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So long story, three years ago we bought a house to sell to a family member on contract. They did OK to start, but within a year they started to make late payments, partial payments, etc. We talked to them several times, they always promised to do better, things were hard, car broke, dogs sick, whatever (though they managed to find $125 a month to pay for cable). For all of 2012, we've received two payments. I know, we should have kicked them out long long ago. But it's family and we're softies.

In October we told them (much too late), that's it, you're out on January 1 and we put the place on the market. We told them we'd even help them by giving them a $1,000 move-out incentive so they can find a new place to live. So I just get a call from her. They've found a place and they need a reference. Will we tell their prospective landlord that they've been faithfully paying $595 per month?

I told her no, though I know this will make it harder for them to get a lease. I just know when January 1 comes along, there are going to be the pleas of "but we have nowhere else to go." And when we stick to our guns we'll be the mean, rich, greedy b*stards as far as the rest of the family is concerned, though we thought we were trying to do a nice thing in the first place. Giving them a good reference would grease the wheels and just get rid of them and make the family happy (or at least less p*ssed off).

What would you do?

Chris.

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
I was in no way suggesting that $250 wasn't sufficient. The dollar amount doesn't matter. But making a promise to someo... (more)

scubasteve (Dec. 03, 2012 @ 9:18a) |

You could always say that they were family and you didn't really charge them rent, but they contributed toward the house... (more)

GreyRabbit (Dec. 04, 2012 @ 2:19p) |

Exactly. I'm trying to accomplish what I'm doing with the utmost integrity, even though they didn't act with integrity.... (more)

cpaynter (Dec. 04, 2012 @ 4:42p) |

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You want Them out, give the reference

You cant have it both ways. Decide what you really want and believe what they deserve will be offered by karma
Agree with SIS. Unload them off from your back.

You know amuuurica is in trouble when people have cable bills at 1/4 of their mortgage payment and can't keep it current.

You should have been a hard ass early on. I think it was Machiavelli who said its easier to be a hard ass first and nice later than nice first and a hard ass later. If you don't help them move out so you can sell, via reference or whatever, expect the full fury of the family for being an unrelenting, cold hearted bastard who can afford to pay everyone's bills and won't do it etc etc etc. I don't understand why its such a hard concept to pay rent first and everything else after.

They are family...but you'd be surprised at how many places don't even call for reference. I get very few calls, even though the tenant may have been a good tenant. Don't return the phone call if that makes you feel better. Not being able to get the reference won't stop a decision from being made on the application, based on the other factors. If I know its family, I don't even bother checking that reference, but will check the one prior. Bottom line is if you properly gave them notice they need to be out, esp if they know you found someone else.

You also don't have to lie. Just as companies are scared to provide details in reference letters ,and just give a general statement of time employed, you can simply confirm person x was a tenant from xx date to yy date and you would rent to them again

(since you probably would be they are family and you wouldn't see them on the streets )

You don't need to add more details which would necessitate lying such that they paid on time or paid a specifics amount etc

who says a glowing reference has to actually "say" the tenant's paid on time?
Say the good stuff, leave out the bad stuff.

They may become a model tenant when they are not using and abusing family. Pretend this is the case and give them the reference. I would bait them on the $1k though, $250 up front and then $750 never.

Just another reason to check references from 2 previous landlords instead of just the last one.

DamnoIT said:   They may become a model tenant when they are not using and abusing family. Pretend this is the case and give them the reference. I would bait them on the $1k though, $250 up front and then $750 never.


Thus making you as much of a douche as them?

give them the reference, they will pay on time.
they did not to you because you're family, they know if they miss 2 payment they're out

You've got to wonder how these people intend on paying another landlord rent... When they couldn't even pay you $595. Six months and they'll be knocking down your door again. Some people don't know how not to take advantage of anyone, especially 'family.'

SUCKISSTAPLES said:   You want Them out, give the referenceThis is the same way that I get rid of a problem employee. Promise them a great reference if they'll leave.

Since it's family, giving them a reference will go a long way towards absolving you of any wrongdoing. Easy way out even if it doesn't feel right. Who knows when they know the new landlord will not cut them any slack, maybe they'll pay on time and magically find the money to pay the rent. Many people abuse the good will of their family but will not do that to strangers. Weird but happens all too often.

That said, giving them a good ref may only be kicking the can. If the new tenants you'll get to replace them obtain their own references the same way, you won't be better off.

He's selling the home

scubasteve said:   DamnoIT said:   They may become a model tenant when they are not using and abusing family. Pretend this is the case and give them the reference. I would bait them on the $1k though, $250 up front and then $750 never.


Thus making you as much of a douche as them?


