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Here are some additional paragraphs to the standard lease:

Lease Addendum Paragraphs:

1 The rent payment for each month must be paid on the first day of that month at Landlord's address. If tenant fails to pay rent within three (3) days of the due date he is subject to a 50.00 late penalty fee. If tenant fails to pay rent within ten (10) days of the due date he is subject to an additional $100.00 late penalty fee for a total of $150.00 in late penalty fees. These penalty fees will accrue for each month the rent payment is late as described above. If tenant defaults on his obligation to pay the stated rent or on any of the other obligations under the terms of this lease he will be responsible to the Landlord for any and all legal costs Landlord may incur to enforce the terms of this lease. This paragraph is in addition to the terms of this lease and does not negate or override any of the other terms.
2 Notice of Non-Renewal of present lease by Tenant to the landlord Tenant shall give Landlord not less than 60 days before the expiration of present lease written Notice of Non-Renewal of present lease and shall vacate the rental apartment at the ending date of said present lease. If Tenant fails to deliver such written notice to the Landlord, and the present lease is not renewed by Tenant for its stated term, Tenant is subject to the penalty of one month's present rent.
3 The security deposit will remain as security deposit only, and is not to be used as payment of the last month's rent or of any other month's rent. If Tenant fails to pay rent when due he will be subject to terms of paragraph # 1 above.

4 Smoking is not allowed anywhere and at any time in the premises and property.
5 Laundering/washing clothes in the apartment is not allowed. All laundering must be done in an outside laundromat facility.
6 No washers, dryers, or dishwashers shall be installed at any time in the apartment.

Tenant has represented in his/her application to lease, that the only individuals residing in this apartment are:
No other Individual will be allowed to reside in this apartment for any length of time. In the event that the tenant lease holder desires to add another person as a resident of said apartment, he/she must obtain the landlord's permission before that individual is allowed to reside in the apartment. Permission will be or will not be granted at the sole discretion of the landlord.
These paragraphs are in addition to the terms of this lease and do not negate or override any of the other terms of the lease.

The perfect lease is one customized by a lawyer in your own state. I've had good luck with the NOLO leases but had them reviewed for weird Louisiana stuff that sometimes gets missed.

Quikboy4 said:   robby152 said:   I make tenants pay the first 25 of each service call

While that may limit unnecessary calls for light bulb changes, I really think it unfairly penalizes the tenants for legitimate issues.


Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.

jerosen said:   

Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.
Not to mention the fact that it discourages tenants from calling over things that really do need the landlord's attention. "Oh, there's some kind of water stain on the bedroom ceiling. Don't have $25, will call landlord later/if it gets worse/not at all."

Flash forward 10 months, tenant moves out and THEN landlord discovers he's stuck with an ungodly expensive mold renovation from a leaky roof he didn't know about until major damage is done.

Come to think of it, my landlord's mantra has always been "when in doubt, call." Even a burned-out lightbulb can be reason to call - if it's a lightbulb that KEEPS burning out and being replaced, there could be a more serious electrical issue going on.

jerosen said:   Quikboy4 said:   robby152 said:   I make tenants pay the first 25 of each service call

While that may limit unnecessary calls for light bulb changes, I really think it unfairly penalizes the tenants for legitimate issues.


Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.

It doesn't warrant the charge - in this case. In the Lease does not mean you are OBLIGATED to charge it.

But if its not in the lease then you CANNOT charge it.

What is so difficult about that to understand?

jedblanks said:   jerosen said:   Quikboy4 said:   robby152 said:   I make tenants pay the first 25 of each service call

While that may limit unnecessary calls for light bulb changes, I really think it unfairly penalizes the tenants for legitimate issues.


Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.

It doesn't warrant the charge - in this case. In the Lease does not mean you are OBLIGATED to charge it.

But if its not in the lease then you CANNOT charge it.

What is so difficult about that to understand?


