Continued from Philadelphia Tenants Saga…
I was tired of dealing with my tenants, so I handled over the job to my real estate agent. He told me that he had called them many times but it was very difficult to reach them. And whenever my agent got a hold of them, the tenants would always come up with some excuse and try to delay paying rent.
After many phone call attempts and a few weeks later, my real estate agent finally received a check from the tenant. The check was for $500, which was about half the amount of the $900 monthly rent. My real estate agent told me that it took a lot of work for him to get money out of the tenants, and asked for a small bonus of $75 in return.
I told my real estate agent that I needed to make sure the check did not bounce first and then I would give him a bonus. I wanted to offer him 10% of all the money he could get back from the tenants for me, however he refused it. He thought it would be too much work. Even though he could potentially receive a bigger bonus from a 10% basis, he would rather receive a fixed amount from each check. I deposited the check and waited about 10 days and when the check cleared, I sent my real estate agent a check for $75.
My tenants were already 3 months behind rent. I called them on September 22 and wanted to cut a deal with them. I wanted to offer them a wipeout of the outstanding balance they owed me if they were willing to move out immediately. However, the plan did not go accordingly.
When I called my tenant, he did not answer. He called me back 15 minutes later and told me that he also had his wife on the line (probably through 3-way calling). Immediately, they started arguing over the phone. The man told the wife that she needed to pay rent. The wife screamed at the husband for not giving him money. The drama went back and forth for several minutes and during that time I was listening and speechless. Finally, my tenant told the wife to shut up and allow me to talk. I told them that my concern was the payment of the rent and fees they owed me. They still owed me 3 months of rent, plus 3 months of water fees.
The wife said that she would come up with $400 by the end of the week. She already had $300 saved up and would get $100 from the husband, making a total of $400. I told them that $400 would not cover the rent payments they owed me. They said that they would try to make additional payments throughout the weeks. I also told my tenant that he was responsible for all the water bills and that I had been paying the bills for him, and he still owed me money. He told me that he had the money for me and asked me to send him the total amount he owed me for water. I had previously sent him a letter indicating the total amount he owed me for the rent and water. However, I did not argue with him, and I told him that I would send him another letter. Additionally, I indicated that going forward, he would be responsible for all the water payments. I would only forward the water bills to him and I would not be paying them. I sent him a letter indicating the total amount he owed me for the water bills, and I mailed the letter certified.
My tenants also complained about my real estate agent. They said that he was loud and rude, and that he would show up drunk. With my tenant’s credibility, I was skeptical about what they said. When I related the information to my real estate agent, he laughed out loud and almost fell off his chair. It was the most ridiculous thing he had heard, and said that my tenants were making stories to get the real estate agent off their back.
This whole issue with the tenants was very frustrating. It took up much of my time and energy. The tenants owed me 3 months of rent, late fees and water bills. And when October comes, it would be another month of rent to add to their outstanding balance.
Breakdown of Amounts the Tenant Owed me
$900 – Rent for July 2008
$900 – Rent for August 2008
$900 – Rent for September 2008
Total Rent Owed: $2,700.00
$45 – Late Fee for July 2008
$45 – Late Fee for August 2008
$45 – Late Fee for September 2008
Total Late Fees Owed: $135.00
$3.66 – water fee from previous outstanding balance
$69.11 – water fee for July 2008
$61.21 – water fee for August 2008
Total Late Fees Owed: $ 133.98
Total (Rent Owed + Late Fees + Water Fees): 2,968.98
$500 – check from September 2008
TOTAL OUTSTANDING BALANCE: 2,468.98
I decided to start the eviction process, but I needed to apply for a business and a rental license first. I had already completed the applications for a business and a rental license at the beginning of September and was waiting for a business license number that would be sent back to me. Once I receive the license, I would proceed immediately with the eviction process.