Not at all, did you read the OP post? "For all of 2012, we've received two payments" that with the gift of a good reference and $250 makes you in no possible way a "douche", pretty nice guy if you ask me. They are not the tenants Mommy and Daddy, nor should they cover/wipe their behind. Perhaps if you are so generous you will let them move in with you rent free? If not perhaps you are the distinction that you are referring to.

in your reference.. this person has been our tenant from xxx to xxxx. they are never late on rent. (Your not lying, since they don't pay.. so it's not really late)

jojosung said:   in your reference.. this person has been our tenant from xxx to xxxx. they are never late on rent. (Your not lying, since they don't pay.. so it's not really late)

So many great ideas. But I have a feeling that if the landlord got me on the phone he/she would have a way of asking me a direct question that I'd get stuck on. I can deal with evading the truth, but still can't find it in myself to lie, even though I know it would be to my advantage. I did tell her she's free to give out our listed phone number - it goes straight to an answering machine, and if they leave a message we just won't reply to it. Maybe that will satisfy the landlord that they provided a reference. If we don't return the call, they can't fault the potential renter, right? I also suggested she could tell the landlord that a family member provided them housing free of rent (which is effectively how it turned out).

Since my posting I've learned that there is another family member (who's already expressed disgust with how horribly we've treated the freeloaders) who is perfectly willing to lie and say that she is my wife and that all payments were on time and in full. So they'll probably just give the landlord her number and say it's ours. So she can do the lying (both about her identity and the payments). Let it be on her head. I just want this whole mess over with.

Never lend money to family.

Chris.

Would you lie on a reference to get rid of a tenant easier?

I'm not bragging about it, but I've done it.

Anyone calls, tell them they have the wrong number.

Suprised that no one who has posted of yet has the balls to recommend telling the truth if called for a reference.

Probably 3/4 of landlords don't even take the time to check. I figure if someone does, I'll have the courtesy to tell them the unvarnished truth.

Kanosh said:   Suprised that no one who has posted of yet has the balls to recommend telling the truth if called for a reference.

Probably 3/4 of landlords don't even take the time to check. I figure if someone does, I'll have the courtesy to tell them the unvarnished truth.


I would, family or not. They clearly didn't care at all about cpaynter, so why should s/he care about them. I personally would not have let it go this long without getting paid, but that is just me.

rufruf44 said:   Just another reason to check references from 2 previous landlords instead of just the last one.
Infact from three and knocking high and low ratings off

why they do things like that? why they didn't pay at right time? did they have any problem or something? if i were u, i will firstly ask them if they have any problem, if there is not, i will tell them to pay on time. If they didn't do it on contract, i will kick them out!

Go by the oldest rule there is: If you can't say something nice, at least be vauge.

To that end, tell the future landlord they "were conscientious and careful about making rent payments on time!" This isn't a lie. You don't need to add that they were conscientious and careful about never paying their rent.

Omission is still a lie because you are knowingly leading somebody to believe something that is not true...What you do depends on your priorities. I'd probably do whatever it took to legally get them out quickly.

Methinks OP's tenants would behave better under a different landlord. Somehow, people find it easiest to pay family last.

The problem here is that you are asking the wrong question - you don't have to lie to "get rid of" them, because you are evicting them at a predetermined time, no matter where they go afterwards. Anyone who accuses you of being mean should be invited to take the freeloaders into their house instead.

soundtechie said:   The problem here is that you are asking the wrong question - you don't have to lie to "get rid of" them, because you are evicting them at a predetermined time, no matter where they go afterwards. Anyone who accuses you of being mean should be invited to take the freeloaders into their house instead.

The reason is I'd like to avoid an actual eviction if possible. It's one thing if they leave peacefully. It's another if I have to file eviction paperwork, have the sheriff come to the house and remove them, etc. It's a matter of time, money and family drama.

Chris.

cpaynter said:   soundtechie said:   The problem here is that you are asking the wrong question - you don't have to lie to "get rid of" them, because you are evicting them at a predetermined time, no matter where they go afterwards. Anyone who accuses you of being mean should be invited to take the freeloaders into their house instead.

The reason is I'd like to avoid an actual eviction if possible. It's one thing if they leave peacefully. It's another if I have to file eviction paperwork, have the sheriff come to the house and remove them, etc. It's a matter of time, money and family drama.

Chris.


Have them agree, in writing, to leave on a specific day. If they won't do this, evict immediately.

cpaynter said:   jojosung said:   in your reference.. this person has been our tenant from xxx to xxxx. they are never late on rent. (Your not lying, since they don't pay.. so it's not really late)

So many great ideas. But I have a feeling that if the landlord got me on the phone he/she would have a way of asking me a direct question that I'd get stuck on. I can deal with evading the truth, but still can't find it in myself to lie, even though I know it would be to my advantage. I did tell her she's free to give out our listed phone number - it goes straight to an answering machine, and if they leave a message we just won't reply to it. Maybe that will satisfy the landlord that they provided a reference. If we don't return the call, they can't fault the potential renter, right? I also suggested she could tell the landlord that a family member provided them housing free of rent (which is effectively how it turned out).