Because I think "ah, this guy's an ass and will just cause me headaches" when I look at the lease, and because I am a desirable tenant with money, I move on to another property. Again, make the rent cover your reasonable costs, realize there is some work involved in being a landlord (or hire someone to handle that work for you), and you can quit with all this obnoxious surcharge stuff.

Also, what's the deal with the "no washer/dryer" addendum up-thread? What kind of low-end crap are you renting that you won't let people put in normal appliances? It's fine if you say that tenant is responsible for the appliance being properly installed or tenant is responsible for any damages, etc. caused by appliances, but if there are hookups why can't your tenants use them?

JimboUS said:   
Tenant has represented in his/her application to lease, that the only individuals residing in this apartment are:
No other Individual will be allowed to reside in this apartment for any length of time. In the event that the tenant lease holder desires to add another person as a resident of said apartment, he/she must obtain the landlord's permission before that individual is allowed to reside in the apartment. Permission will be or will not be granted at the sole discretion of the landlord.
These paragraphs are in addition to the terms of this lease and do not negate or override any of the other terms of the lease.


Uh, you need to reword; right now that could be interpreted as a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Tenants don't need your permission to get knocked up or adopt 3 kids, and occupancy standards that are less than 2 persons per bedroom can raise a question of lawfulness.

I've seen some contracts that allow the creditor to receive payment of attorney's fees incurred to pursue, protect and enforce their rights and interests under the contract. This could come in handy after a debtor's bankruptcy, for example.

http://www.pepperlaw.com/publications_update.aspx?ArticleKey=874

bullcity said:   JimboUS said:   
Tenant has represented in his/her application to lease, that the only individuals residing in this apartment are:
No other Individual will be allowed to reside in this apartment for any length of time. In the event that the tenant lease holder desires to add another person as a resident of said apartment, he/she must obtain the landlord's permission before that individual is allowed to reside in the apartment. Permission will be or will not be granted at the sole discretion of the landlord.
These paragraphs are in addition to the terms of this lease and do not negate or override any of the other terms of the lease.


Uh, you need to reword; right now that could be interpreted as a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Tenants don't need your permission to get knocked up or adopt 3 kids, and occupancy standards that are less than 2 persons per bedroom can raise a question of lawfulness.


The above clause is solely based on the tenant's original representation in his/her application to lease the apt for X number of occupants. Of course it does not apply to a family's expansion by birth or adoption.
It is intended only to prevent an apt from being turned into a rooming house.
If 2 roomates rent a 2 bdrm apt, let's say, and they state that they will be the only tenants, some months later they can not have several other people living there.
The same would apply to a couple with a couple of kids, let's say. Months later they can not have, for instance, the wife's parents or the man's parents or both move in and perhaps doubling the occupancy of the 2 bdrm apt.

When a landlord screens prospective tenants he/she relies on the tenants' representation on the lease application to choose the tenants that he/she thinks would be the most stable financially and individually and has to rely on the truthful statements of the prospective tenants and on reference/employment/credit/background checks.
If the tenants are honorable people, most landlords would give their permission for an additional person or two to move-in depending on the size of the apt rather than losing a good tenant and having the apt sit empty for a month or two. Both tenant and landlord may also agree to a modest surcharge for the new residents of the apt, but again if the landlord has good tenants he/she would rather not lose them and will avoid any imposing any surcharges, especially if they are long term tenants who have caused no problems and always pay the rent on the first of the month.
There are unreasonable landlords and unreasonable tenants out there and both should be avoided.

JimboUS said:   bullcity said:   JimboUS said:   
Tenant has represented in his/her application to lease, that the only individuals residing in this apartment are:
No other Individual will be allowed to reside in this apartment for any length of time. In the event that the tenant lease holder desires to add another person as a resident of said apartment, he/she must obtain the landlord's permission before that individual is allowed to reside in the apartment. Permission will be or will not be granted at the sole discretion of the landlord.
These paragraphs are in addition to the terms of this lease and do not negate or override any of the other terms of the lease.


