Tenants will make up every excuse in the book as to why the rent was not paid or why the kitchen window is broken. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of these excuses are lies. You must be disciplined and train yourself to be impervious to tenants’ excuses. As a landlord, it is important to keep in mind that this rental property is your business—treat your tenants accordingly.
2. If rent is due on the 1st of the month and it is not paid, then file for eviction on the 2nd.
Recall the old adage, “What we tolerate, we teach.” Simply put, if you wait until the 10th of the month before you file for eviction, you are essentially training your tenant that rent is not really due until the 10th. Late fees rarely scare a tenant enough to pay on time. To the contrary, evictions work every time. You can always settle on the courthouse steps, but you can never get back a month’s rent that you think the tenant is going to pay and then they do not. The best way to protect against lost rent is to make this rule part of your standard operating procedures every month.
Also, if your lease agreement provides for the recovery of attorneys’ fees and court costs, then the tenant will be responsible for the fees and costs associated with filing for an eviction. Finally, make sure your lease agreement contains a Savings Clause.
3. There are no exceptions to rules 1 & 2.
You simply cannot afford to make exceptions. If you do, you will eventually pay the cost. Once lost, that money is hard to make up. Again, this is your business—discipline is a must.