Since my posting I've learned that there is another family member (who's already expressed disgust with how horribly we've treated the freeloaders) who is perfectly willing to lie and say that she is my wife and that all payments were on time and in full. So they'll probably just give the landlord her number and say it's ours. So she can do the lying (both about her identity and the payments). Let it be on her head. I just want this whole mess over with.

Never lend money to family.

Chris.


Use a Google voice number for the reference. You can choose if you want to return the voicemail.

phitchow said:   
Use a Google voice number for the reference. You can choose if you want to return the voicemail.


Maybe I've missed the mark here, but what's the difference between using a Google voice number versus using his already established landline number as he suggested?

cpaynter said his line automatically goes straight to answering machine. Is there an advantage to using Google voice that I don't know about?

Do these relatives have the same last name as you?

As a landlord I'd be mighty suspicious if I got a rental application from someone and the last landlord had the same last name. Especially if it isn't Smith or Jones.

cpaynter said:   
But I have a feeling that if the landlord got me on the phone he/she would have a way of asking me a direct question that I'd get stuck on.


This.
SUCKISSTAPLES said:   You also don't have to lie. Just as companies are scared to provide details in reference letters ,and just give a general statement of time employed, you can simply confirm person x was a tenant from xx date to yy date and you would rent to them again

(since you probably would be they are family and you wouldn't see them on the streets )

You don't need to add more details which would necessitate lying such that they paid on time or paid a specifics amount etc


Give them that statement. And if questioned further, tell them you can't answer their questions due to policy.

Just say when they were there, that you loved them (as family) and you're sorry to see them go (because it will be harder for you to get any money out of them).

cpaynter said:   For all of 2012, we've received two payments ...
In October we told them (much too late), that's it, you're out on January 1 and we put the place on the market. So I just get a call from her. They've found a place and they need a reference

Will they be paying all 10 missing payments for 2012 (and any others missing for 2011 or whatever)?

Alcibiades said:   cpaynter said:   For all of 2012, we've received two payments ...
In October we told them (much too late), that's it, you're out on January 1 and we put the place on the market. So I just get a call from her. They've found a place and they need a reference

Will they be paying all 10 missing payments for 2012 (and any others missing for 2011 or whatever)?


Are you kidding? We're not going to get another dime out of them. We just want to sell the house, hopefully for about what they owe us, and walk away from this disaster.

Chris.

cpaynter said:   Alcibiades said:   cpaynter said:   For all of 2012, we've received two payments ...
In October we told them (much too late), that's it, you're out on January 1 and we put the place on the market. So I just get a call from her. They've found a place and they need a reference

Will they be paying all 10 missing payments for 2012 (and any others missing for 2011 or whatever)?


Are you kidding? We're not going to get another dime out of them. We just want to sell the house, hopefully for about what they owe us, and walk away from this disaster.

Chris.


WHat cultural background are you?

BradisBrad said:   phitchow said:   
Use a Google voice number for the reference. You can choose if you want to return the voicemail.


Maybe I've missed the mark here, but what's the difference between using a Google voice number versus using his already established landline number as he suggested?

cpaynter said his line automatically goes straight to answering machine. Is there an advantage to using Google voice that I don't know about?


Just a guess, but it's probably easier to get a different Google Voice number than it is a landline number.

Skipping 13 Messages...
scubasteve said:   DamnoIT said:   scubasteve said:   DamnoIT said:   They may become a model tenant when they are not using and abusing family. Pretend this is the case and give them the reference. I would bait them on the $1k though, $250 up front and then $750 never.


Thus making you as much of a douche as them?


Not at all, did you read the OP post? "For all of 2012, we've received two payments" that with the gift of a good reference and $250 makes you in no possible way a "douche", pretty nice guy if you ask me. They are not the tenants Mommy and Daddy, nor should they cover/wipe their behind. Perhaps if you are so generous you will let them move in with you rent free? If not perhaps you are the distinction that you are referring to.


I was in no way suggesting that $250 wasn't sufficient. The dollar amount doesn't matter. But making a promise to someone and then going back on your word makes you just as dishonest as them. It doesn't matter if they've already lied to you, if you choose to lie & deceive them, you're compromising your own ethics.


Exactly. I'm trying to accomplish what I'm doing with the utmost integrity, even though they didn't act with integrity. See, when it comes down to it, we really love these people; they're family, whatever bad choices and bad actions they've taken. We want them to succeed, and that means they need to practice integrity. For better or worse, we're probably in the best spot to model ethics for them. Perhaps if they see us acting rightly, it act as a positive influence on them.

Chris.



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