Uh, you need to reword; right now that could be interpreted as a violation of the Fair Housing Act. Tenants don't need your permission to get knocked up or adopt 3 kids, and occupancy standards that are less than 2 persons per bedroom can raise a question of lawfulness.


The above clause is solely based on the tenant's original representation in his/her application to lease the apt for X number of occupants. Of course it does not apply to a family's expansion by birth or adoption.
It is intended only to prevent an apt from being turned into a rooming house.
If 2 roomates rent a 2 bdrm apt, let's say, and they state that they will be the only tenants, some months later they can not have several other people living there.
The same would apply to a couple with a couple of kids, let's say. Months later they can not have, for instance, the wife's parents or the man's parents or both move in and perhaps doubling the occupancy of the 2 bdrm apt.

When a landlord screens prospective tenants he/she relies on the tenants' representation on the lease application to choose the tenants that he/she thinks would be the most stable financially and individually and has to rely on the truthful statements of the prospective tenants and on reference/employment/credit/background checks.
If the tenants are honorable people, most landlords would give their permission for an additional person or two to move-in depending on the size of the apt rather than losing a good tenant and having the apt sit empty for a month or two. Both tenant and landlord may also agree to a modest surcharge for the new residents of the apt, but again if the landlord has good tenants he/she would rather not lose them and will avoid any imposing any surcharges, especially if they are long term tenants who have caused no problems and always pay the rent on the first of the month.
There are unreasonable landlords and unreasonable tenants out there and both should be avoided.


Still need to reword; the whole point of properly drafting a contract is to say what you actually mean.

I wonder if Jumbo has a visitors clause, otherwise family visiting a week or out of country family visiting a month could be deemed a violation.

bullcity said:   jedblanks said:   jerosen said:   Quikboy4 said:   robby152 said:   I make tenants pay the first 25 of each service call

While that may limit unnecessary calls for light bulb changes, I really think it unfairly penalizes the tenants for legitimate issues.


Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.

It doesn't warrant the charge - in this case. In the Lease does not mean you are OBLIGATED to charge it.

But if its not in the lease then you CANNOT charge it.

What is so difficult about that to understand?


Because I think "ah, this guy's an ass and will just cause me headaches" when I look at the lease, and because I am a desirable tenant with money, I move on to another property. Again, make the rent cover your reasonable costs, realize there is some work involved in being a landlord (or hire someone to handle that work for you), and you can quit with all this obnoxious surcharge stuff.


I understand and appreciate the differing opinions on this provision in the lease. I guess I should have been a bit more verbose to give context and everything. I try to be a nice guy and be very open with tenants in the screening process and during the application. I explain to them that I am not a pro and just want them to treat the place like it is their home, and that I think it is reasonable to expect someone to take some basic care of their temporary 'home'. The first part of the service call is just enough motivation for them to change a light bulb on their own before they call me. Recently, a tenant moved in and a couple of things broke within the first week (shower, light fixture, dryer). I fixed them myself or had a contractor fix them and didn't charge them a dime, as I didn't think it would be fair to charge them those cases. It was no fault of theirs that the items weren't being maintained or kept in good shape as they had just moved in.

In reference to good tenants moving on after seeing such an apparently egregious provision (though I disagree that a reasonable person would balk), in my area having people that balk at small potatoes is not a bad thing, as I want people who have a concept of being a responsible tenant and not abusing a place and leaving. The tenants in there are great and I live very close and can keep an eye on the place. I may be wrong about this term, and may change it in the future if it doesn't work out, but it is just part of an effort to build a partnership with the tenant to ensure that they see it as a responsibility and not hotel to just trash and move on. Also, maybe a reason why I don't think they care is because my rate is a little lower than normal, so they probably think 'oh well, even if it is 1 issue a month, this place is still at least 50-75 a month cheaper than other places like it.' So I guess everything is a risk and I am still learning, but so far so good.

robby152 said:   bullcity said:   jedblanks said:   jerosen said:   Quikboy4 said:   robby152 said:   I make tenants pay the first 25 of each service call

While that may limit unnecessary calls for light bulb changes, I really think it unfairly penalizes the tenants for legitimate issues.


