need to do, just a few months free rent and I'll move on out to the next one. Just joking. I am going to find out what the eviction laws are for Illinois.