my sympathy goes out 100% to landlords having to deal with difficult tenants & to the posters here who are helping out with good advice, as in get-tough advice. The only way imho.
but it makes me think of the summer i hired a youth from out west to help me with some garden projects. He was a plains Cree, born in northern saskatchewan but fostered out in early childhood.
billy was a hard worker & a fine kid, with a strong moral sense. Like many of his peers, he had a certain history, even at the age of 20. Alcoholism was a thing of the past, though. He'd gone through that stage & sobered up permanently by 18.
he didn't mind that when we had to leave the house unoccupied, we'd lock the doors, ie we'd lock him out. I always gave him $10 or $12 for lunch & the cafes were close by, so he was OK with that.
billy was a documentary film come to life & i loved the time he spent with us, including the days he'd play hooky because he'd gotten work cleaning oil refineries in the east end of town or he felt like attending the Corn Festival.
among other things i learned how penniless but resourceful people who are in constant debt really live. Late every afternoon i'd pay billy in cash. Every evening, he'd run around to all the businesses where he owed money & give them some $$$. Not the total that he owed them, but something. The landlord, the grocery store, the clothing store (he had a weakness for expensive shoes.)
the next morning he'd show up penniless again. But he would be able to get by like this forever & ever, he said.
Last edited by humble_pie; 2012-02-24 at 03:29 PM.
I think the difference is access to cheap credit for some....but not all.
People with good credit can hide a lot of problems. They use credit cards and pay it off with their HELOC and then refinance the mortgage.
Poor people use payday loans.
As noted by one analyst on BNN today, the old days of borrowing to pay off a home are long gone. These days, people rack up credit cards and then use their credit lines and then refinance.
According to the statistics...............a lot of people are doing exactly that. Flaherty and Carney aren't worried about home owners with a lot of equity in their homes. They are worried about everyone else.
I remember reading financial forums in the US, and people were incensed that the banks recalled their credit lines or lowered the limits so they couldn't borrow anymore. They "needed" that credit to survive.
We are in the early stages of a collapse. It will take time to unravel....but all indications are that it will. We are following the same path as the US.
Sorry to hear of your tenant troubles...frustrating to say the least. As for what to do, first off, serving the N4 was the right step - it creates a proper document trail in case you need to evict.
As for the next step, you must decide whether you want to keep the tenant or not. I think tenants who are perpetually late on rent need to go, but if you are in a situation where you don't think you will be able to rent out the unit, having a tenant that pays at least something is better than nothing for now. I don't know the Ottawa market, so you decide.
If you DO NOT WANT TO KEEP the tenant:
1) if she pays up by the deadline, the clocks are reset and you can't do anything...the N4 goes away. BUT - serve an N4 on the second of the month again, and each and every time you do not receive rent in full on the first. Each time she will have the same 14 days to make payment. Rinse and repeat. Then, file an N8 (giving at least 60 days before the end of her lease) - this is a notice to end the tenancy due to persistently late payments. In Ontario, at the end of the stated lease period the tenant has the right to go month-to-month indefinitely, whether you want them or not. The N8 will allow you to end the tenancy rather than allowing her to go month to month. If she refuses to leave at the end of tenancy, serve an L2 for eviction.
2)If she does not pay up by the deadline, serve and L1 (notice to end tenancy and collect for non-payment of rent). You will receive a date (eventually) for a hearing at the LTB...there you can make your case. If your tenant doesn't show up your application to evict will be approved. If she shows up, your application may be denied and you will likely be told to work out a payment plan...which she may or may not follow...at which time you can go back to the board and get the eviction.
If you WANT TO KEEP the tenant:
1)if she pays up by the deadline, try to work out an official payment plan with her, but again, serve that N4 each and every time rent is late... keep doing that until you get sick of being nice
2)If she does not pay up by the deadline, and for some reason you want to keep her (maybe you know you can't rent out the unit), you can file an L9 which is an application to collect for rent owed (like L1) but without eviction.
If what you say about the tenant seeming like they want to stay is true, serving the N4, N8, L9 will hopefully scare her to death and smarten her out. If not, you really do need to play hardball and evict - you may be nice, but you are not a social worker or bank and you have to protect yourself and your financial assets.
Once again, I'm sorry for your situation - it's unfortunate that small landlords are so often placed in this situation. Hope it works out!
Im finding out that people will screw you every turn or roll of the dice, I have my place up for rent and the number of cranky whiney broke and un happy people who come threw my house on the pretense that im just going to rent to any one is a trip to bonker ville.
Im a sob, quote because I will not rent to a young family with no credit, or job history, than 20 mim later threw email they have a job when at the time of showing, they had no employment goals.
I have put some elbow grease into my place, GFI on the repcticals, hand rails offf the back deck and insuring home is safe for kids, just to make the palce wram and nice for a tenant I hope to repesct.
Oh and the manners of thease pricks, hang ups on the pre screan because I don't have a dish washer, or that the rooms are small in demensions, or you can't park a 18 whealer in the garadge. All this is up front in my rent add.
I hope your tennant sees the light, thier are a lot of dumbass ignorant land lords out thier.
First I want you to know that I collect a lot from my tenants and one of the buildings I manage is in a bad neighborhood so I have a lot of residents from lower socioeconomic groups in there.
This is my process.
2nd of the month - Rent Reminder
N-4's by the 5th-7th or so
Communication with everyone who is late.
Follow up with them
L1's around the first week of the following month. Most people have paid up by then...
Me "Hey when are you going to pay the rent?"
Them "I'm coming to see you on the 12th when I get paid"
Me "Do you have a little bit to pay now?" (We have Interac in the office)
Them " Yes"
Me "Come on then I'll take that right now"
Or Them "No"
Me "Ok then I'll see you on the 12th or give the payment to the super"
*** mark 12th on calendar
Me "Hey you said you would pay me on the 12th and I didn't see your payment"
Them "I had to work late and I'll be down later"
I really aim to have a very amicable relationship with my late payers. I want them emotionally bound to me so they feel bad about not paying me first. I've been in a few bad spots myself so I can really empathise with their problem of not having any money.
In fact I have written and followed up with payment plans that last months and months. Yesterday I was speaking to a tenant who had just made a payment and emailed me about it. I thanked her and said that once she was paid up I would miss her emails. (She's paid me over $5000 in arrears and she was ready for the sheriff) I could have evicted her but then I would have never collected that $5K. Plus she has no social problems to speak of.
Collection is an art and the biggest prick doesn't win. If you're hurting for cash and have to pick a name out of a hat for the people to pay, I want my tenants to look at the slip and pay me first because I'm so nice.
Ironically, I get gifts from the people I'm following up with more than anyone else. Angels from one lady and tomato sauce the other day.
Imagine a time in your life when you were totally broke, and the stress and chaos it caused and how depressing it was. Then approach the resident from a place of compassion. Do not talk about your problems and how your mortgage payment is hard. Their non payment is not about you and making them feel guilty is not going to make them pay. They already feel bad. It may seem a little weird but do not take the rent payment for granted either. When they do make a payment thank them.
This is so hard to explain properly...
Also do keep giving N-4's and follow up with with legal action at the same time.
In spite of my best efforts I'm calling the sheriff this morning for two tenants.