Yeah, I don't understand this fee. I'm a landlord and I can't imagine how it would be legit to charge tenants $25 to fix stuff. My tenant had a leaky faucet and a broken light switch in the past 12 months. Why in the world should that warrant the tenant paying me $25 x 2?

If I was a tenant I would balk at this.

It doesn't warrant the charge - in this case. In the Lease does not mean you are OBLIGATED to charge it.

But if its not in the lease then you CANNOT charge it.

What is so difficult about that to understand?


Because I think "ah, this guy's an ass and will just cause me headaches" when I look at the lease, and because I am a desirable tenant with money, I move on to another property. Again, make the rent cover your reasonable costs, realize there is some work involved in being a landlord (or hire someone to handle that work for you), and you can quit with all this obnoxious surcharge stuff.


I understand and appreciate the differing opinions on this provision in the lease. I guess I should have been a bit more verbose to give context and everything. I try to be a nice guy and be very open with tenants in the screening process and during the application. I explain to them that I am not a pro and just want them to treat the place like it is their home, and that I think it is reasonable to expect someone to take some basic care of their temporary 'home'. The first part of the service call is just enough motivation for them to change a light bulb on their own before they call me. Recently, a tenant moved in and a couple of things broke within the first week (shower, light fixture, dryer). I fixed them myself or had a contractor fix them and didn't charge them a dime, as I didn't think it would be fair to charge them those cases. It was no fault of theirs that the items weren't being maintained or kept in good shape as they had just moved in.

In reference to good tenants moving on after seeing such an apparently egregious provision (though I disagree that a reasonable person would balk), in my area having people that balk at small potatoes is not a bad thing, as I want people who have a concept of being a responsible tenant and not abusing a place and leaving. The tenants in there are great and I live very close and can keep an eye on the place. I may be wrong about this term, and may change it in the future if it doesn't work out, but it is just part of an effort to build a partnership with the tenant to ensure that they see it as a responsibility and not hotel to just trash and move on. Also, maybe a reason why I don't think they care is because my rate is a little lower than normal, so they probably think 'oh well, even if it is 1 issue a month, this place is still at least 50-75 a month cheaper than other places like it.' So I guess everything is a risk and I am still learning, but so far so good.


Seeing lots of surcharges tells my that my landlord is cheap and doesn't want to fulfill their basic responsibilities without trying to charge me for it. Whether or not that's what you intend to convey, that's the impression that you put out there with provisions in your lease like that. And to me as a tenant, that's not small potatoes.

I also put down a $6k deposit and would be happy to stay for years more if it works out, so I don't think my LLs are concerned about us trashing the place and moving on. Whether or not I want to pay you $25 a time doesn't say anything about how I'm going to treat the property.

Also, the stuff about "building the partnership" and "keep an eye on the place" suggests to me that as a landlord you're a bit hands-on. Most tenants don't like that. I don't want a "partnership" with my landlord; I want it to feel like MY home. I want them to cash my checks, send me a nice Christmas card, and send a handyman out once or twice a year if needed. In return, I will send you the check once a month, not bother you about little things, and leave the place in good condition or pay for any damage that I've caused. The best "relationship" with a landlord is a minimal one for most people in my situation.

Actually your assumptions are a bit off. Haven't communicated with them or went over to check on anything since they moved in. I would probably not charge it at all if I required a 6k deposit, but that is not quite the case. Sounds like we are in vastly different parts of the country.

