HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Amy

Posted by Jim FL on April 12, 2002 at 23:40:49:

I’ve also been told NUMEROUS times by attornies, RE agents/brokers, and other investors that a L/O even when written up with two seperate agreements will require a foreclosure.
Guess what?
After having been to court on SEVERAL evictions with T/B’ers, NOT ONCE was this an issue.
I’ve even had T/B’ers show up with a lawyer to court and TRY to argue this point, to no avail.
Sure, it COULD happen, but if structured right, it is not likely.
Do your paper work right, and you should be okay.
In fact, I think Bronchick has either written an article or post on this very topic.
Since he is an attny, as well as an investor, I’ll take his word over the others.
Especially when coupled with my own personal experience with this topic.

Jim FL

P.S. Can you drop me an e-mail with the contact info for the eviction service you mentioned? I may need it some time.

HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Amy

Posted by Amy on April 11, 2002 at 22:32:13:

Rent is due on the 29th. I got a call on the 4th saying they’d had to fix their car and would put the money in the mail the next day. I called them on Tuesday and left a message at their home when it still hadn’t arrived. I called the cell phone on Wednesday just asking for a phone call to discuss. I called their home again today and left another message saying I did not want to evict, to please call and let me know what’s going on. They have maxed out their penalty, so they now owe me $135 in addition to their normal rent. I hate to evict a L/O tenant because they’ll lose $3500. What should I do? Any suggestions?

Re: HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Carey_PA

Posted by Carey_PA on April 12, 2002 at 12:01:19:


I agree w/ Jim Fl’s advice. You can’t let tenants walk over you, etc. PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT.

I learned on my first mh deal VERY QUICKLY not to mess around when it comes to late payments. I do NOT remind people that their rent is due, they just get a notice on their door at the appropriate time.

(I figure they are adults they KNOW when their bills are due and there is no need for me to call them to remind them!)

Although, this past month I did make an exception, because a VERY GOOD L/O tenant of mine who ALWAYS, ALWAYS pays on time didn’t. So, I called him the nite before I was going to post a notice on his door and I was very nice and I asked “did you forget something” and he was like no, what are you talking about I sent the rent to your po box on friday!" (which is when the rent was due) and of course in the back of my head i didn’t believe him :slight_smile: but he told me that he would call the post office blah blah blah, then he would cancel the check and write me a new one tomorrow.

So, before I went to pick up the NEW check at his house I stopped at my po box. and there was the letter postmarked w/ friday’s date and then postmarked again 2 days later. The post office screwed up and they apologized to my tenant/buyer. Of course, I didn’t charge him any late fees :slight_smile:

So, be firm…stop calling him and post your notice and start the eviction!


Re: HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by GL(ON)

Posted by GL(ON) on April 12, 2002 at 10:41:21:

You have received some sound advice here. I would only like to add one thing. You need to put your foot down right away. It is kinder to the tenants and better for you. Here is why.

If your tenants plan ahead, they can get your money to you on time. If they are slack and lacka daisical, they can’t.

If you are very strict from the beginning, and warn them that you are going to be strict, and that no excuses will change that, then they will automatically make sure you get paid first and they will never worry and you will never worry. If they do pay late, and you crack down, they will learn to plan ahead and get your money to you on time.

If you act nice and let things slide, it will get worse and worse until you have to crack down or go bankrupt yourself. At this point your tenants will be in a much more serious mess, and they will be hurt and angry because you suddenly turned against them.

So in the end it is much kinder to teach good habits in the beginning.

By the way we all had to learn this. I assume you now pay all your bills and mortgage payments on time? Yes? How did you learn this? If you are like the rest of us, when you first went out on your own, had your own job and your own little apartment, you thought you were free at last and could do whatever you pleased! Then you found out real quick that if you did not live up to your promises, you would get in trouble.

If you are able to invest in RE I assume you learned good financial habits, and that they paid off in a good credit rating and the ability to invest.

I pity anyone who never learned this lesson. So do them a favor and smarten them up.

AMY, AMY, Amy!!! - Posted by Long Beach Ed

Posted by Long Beach Ed on April 12, 2002 at 09:49:09:

Are you nuts???

You hate to evice them, because they will lose $3500???

What is your time, aggrivation and self respect worth? If you don’t act, you’ll be the one losing the $3500.

If they have a story, they can tell it to the judge. Thats what we pay judges for. Here in New York, a tenant has a couple of weeks after you serve them with papers until their case comes up. So if it’s like that where you are, get those papers on the door!

Your tenant should be the ones running after you, not you running after them. You’re being made a fool of, Amy! Bet you’re nice, sweet, and friendly. Maybe even good looking. They are taking advantage. Plain and simple.

Get them into court. If you don’t have the guts, get an attorney, and when the sorry saps call you to plead their case (phone broken, in jail, car broken down out of state, jaw wired shut, etc.) you can tell them that they have to call the attorney and that you cannot speak with them.

Otherwise, look for a new career in daycare or floral arranging.

Good luck.


Re: Wow… - Posted by Anthony-OH

Posted by Anthony-OH on April 12, 2002 at 24:23:20:

I’m a newbie (still after 5 %$#@ years), but here’s my take.

