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  1. #1
    shxl is offline Junior Member
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    Tenant refuses to pay the late fee

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? MN


    The lease says $60 late fee after the first of the month. The rent was not received until June 8th. When asked about paying the late fee, the tenant said he would call and discuss on June 12th. Not receiving the call, I called him on June 12 but he said he was taking an exam. We briefly talked on the phone and he said he would pay the $60 on June 16th, which was postponed later to June 17th. When we did meet on the 17th, he proposed to pay June's late fee at the beginning of July together with July's rent.

    I sent him a certified letter on June 23rd asking that June's late fee and July's rent be paid in full by July 3rd. He called on July 2nd and said he would deposit money into my bank account on the 3rd. By early evening on the 3rd, still no payment was made. I then drove to my rental property and handed a letter to his mother-in-law (he was not there at the time) asking for the rent be paid in full by the 6th before starting the eviction process.

    The tenant later called and said he would like to terminate the lease, because he felt pressured by my asking about his rental payment and is not comfortable working with me anymore. He claimed I did not have the right to come knocking on his door and embarrassing him in front of his relative. Now he decides not to make any payment and says he will see me in court after I start the eviction process. He accused me of harassing him by repeatedly asking for the rent he owed and even claims I am responsible for his failing the exam when I called him on June 12th.


    Now I am faced with going through the eviction process and fighting his harassment charge. Any comments on this case or suggestions on what I could have done better will be appreciated.
  2. #2
    Who's Liable? is offline Senior Member
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    Continue with the eviction.

    His harassment charge will be thrown out in court. You are within your right to try and contact them with whatever means are available to you.

    Send another letter, send it CRR, stating ALL communications MUST be done via USPS, and ALL oral conversations will be moot. Send the letter to his last known address. If it comes back unopened, DO NOT OPEN IT, as it becomes evidence of your attempt to contact them. You will need that in court.

    Now you know why you should not give leeway to late renters.
  3. #3
    shxl is offline Junior Member
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    The renter text messaged me today and said he would start a procedure to cancel the lease on Thursday (July 5). He claimed “I have never been humiliated the way you did to me. You people spend your time harassing us.”

    I do not feel asking for the late fee several times or drop him a letter in person constitutes harassment. I am really curious about what “procedure” he is thinking about.
  4. #4
    aldaron is offline Member
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    Your tenant has your bank account number? Scary OP what are you thinking?
  5. #5
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shxl View Post
    The renter text messaged me today and said he would start a procedure to cancel the lease on Thursday (July 5). He claimed �I have never been humiliated the way you did to me. You people spend your time harassing us.�

    I do not feel asking for the late fee several times or drop him a letter in person constitutes harassment. I am really curious
    about what �procedure� he is thinking about.
    The procedure of scaring you.

    As suggested send crr letter to the tenant. Now your turn to scare him before going to court. I can understand about wanting to avoid all of that.

    In that letter:
    1) Reinforce that you sent a first one informing that it was late and conversation between the two.
    2) No payment was receive after numerous promise of payment
    3) Than you follow legal procedure of delivering notice to pay - An adult over 18 answered and accepted the notice - you were notified
    4) Indicate that he inform you that he was going to cancel the lease on Thursday (July 5). Tell him that is HIS choice and that will be a breach of the lease and you will seek penalty damages
    5) Payment has not been received and you are going to seek an eviction through the court.

    Now you wait for an answer or payment.

    Once you accept payment, you can't evict. Do not bring up about harassment, humiliation, embarrassment nor the failing of test.
    He is grasping. Don't get excited. Keep letter simple to the point, include section of law and lease of penalties of breaching contract, failure to pay rent or late fee and procedure of giving notice. Keep it formal. He will know you are not going to be intimidated.

    Keep in mind what was stated by Who's Liable, "As of now, ALL communications MUST be done via USPS, and ALL oral conversations will be moot. Send the letter to his last known address. If it comes back unopened, DO NOT OPEN IT, as it becomes evidence of your attempt to contact them. You will need that in court.

    His last known address is your rental property.
    Last edited by Searchertwin; 07-04-2012 at 04:23 PM.
  6. #6
    shxl is offline Junior Member
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    Once you accept payment, you can't evict.


    This reminds me. He came by on the evening of July 3 (before he received from his mother-in-law my second letter adressed to him) and wrote a personal check of $1325 (still did not include the $60 late fee!) for July's rent. After he returned home, he called and said he would stop the payment of his personal check because he wanted to cancel the lease. He suggested I use his security deposit as his July's rent.

    Should I still go ahead and deposit his personal check? Once it is bounced, this can be used as a proof of his non-payment of rent. Or should I just return the check to him?
    Last edited by shxl; 07-04-2012 at 04:54 PM.
  7. #7
    FarmerJ is offline Senior Member
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    Your tenant has zero ground to stand on. SO now that we are into July follow our states process for getting the tenants attention with the first step of our states law and dont stop carry it thru , this tenant of yours must have heard some sort of myth crap about rights that our state hasnt granted to tenants YET. BTW next time around instead of delivering notice and giving it to another party who answers the door, seriously its much cleaner to send via certified mail or even a dual method , one copy certificate of mailing and second via confirmed mail delivery (each of them are different methods that give proof of item being placed into mail , my experiance with the courts was just fine with certificate of mailing , since the courts tend to accept if person has reciept from post office that the PO would get it delivered)
  8. #8
    Searchertwin is offline Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by shxl View Post
    Once you accept payment, you can't evict.


    This reminds me. He came by on the evening of July 3 (before he received from his mother-in-law my second letter adressed to him) and wrote a personal check of $1325 (still did not include the $60 late fee!) for July's rent. After he returned home, he called and said he would stop the payment of his personal check because he wanted to cancel the lease. He suggested I use his security deposit as his July's rent.

    Should I still go ahead and deposit his personal check? Once it is bounced, this can be used as a proof of his non-payment of rent. Or should I just return the check to him?
    No, do not deposit. If he didn't include the fee, make a copy and send back by crr letter with a note indicating that you cannot accept this check due to is not the correct amount owed. If you did deposit, you might as well hang it up till next time he is late.

    Deposit is not used for rent unless both parties agree in writing. Use the deposit for what it is design for.
  9. #9
    ecmst12 is offline Senior Member
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    I would have gone to his bank first thing this morning to attempt to cash the check before he could have stopped it. That way, if he DID stop it, you wouldn't get a bounced check fee that you would by just depositing it.

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