Edit: Sp - mobile phone

robby152 said:   Actually your assumptions are a bit off. Haven't communicated with them or went over to check on anything since try moved in. I would probably not charge it at all if I required a 6k deposit, but that is not quite the case. Sounds like we are in vastly different parts of the country.

I rent high-end properties now, but I started out renting $350 apartments. Felt the same way then.

highmktgoods said:   I've seen some contracts that allow the creditor to receive payment of attorney's fees incurred to pursue, protect and enforce their rights and interests under the contract. This could come in handy after a debtor's bankruptcy, for example.

http://www.pepperlaw.com/publications_update.aspx?ArticleKey=874


If they file bankruptcy they can reject your lease. If the debt is discharged you are not collecting anything, no matter what your lease says.

robby152 said:   Actually your assumptions are a bit off. Haven't communicated with them or went over to check on anything since they moved in. I would probably not charge it at all if I required a 6k deposit, but that is not quite the case. Sounds like we are in vastly different parts of the country.

Edit: Sp - mobile phone


Doesn't matter. I rent... well, not as high-end as bullcity, but nice places. If I saw language like yours and jedblanks' in a lease, I'd assume at least one of a few things:

1) you're a freshman landlord who doesn't understand your responsibilities
2) you're uncomfortable with someone living on your property
3) you're entitled enough to feel that, having accumulated enough money to have a rental property, you feel it should just be free Checks In The Mail every month
4) you're a nickel-and-dime landlord who wants to get more money than he feels he can ask in rent and will be constantly coming after me for more

Any of these would cause me to laugh and move on. I'm not going to sign an onerous lease just because the landlord assures me that it's only there to prevent abuse. If a landlord ever did try to charge me - even a penny - for clearing roots out of the pipes, I'd have a judge explain to him that such things would be like asking a tenant to cover any part of a new roof or water heater that had reached the end of its useful life. The judge would likely then remember the abusive landlord if he came back in the future with another claim and not give him any benefit of the doubt.

I rent, in part, because I don't want to have to deal with this sort of thing. If you're a landlord, you have to. Accept it, make peace with it, and charge accordingly.

The lovely part is this sort of behavior will cause you to get bad tenants, which will make you think it's necessary, and you're stuck in a catch-22.

bullcity said:   
Also, what's the deal with the "no washer/dryer" addendum up-thread? What kind of low-end crap are you renting that you won't let people put in normal appliances? It's fine if you say that tenant is responsible for the appliance being properly installed or tenant is responsible for any damages, etc. caused by appliances, but if there are hookups why can't your tenants use them?


I have properties with coin-op washer dryer in the basement. I don't want tenants hooking up any kind of portable washing machine to their kitchen or bathroom faucets becuase:

1) I want the revenue from my machines in the basement.
2) I don't want increased water consumption (I pay for water)
3) I don't want the added risk of water damage from that appliance

My properties aren't low-end crap.

sbr9 said:   bullcity said:   
Also, what's the deal with the "no washer/dryer" addendum up-thread? What kind of low-end crap are you renting that you won't let people put in normal appliances? It's fine if you say that tenant is responsible for the appliance being properly installed or tenant is responsible for any damages, etc. caused by appliances, but if there are hookups why can't your tenants use them?


I have properties with coin-op washer dryer in the basement. I don't want tenants hooking up any kind of portable washing machine to their kitchen or bathroom faucets becuase:

1) I want the revenue from my machines in the basement.
2) I don't want increased water consumption (I pay for water)
3) I don't want the added risk of water damage from that appliance

My properties aren't low-end crap.


Oy. Sounds low-end to me when my landlord's coming after me for my quarters.... What next? No snacks because you don't want rats and conveniently happen to have a vending machine in the basement?

