Why are tenants rude when a landlord asks for a late rent payment is this week’s question for veteran landlord, property manager and real estate investor Hank Rossi.

Dear Landlord Hank:

Just this past month I have asked two tenants who were late with rent to please pay on time as I have other bills to pay. Both times these two separate tenants called me “rude” for asking for payment. What is the deal? Why do tenants think they have a right to call a landlord “rude” when I am just asking for on-time payment?

– Stephanie

Dear Landlady Stephanie,

I don’t know all the facts in your current situation but were the tenants not paying on the due date or hadn’t they paid by end of grace period -if you offer a grace period in your lease?

You have every right to have your rent paid when due or during the grace period but you must find out about the rent at the end of the grace period.

These are the questions I usually ask:

  • When will your rent be paid?
  • How are you paying the rent (check, money order, on line, etc)?
  • How much are you paying?
  • What address are you sending rent to?
  • Why are you late?

Then, I remind tenants about the late fee to be sure it is included in the payment.

If two separate tenants said you were coming across as “rude,” then perhaps your delivery needs a little work.

If you spoke to the tenants maybe your annoyance came through or you sounded a little abrupt, without meaning to.

I try to just be businesslike and professional at all times and I know that is very difficult when you are owed money, but it is factual.

Per my lease, I let tenants know, usually by talking to them on the phone, that I have not received the rent by the end of the grace period.

Sometimes it’s truly a postal service error, so I try to give tenants the benefit of the doubt, especially if they have some history with me. I usually have good results trying to sound reasonable and calm.

After you have asked your questions, nicely, you can offer solutions so this doesn’t occur again. You could accept postdated checks, or accept automatic bill pay, or ACH payments. It’s great to have the payments come automatically and on time every month and that is my goal.

I strive to have a good business relationship with all my tenants and I wouldn’t want them to think I was rude or didn’t care about them and their “home.”

I can see that it bothers you too.


Hank Rossi

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Why Are Tenants Rude Landlord Hank

Landlord Hank at work on one of his properties.