Owning rental property is a business and not charity. This week a landlord asks, “Do you think I should give a new tenant who says she lost her job more time to pay?” Each week veteran landlord and property manager Hank Rossi answers questions from other landlords and property managers around the country about their rentals.

Dear Landlord Hank,

A new tenant with good references moved in one month ago.

The first of the month has come and gone with no rent payment from the tenant.

I’ve contacted her for payment and she said she lost her second job and can’t pay the rent right now, she just needs a couple of weeks to find that replacement job and she’ll be back on track.

Do you think I should give her more time?

I understand her situation and am a compassionate person.

Dear Landlord Betty,


If she can’t pay one month, she won’t be able to pay for two months.

Even if she finds a job immediately, she most likely won’t receive her first pay check for two to three weeks, so she will always be one month behind.

If she doesn’t find a job tomorrow, this non-payment will continue.

Tell tenant you are counting on her rent for your obligations

I would tell her you’d like to help but you have obligations that you were counting on her rent to help pay. If she can’t live up to her obligation, she’ll have to move immediately.

I don’t know what state you live in, so find out how to evict someone in your state NOW.

In Florida, I have to give someone a written three-day notice to cure the problem.

Then I would file eviction. That is going to take six weeks at least to have someone removed.

This is a business and MUST be treated as such.

Compassion for your fellow man is great, but you must take care of your business or you won’t be able to pay your own bills.

Keep your business and charitable contributions separate.

See one of Hank’s recent posts here:

Dear Landlord Hank:  How Do You Handle Tenant Roommates And Guests?

 About the author Landlord Hank:

“I started in real estate as a child watching my father take care of our family rentals- maintenance, tenant relations, etc , in small town Ohio. As I grew, I was occasionally Dad’s assistant. In the mid-90s I decided to get into the rental business on my own, as a sideline. In 2001, I retired from my profession and only managed my own investments, for the next 10 years. Six years ago, my sister, working as a rental agent/property manager in Sarasota, Florida convinced me to try the Florida lifestyle. I gave it a try and never looked back. A few years ago we started our own real estate brokerage. We focus on property management and leasing. I continue to manage my real estate portfolio here in Florida and Atlanta. “ Visit Hank’s website here.

Dear Landlord Hank: Should I give a tenant who is behind in rent more time to pay?

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