(Even my apartments from my $350/mo college days all let you have in-unit washer/dryers... nobody likes dragging their damn laundry around and someone snooping through their panties. The only property I have ever rented with a common w/d was when I rented a one-BR vacation unit for 12 weeks because I had an internship. See my post & Bah Humbug's above; nobody worth renting to wants the nickel & dime landlord who is paranoid about people living in their house so you will get the crappy tenants who reaffirm your paranoia. (I really don't know anyone who has ever had water damage from a washer/dryer; I am sure it can & does happen but banning absolutely normal appliances is silly.)

sbr9 said:   I have properties with coin-op washer dryer in the basement. I don't want tenants hooking up any kind of portable washing machine to their kitchen or bathroom faucets becuase:

1) I want the revenue from my machines in the basement.
2) I don't want increased water consumption (I pay for water)
3) I don't want the added risk of water damage from that appliance

My properties aren't low-end crap.


I don't care if you're selling Kia or Mercedes; if you can't let it go without the rustproofing, you're selling low-end crap. The funny part is that you don't even realize what you are.

bullcity said:   robby152 said:   Actually your assumptions are a bit off. Haven't communicated with them or went over to check on anything since try moved in. I would probably not charge it at all if I required a 6k deposit, but that is not quite the case. Sounds like we are in vastly different parts of the country.

I rent high-end properties now, but I started out renting $350 apartments. Felt the same way then.


Who rents high end properties anyway? What's considered high end in terms of $/month?

I have a property that should be renting at ~$1500/month when my sister gets out of it...seems like ~$2.5k is the ceiling. When it gets to like ~$7k/month or something absurd (I'd consider absurd anyway), I would think most people would buy at that point.

Why does somebody who can afford $7k+ or whatever you say is high end, rent?

JimboUS said:   1 The rent payment for each month must be paid on the first day of that month at Landlord's address. If tenant fails to pay rent within three (3) days of the due date he is subject to a 50.00 late penalty fee. If tenant fails to pay rent within ten (10) days of the due date he is subject to an additional $100.00 late penalty fee for a total of $150.00 in late penalty fees. These penalty fees will accrue for each month the rent payment is late as described above. If tenant defaults on his obligation to pay the stated rent or on any of the other obligations under the terms of this lease he will be responsible to the Landlord for any and all legal costs Landlord may incur to enforce the terms of this lease. This paragraph is in addition to the terms of this lease and does not negate or override any of the other terms.
How do you actually enforce this? A similar provision is written into the leases for a building my dad owns. The tenants who pay late just give us a check for the regular monthly amount and say "sorry". The penalties aren't big enough to go to court over, and it's in your best interest to stay on good terms with your tenants.

I toyed with changing it so it's a small discount if they pay on the 1st of the month. But when I did the math, a few years of someone paying on time was the same as him not paying for a month. The amount of extra interest you'd make putting that money into a savings account 10-15 days earlier comes nowhere near how much you're losing for the discount.

Since all the tenants do pay some time during the month (i.e. we get 12 payments from each tenant each a year), we've just been letting it slide. It does cause some minor annoyances (having to visit the bank 2 or 3 times a month to deposit checks, instead of just once a month). But nothing major enough that's worth trying to forcibly extract the penalty from the late payers. I'm curious how others have tackled the issue.

Al3xK said:   When it gets to like ~$7k/month or something absurd (I'd consider absurd anyway), I would think most people would buy at that point.

Why does somebody who can afford $7k+ or whatever you say is high end, rent?


I'm a diehard renter but I actually agree with you on this point, outside the obvious super-high-housing-cost areas. I guess if someone is insisting on $7K/month worth of housing, but s/he doesn't plan on staying in that location for very long? Or if the employer is footing the bill?

