August 4, 2016
In my lease I expect rent to be paid on the first day of the month but I give five days to pay it and if its after that date I charge a late fee. I just charge a flat fee since charging ten percent can get to be extreme to me, but after this last new tenant I am rethinking how much I am charging and not getting.
I had half of the tenants to pay on the first, on time and smoothly. Next collection appointment was the third of the month, I had three requests for this day and all afternoon pick up. But before I even got my day started I had a call telling me the bank computers were down and she could not get her money, could she pay on the fourth, she is never late, I said yes.
Since I also had to work mowing grass ( yes I still have a few mowing jobs I do for extra cash) in the same neighborhood I went to work a couple hours early to make sure I had time to pick up rent and get to the bank and get the mowing done.
The first pickup was as planned and paid in full. Then I went to the next house and no one was there. I called her up and she was a few blocks over at her moms and she asked could I come get the rent, I said yes because I know what its like not to have a car.
When I got there she walked out to the car and she said " Here we go again Angie, I only have the rest of July rent because I have not got the new card in the mail, but I should have it by Friday or Saturday." You cannot even imagine all the cuss words that I was thinking! If I do not get paid on time I will evict this lady because I am tired of all these excuses, I know she is getting paid. When I wrote out the receipt I made sure to put " For July rent." I refuse to collect rent a month passed due when I could have someone else who pays on time and I could get higher rent. This stressed me out because now I have to put off whatever I had plans to do with that money.
But the last one takes the cake! I have one house that I am selling as " for sale by owner" to an elderly black lady, she is the one her bank was down. Well, she calls me late in the evening on the fourth and told me she has the rent but I have to come to her granddaughter house to get it. I said " okay," I do know the granddaughter and I like her.
But what I did not know is where she lives, an all black area, with a bad reputation but no big deal to me. At five pm I am in an area I don`t really know and all the people are staring at me because I am the only white person around, I had one black lady pull behind me at the curb and wait till I finished with my tenant, I drove up to turn around and she followed me and then followed me off that block and only stopped when she seen I was leaving the area. As I was nearly out of that neighborhood the police had a man pulled over and he stopped what he was doing and stared at me because white people just do not go there. I have to say that, that was the first time I was uncomfortable being in a neighborhood, I felt unwelcome by the people and the police, regardless of what color the people are.
Another day as the landlady.
By Andria Perry
Photo By Andria Perry