First, your Option contract doesn’t say, “this option is null and void if at any time tenants are late with rent”? :wink:

Talk about incentive to pay on time!
(mentioning lease in option contract is bad though)

As soon as they said they had to fix thier car I would have put a new ad in the paper :wink:

As soon as I felt they were dodging calls, I would slap a 3day notice on the door.

Only way I give them time for another paycheck to come is if market is horrible and no one wants to L/O.

However, if I felt I could get a new T/B and a new check for $3500 in the next 6 weeks, then I fire up the Acme Eviction Machine. I also would send any rent that they do mail back to them marked R.T.S…S.O.L…T.F.P
Return to Sender, Shhit Outta Luck, Thanks For Paying.

I mean playing :wink:

Good Advice Guys - Posted by Ron Coultas

Posted by Ron Coultas on April 11, 2002 at 23:42:20:

Give the notice and do not hesitate to file the eviction papers - they can still pay your filing costs, late fees, and rents due to get you to drop the eviction - “just this one time” - but I would NOT drop the late fees - it’s seems fairly obvious that they are ducking your calls. Next message you leave should tell remind them that they are forfeiting their option consideration but now have a fully functional automobile to live in.

Re: HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Jim FL

Posted by Jim FL on April 11, 2002 at 23:24:26:

Eviction is NEVER fun.
But, if you do this business long enough, you WILL have to do them at some point.
I also know it is hard to tell someone they must leave the place they live in, and even worse when you have to take them to court to force the issue.
Feels not so good some times.
But, this is a business, and you MUST treat it as such.
Trust me here, should you be soft on a tenant once, they will take advantage of it more times than not.

I personally have a zero tolerance policy when it comes to paying the rent.
I was not always this way, but a few evictions, some lost profits, and damage to my houses has changed me to be the way I am now.

I make it clear to all who sign into one of my houses that we have a “Zero tolerance rent payment policy”.
This means that rent is due on the due date, and must be in my office no later than 3 days after that.
Post marked by the due date is NOT on time.
I tell my T/B’ers that when/if the rent is late they will be served a 3 day notice to pay or leave on the fourth day.
Should they not comply, we evict and they lose their earnest money.

I have an unwritten policy as well.
The FIRST time a T/B’er is late, they are served the three day notice, and also given a letter from me re-explaining our rent payment policy, and are told in this letter that this will be the ONLY time I remind them to pay the rent.
I quote the agreement in the letter about rent due dates, late fees etc.
Should a T/B’er be late again, they are merely served a three day notice.
When/if they do not comply, we file eviction right away.

Bottom line, protect your asset.

Does this mean that I collect late fees 100% of the time when rent is late?
I also make it clear when signing, and with the first/only late payment letter that the T/B’ers CAN call me to discuss.
I’m not a tyrant, and will listen.
One T/B’er called me on the 4th, from out of state.
She had to fly out on very short notice to tend to a sick relative.
She called me from there stating that she had been there a few days longer than expected, would be returning in 2 days and apologized for not paying.
She called me to ask how much the total would be with late fees due?
Since she was coming right back, I VERBALLY agreed to take her rent, and disregard late fees this once, due to circumstances.

She called me, and this is what got her a break.
Had she not called, she would have found the three day notice on her door, and an eviction filed against her when she returned.
I’m glad she called, saved me money, and she is a GREAT tenant.

So, don’t be too harsh, but do not be soft either.
Make it clear from the get go what is expected from each tenant, and then stick with it.

As for the problem you have now, seems to me that you have made an effort here, and the T/B’er has dropped the ball.
Serve them a notice NOW!
If they have the money, or a way to get it, this will force their hand.
If not, you evict and get rid of them before the problem becomes worse.
This will really save you and them by getting it over with now.

Hopefully they will pay you, rent and late fees, and never again be late.
But, cover yourself just in case.

Jim FL

Re: HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Nathan(oh)

Posted by Nathan(oh) on April 11, 2002 at 22:49:51:

Slap a 3 day notice on the door and that should do the trick. If you still don’t hear from them, start eviction. The fact that they are ducking your calls is a bad sign. If they do call you after that, consider giving them a break on the late fees if this is their first time and they offer to pay immediately. If not, they go. I make sure to tell my tenants that no matter what the reason, if I don’t get a call before the due date to make arrangements, if I don’t receieve the rent on time they get the full procedure. The good thing is that you have option money so it minimizes your loss. you have given them a chance and they blew it. Its not your fault.

Re: HELP!! Should I evict lease option tenant? - Posted by Buddy

Posted by Buddy on April 12, 2002 at 09:50:12:


I am also in Florida and I have a question.

An attorney I was interviewing to help with an eviction stated that if the property is on a L/O the judge may force you to foreclose. My lease and my option agrreement are seperate agreements, but the attorney said the judge could determine it needs to be foreclosed. Has this been your experience? He wanted a $500 retainer, so I feel he was trying to justify his fee.

The property is about a hundred miles away, so it is inconvienent for me to personally deliver. I have found a company called “We the People” that will send the 3 day pay or quit and serve for $84.

Any input would be appreciated.