Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh Ya, I Still Have Tenants

Last month my tenants caught up on the rent. They had been struggling all summer and finally managed to pay it all plus late fees. I was happy. Then this month I didn't hear anything from them. Their rent is due in the middle of the month so I wasn't too worried...until this week. The end of the month is right around the corner and I hadn't heard anything. I called and left a message.

Today I got a call from one of them. She said that her husband had walked out and she and the children went back to live with her mother temporarily. She said they would be cleaning the house on Friday and everything would be out by Saturday. She was trying to keep it together but she was very upset. She said she was sorry to leave the house because she liked it a lot and she thanked me for being such an understanding landlord. I asked her if she was planning to stay in the town where her mother lived and she said no, she was looking for an apartment that she could afford in Tucson. I asked if she still had her nursing job and she said yes. So, I asked her what price range she was looking for and she said $700 was the most she could afford.

Now, my house's rent is $900 and that is a little on the high side since all of the rental houses have sprouted up because of the slow housing market. My mortgage is $800 including insurance and tax. I knew I didn't want a vacant house, I didn't want to find new renters at the moment and I didn't want to move in since it would need new carpet and tile first which would cost at least $3,000. So I offered to let her rent the house for $700 for the next 2 months. I said I would draw up a new rental agreement and that we would re-evaluate things in January. She was very happy that she wouldn't have to move her stuff out this weekend and that her kids could stay in their schools, at least for a little while longer.

This doesn't mess up my mortgage plan too much. $800 of the rent was supposed to go to the mortgage and $100 went to the maintenance fund. I guess the maintenance fund is going to go without for a couple of months. I'll have to chip in $100 but actually I was thinking about giving them a break on the rent for December as a Christmas present so it will all even out.


Living Creekside said...

Just getting caught up on your blog ..I am very happy your sister and baby are going to be fine how scary !!! I think that was a good idea with the renter for you and her :-)

KoBold said...

I think you have made a good decision.
Both morally and economically.

Over the Cubicle Wall said...

You are very adaptable. Sounds like you made a good decision.

MW said...

You have done a great thing Daisy. I know if it were me, how thankful I'd be not having to uproot kids in the middle of the school year. They are dealing with enough as it is.

Lucy said...

What a terrible situation. :/

But you really are a great landlord--very few would help out a struggling family in this way, especially after how bad you got burned with the last fiasco.

Sallie's Niece said...

I think that was the right thing to do. Like you said it would cost you time and money to find a new tenant. And she's in a tough situation as it is. You're a good person.

kelsi said...

You're a sweet lady with a good heart... kind to tenants and dogs. Good on ya!

And remember, what goes around comes around :)

Daizy said...

Thanks for the affirmations everybody. My past experience at leniency that blew up in my face definitely made me think about the possible consequences. Since I have seen how nicely she kept her last house and I have seen my house since she has been in it and I haven't received numerous complaint letters from the home owner's association regarding trash cans or weeds and she was willing to clean the house and leave, I decided that I could take a little risk in order to help us both out. She is very appreciative. It's nice to help people who don't take advantage of you once in a while. :)

philo said...

I see it as a win-win because of your flexibility.
Good luck to you and your precious family of kitty and pups.