Solandri said:   JimboUS said:   1 The rent payment for each month must be paid on the first day of that month at Landlord's address. If tenant fails to pay rent within three (3) days of the due date he is subject to a 50.00 late penalty fee. If tenant fails to pay rent within ten (10) days of the due date he is subject to an additional $100.00 late penalty fee for a total of $150.00 in late penalty fees. These penalty fees will accrue for each month the rent payment is late as described above. If tenant defaults on his obligation to pay the stated rent or on any of the other obligations under the terms of this lease he will be responsible to the Landlord for any and all legal costs Landlord may incur to enforce the terms of this lease. This paragraph is in addition to the terms of this lease and does not negate or override any of the other terms.
How do you actually enforce this? A similar provision is written into the leases for a building my dad owns. The tenants who pay late just give us a check for the regular monthly amount and say "sorry". The penalties aren't big enough to go to court over, and it's in your best interest to stay on good terms with your tenants.

I toyed with changing it so it's a small discount if they pay on the 1st of the month. But when I did the math, a few years of someone paying on time was the same as him not paying for a month. The amount of extra interest you'd make putting that money into a savings account 10-15 days earlier comes nowhere near how much you're losing for the discount.

By having a provision that you are unwilling to enforce you just open yourself to other concerns....

Since all the tenants do pay some time during the month (i.e. we get 12 payments from each tenant each a year), we've just been letting it slide. It does cause some minor annoyances (having to visit the bank 2 or 3 times a month to deposit checks, instead of just once a month). But nothing major enough that's worth trying to forcibly extract the penalty from the late payers. I'm curious how others have tackled the issue.
Not sure it'd matter, as if before a judge it is the within the judges prudence as to what is within reason, where an applicable law doesn't state. So you can charge whatever you want, but winning and enforcement are discretionary.

JimboUS said:   

1 The rent payment for each month must be paid on the first day of that month at Landlord's address. If tenant fails to pay rent within three (3) days of the due date he is subject to a 50.00 late penalty fee. If tenant fails to pay rent within ten (10) days of the due date he is subject to an additional $100.00 late penalty fee for a total of $150.00
...

Wow check your local laws on that. How much do your places rent for? In Maryland and Delaware the maximum late fee is 5%. In Delaware the late fee cannot be imposed unless the tenant is 5 days late.

Al3xK said:   bullcity said:   robby152 said:   Actually your assumptions are a bit off. Haven't communicated with them or went over to check on anything since try moved in. I would probably not charge it at all if I required a 6k deposit, but that is not quite the case. Sounds like we are in vastly different parts of the country.

I rent high-end properties now, but I started out renting $350 apartments. Felt the same way then.


Who rents high end properties anyway? What's considered high end in terms of $/month?

I have a property that should be renting at ~$1500/month when my sister gets out of it...seems like ~$2.5k is the ceiling. When it gets to like ~$7k/month or something absurd (I'd consider absurd anyway), I would think most people would buy at that point.

Why does somebody who can afford $7k+ or whatever you say is high end, rent?


I'm not super high-end, but I want to live in a fancy beach town (SoCal), don't want to buy for now, and don't know how long I'll be around. However, there are lots of super high-end rentals in this particular location, and I imagine there's a variety of reasons people choose to rent.

Keep in mind that many newly issued landlord policies are now starting to require that landlords force their tenants to purchase renters' insurance (this way the landlord's carrier will be able to recover a significant portion of its payouts, as a lot of claims under landlord policies are directly related to the tenants' actions).

In my humble opinion, if you can at all avoid it, do not purchase a policy with such a carrier. You can put whatever you want in your lease but you have no way of enforcing this requirement, as the tenant can always purchase a policy and then immediately drop it. Yet, I am told by underwriters that depending on the circumstances this can result in a denial of claims on your policy.

On the other hand, if you, as a landlord, are forced to accept such a requirement, you better be sure that your lease prominently contains this as a requirement and you take steps (that you can document) to ensure that your tenants are in compliance with it.

This is a post I made a couple weeks ago to mrlandlord.com
I've only been in the business for 6 mos and have only been looking at properties to rent for a year, and have been fortunate not to have any major unexpected problems or expenses. BUT, I have had a significant number of calls that describe a situation requiring immediate attention. When I go to the property, it turns out to be a big nothing. Of course that's a big relief and better than the alternative, but it's still a wasted trip. I hope the pros can chime in to each of the occurrences and help me improve in the future.

