Rental Property Update April 2009

By | April 25, 2009

Front of house after tenant vacated - April 2009This post is an update on my rental property in Philadelphia. In this section, I talk about my landlord experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. All my posts that are related to the rental property can be found in the Rental Property section, including the bad tenant saga series).

The tenant finally moved out by the end of March and paid nothing. I was left with a huge financial baggage. The rent money, the water fees, and the cost of repairs amount to a substantial amount of money, and not to mention the amount of time I lost and the trouble I had gone through.

I kept a record of all the money that was owed to me. This would have been the amount that would be in the judgment and the tenant would have to pay me back if the judgment was passed. However, since the tenant and I had agreed to a settlement outside of court, the tenant walked away free from debt and the below dues had become a loss to me.

Rent Owed
The tenant owed me 9 months of rent, of which he paid back 1 month’s worth, so the total outstanding rent payment was 8 months of rent money, or a total of $7,200.

Late Fees
In the rental lease, it was agreed that if the rent payment was late, there would be a late fee of $45 for each month of lateness. He was late for 9 months, which total to an amount of $405.

Water Fees
In the rental lease, it is clearly stated that the tenant is responsible for the water fees, however they had fail to make any payments to the water company or to me. I ended up paying back all the water dues plus all the late fees incurred. The amount for all the months of water dues tallied to $486.91.

Repair Dues
In the rental lease, it is clearly stated that the tenant is responsible for maintaining the lawn in front of the house. Also, the tenant is responsible for up to $100 for each repair in the house. The cost of repairs, which was his responsibility, amounted to $250.

Payment Collected
Over the months, I have made numerous phone calls to collect money from him. After many attempts of collecting, he made out only two checks for a total of $900, which is equivalent to one month’s of rent.

Net Outstanding Amount
The total outstanding amount owed to me was $9,241.91 minus the $900 payment collect is $8,341.91.

The net outstanding amount did not include the cost of the damages done to the house discovered after the tenant had left the house, the cost of my time spent, attorney fees, travel time/fees, real estate agent fees. The total amount of loss to me would be higher.

Below is a detailed list of all the money the tenant owed (Rent, Late Fees, Water fees, Repair Dues) and the tenant paid (Payment Collected).

Rent Owed
$900 – Rent for July 2008
$900 – Rent for August 2008
$900 – Rent for September 2008
$900 – Rent for October 2008
$900 – Rent for November 2008
$900 – Rent for December 2008
$900 – Rent for January 2009
$900 – Rent for February 2009
$900 – Rent for March 2009

Total Rent Amount Owed: $ 8,100.00

Late Fees
$45 – Late Fee for July 2008
$45 – Late Fee for August 2008
$45 – Late Fee for September 2008
$45 – Late Fee for October 2008
$45 – Late Fee for November 2008
$45 – Late Fee for December 2008
$45 – Late Fee for January 2009
$45 – Late Fee for February 2009
$45 – Late Fee for March 2009
Total Late Fees Amount Owed: $ 405.00

Water Fees
$3.66 – water fee from previous outstanding balance
$69.11 – water fee for July 2008
$61.21 – water fee for August 2008
$304.51 – water fee for September to February 2009
$48.42 – water fee for March 2008
Total Water Fees Amount Owed: $ 486.91

Repair Dues by Tenant (Tenant is responsible for the first $100 of each repair)
Miscellaneous Fees
$50 – Paid someone to maintaining lawn (Tenant’s responsibility)
$100 – Basement Sink (Total Paid by Landlord was $125) – February 2009
$100 – Repair of Living Room Ceiling $100 (Total Paid by Landlord was $125) – February 2009
Total Repair Work Owed: $ 250

Grand Total Amount Owed (Rent Owed + Late Fees + Repairs): $ 9,241.91

Payment Collected
$500 – check from September 2008
$400 – check from October 2008
Total Payment Collected: $ 900.00

OUTSTANDING BALANCE (Grand Total Amount Owed – Total Payment Collected): $ 8,341.91
Read more:
Rental Property Update May 2009
Rental Property Update March 2009

11 thoughts on “Rental Property Update April 2009

  1. jerry

    That’s insane how much trouble you’ve had. Are you going to take any more action against that guy?

  2. Smarty Sean

    Hi Jerry. Thanks for the comment and understanding. Unfortunately, I cannot take any legal actions against him since we agreed to a settlement.

  3. Harrison

    Well, I just feel that you are a good person who can settle this case without getting more money from him. Actually what is the background of the tenant? For example, his job, financial status, behavior etc.

    Can you share the information with us? I believe this will be a great experience for us to understand what kind of tenants we should avoid in future.

  4. Smarty Sean

    Harrison, thanks for the comment. I’ll be glad to share information and write a post about my tenant and his background in the near future.

  5. Boston Renter

    Are the clauses in your lease standard in the Philadelphia area? I am an excellent renter, and would never in a million years agree to move into an apartment where I was responsible for $100 for every repair and the landlord expected me to pay the costs of maintaining the yard. You may consider whether you are discouraging good tenants and getting tenants who will agree to this situation because they have no intention of actually paying you.

  6. Smarty Sean

    Hi Boston Renter, the lease was drafted by my real estate agent. According to him, the first $100 payment is supposed to help deter the tenants from causing any unnecessary damages. For good tenants who did not cause the damage, I would probably not hold the cost against them.

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  8. Philly_LL

    Sorry to hear about your bad experience with renting in Philly. I’m originally from Philadelphia and have a couple properties I maintain. 1 Condo and 1 SFH. My .02 is that pre-screening is the most important step in getting tenants. I know I am preaching to the choir here, but getting 1 bad apple costs much more than waiting 2-3 months to find the right tenant. I have to ask, what type of checks did your PM do?

    To Boston Renter, I have those clauses in my rental agreements also. Mowing the lawn is the job of the tenant. If I have to get someone to do it I’ll increase the rent to cover the cost. Part of my lease.

    I have a clause in there that the tenant covers any repairs under $50. I don’t agree with it deterring unnecessary damages. If you have the type of tenant that will cause damages then you have a tenant that doesn’t care about the property. If they don’t care about the property then they won’t care about the $100 either.

    I use this with the idea that it decreases the number of frivolous calls by having the tenant cover the cost of small repairs. The down side is that you may not get a call and the tenant may live with the dripping faucet or leaky toilet. If you are covering water in your building, this ends up costing you more. there are other examples that could go against it. In either case, I trust my screening to get me the type of tenant that will give me a call if there’s a problem.

    I wish you luck. From the look of your property you and I seem to be in the same neighborhood for the rentals.

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