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Discussion Starter #1
Looking to get some insight from people who have been a landlord for awhile. I've had a tenant for awhile now. He's been paying cash all this time. Recently started writing me cheques. However the last two I tried to cash have been NSF. I call him and he tells me lies about why it didn't clear (i.e. I was recently told the cheques were cancelled for some reason). But then he ends up delivering the cash. He's a month behind right now and I suspect he will be bringing me cash again for what he's behind.

I know I should serve the N4 but I'm trying to keep it amicable because he seems to be getting me the cash. Other problem is the other renter who pays is related (so I'm worried I'll end up with two headaches).

Sort of sketched out right now... think he's probably teetering on being broke but it's odd he comes up with the cash. Should I be bracing myself?
 

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Sort of sketched out right now... think he's probably teetering on being broke but it's odd he comes up with the cash. Should I be bracing myself?

absolutely!!

Chances are he will stop paying you completely.

He is already a month behind.

I would give him an N4 now.

I understand you dont want this to get confrontational, but consider this:

-with 20 years of being a LL in ontario, i see his late payment as part of a recognizable pattern. He will pay you latter and latter. The more you continue to accept his late payments without doing anything about them, the more you encourage him to pay you late.

-he will probably stop paying you soon and it will get confrontational anyway

-evicitons in ontario take several months (if all goes well for the landlord). an eviciton can take many months if contested by the tenant (who will also be advised by free "tenant duty counsel". The longer you wait to serve the N4, the longer he will end up living rent free.

I would

-Do an inspection of the apt (following the ontario rental laws to enter, found on the ontario landlord tenant board website).
-Start looking on the internet to determine the rent you will be charging for the apt.
-Prepare your advertisement.
-Visit and study the eviction process at the LTB (down loaed the erquire documents and instructions so you will have everything ready if you need it)
 

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I have had two similar circumstances where tenants started out with cheques, and than started bouncing cheques, and moved to cash. Than fall behind in their rent, and finally had to kick them out.

I am now much more stricter about rent being paid on time. If rent isn't paid on time or a cheque bounces I immediately serve them with a 10 day notice (BC Rules).

I try to be nice about it when serving the notice, especially with tenants that have been around a couple years. I explain to them that because of bad situations in the past I much more diligent about rent needing to be paid on time, and that I have bills to pay just like them and I have no doubt they will pay the rent within the 10 day period but the notice is there just as a backup.
 

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Just to clarify, you are renting out bedrooms in your house....or...a condo or house where there are 2 people renting as roommates?

Which persons name is on the lease? Or both?

I would have the N4 ready. Next time, serve it. Make sure he realizes he should stiff someone else not you, or he will be out. It has gone on for too long.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It's a split level house.

I know I should serve it but the tenant had been on layoff and now started working. I'm going to wait and see... if he's not caught up by the end of month I will serve it. But it's good to know this is a pattern of someone who is about to stop paying.

I have built up an O.K. reserve so as long as both don't stop paying I should be able to get by 4 months. It just sucks because it had been pretty good in the positive.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I ended up getting paid most of what I'm owed. I'm thinking it's better to hold out rather then serve a N4. I'm fully aware of the risks here but it seems like he genuinely wants to pay me.
 

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I ended up getting paid most of what I'm owed. I'm thinking it's better to hold out rather then serve a N4. I'm fully aware of the risks here but it seems like he genuinely wants to pay me.
Yes it would seem so. Hold off on the N4 but the VERY next time he misses a payment, you'll need to get firm right then and there. No more flexibility and explain at that point that you've already accepted late payment before and that he is out of chances.

There is absolutely NO excuse for anyone to miss their housing payments. Housing is the TOP priority of life, and you need to do everything possible to ensure the rent or mortgage payments are being made, on time, every month, forever. Even if it means using rainy day savings, LOC or CC to make the payments.
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I realized I never updated this thread. So all in all I'm glad I never served the N4. Everything worked out and the tenant is currently paying in full every month on the 15th.

I put my foot down when rent was pushing on pushing close to the 45 day mark overdue, saying that anything later was unacceptable. I told tenant we had to come to an arrangement so tenant could get caught up.

I made sure to call the tenant a few days prior to remind tenant to have the money. I sometime had to follow up quite a few times. Now tenant has been bringing it without hassle.

I guess the moral of the story is that you have to use your judgment--I sincerely felt tenant had good intentions. Had I served the N4 things might have turned sour. If you can use your people skills, do it. But probably best to serve an N4.
 

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Thanks for the update. It seems like once your tenant regained employment, you were able to get the rent again.

One time my tenant called me, she was in a situation, asking to lower the rent. (in other words: I can't make the full amount) I thought really hard. I realized at the time it was better to have someone paying rent then getting nothing. I considered my self lucky to find a tenant in 2008 that made $25/hour with job security. So I lowered the rent. To my surprise, within a month, she came back and said her situation got better, then wrote me 12 rent cheques for the full rent amount.
 
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