I’ve come to expect my tenants to pay me on time, and they generally do. Once or twice they were late, and left me a note explaining the circumstances, and when they would be able to pay me, which I’ve graciously accepted. I really don’t have much to complain about.
However, this morning, the 2nd, there was no check under the door. I wrote them a somewhat chatty email, discussing local news for a sentence or two, then reminded them that today was the 2nd and I did need a rent check. A coworker looked over my shoulder, and immediately started giving me a hard time about it.
Am I a mean landlady for (politely) hassling (reminding) people for rent when it’s a day late?
On the one hand, they do have roughly 30 days ahead of the 1st on which they could pay me early… they don’t have to wait until exactly 11pm on the 1st to give me their check, if it’s difficult for them to remember…
On the other hand, though, they don’t actually incur a late fee until the 5th of the month (which I did intentionally, because I didn’t want to have to be the mean late-fee assessor unless it was actually significantly late).
A scenario for comparison: If I didn’t live in the same duplex as my tenants, they would likely mail in their rent, in which case it would probably be normal for it to arrive on the 3rd or 4th of the month. But that is not the case, and with transit time being basically the time it takes them to walk down the stairs, it doesn’t seem unreasonable for me to expect a check on the first, when it is due.
Another scenario for comparison: If I’m a day late with my credit card payment, they don’t call me to politely remind me to pay up, they simply add a substantial late fee to my bill and raise my interest rate.
Perhaps it would be in my favor to receive rent on the 5th, if I got an extra $50 out of it…
I don’t know. Perhaps next time I’ll wait until the 3rd to remind people, since I don’t want my upstairs neighbors to think of me as a big meanie… Still though, rent is due when its due. It’s a reasonable expectation.