1) Tenant A calls because a circuit breaker tripped. This is a problem as the previous owner (also investor) had a commericial grade fire alarm installed and it was beeping loudly, and I hadn't figured out how to turn it off. I go there and in the living room, they've got their 40" big screen, iron, and space heater (the cheap plastic kind) going on the same circuit. (the electrical has been updated so it's not that obvious which outlets are on the same circuit) I explain about the current draw and they unplug the heater and all is well.

2) Tenant A calls again, breaker keeps tripping. They've learned their lesson and have tried unplugging everything that seems to be on that circuit. I go over and sure enough everything in the living room is unplugged. I get my plugin tester and check each plug one by one. Turns out there's an outlet behind their big coat container and a surge protector (nothing plugged in) was the culprit. Tenant chucks it and all is well.

3) Tenant B calls, dishwasher started leaking into the basement. They have turned it off and leak stopped. I decide this is worth leaving to the next morning. After a visual inspection, it's obvious one plate they loaded butted against the door preventing it from sealing but still allowing it to "click." I clean and dry the area, in the process breaking through one of the particleboard things below the cabinets to check for water damage.

4) Tenant A calls, the stove caught on fire!!! They were boiling water and suddenly flames wooshed. I go there, nothing to see, no signs of damage anywhere. Test all the burners, and even replicate their water boiling exercise, nothing. Give up and go home.

5) Tenant A calls again, two of the burners on their electric coil stove isn't working. This one is the "drop-in" kind that we didn't replace and looked like it was aging, but still worked when we were fixing the place up. I go there and they had taken the burners out to clean, put them back, but didn't plug them in.

6) Tenant A does not know how to use the garbage disposal. I dont really know what the problem is. One time the complaint was that the water was not draining on the disposal side of the sink. I go there, clean it out, and it runs terribly and dies. Did some googling on the cell, found out about the red button, and got it working again. Still sounded bad so went outside and got some icicles and set those down , and all was good.

6) Tenant A complains about a smell. This was a previous thread I made. I ended up doing a mold test with the tenant not home using a tester I used before. The test results were negative AND the tester guy found the tenant had mold on his WOODEN trash can, which of course I took pics of.

7) Tenant A complains that his garage door doesn't close. At this point I'm a bit wiser now and decide to troubleshoot with him on the phone instead of running over (open garage door a liability at night??). I ask him if it opened accidentally, no, he says, they opened it normally in the morning but forgot to close it during the day, and in the evening it wouldn't close. I ask him if it makes any noise when he tries to close it and it says it works a little but stops. I realize today it started snowing pretty heavy during the day and tell him to wipe down the sensors. He does and it works again.

8) Tenant A complains again about the garage door. Troubleshooting doesn't work as it's during the day and I'm at my job so I have to go there in the evening. This time it's partly my fault. We screwed the metal bracket for the sensor to the garage wood frame but didn't pay attention to how the metal attached to the plastic casing of the sensor. Tenant had knocked the plastic part of the sensor out of the metal.

Next time I'm thinking of having them use Skype/facetime to show me the problem...


I don't charge a fee for service calls, because if I can schedule them to my convience (as opposed to running out in a winter night) then I use it to do a maintenance check and make sure there's nothing they haven't noticed yet (found a leak under a sink once). I do have a clause in my lease that tenant is responsible for repairs less than $20. This is just to have them replace their own light bulbs, as other posters have said, you WANT them to bring to attention any issues that affect the property itself.

I rent SFHs to upper middle class folks (six figures or close to it, before tax) so while they are good at what they do and not trouble makers, they might not be very handy around the house. They will take responsibly if it's blatantly their fault but won't hesitate to ask you to fix something. Aside from an oven dying on move-in, it's never cost me more than $10 to fix something.



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