Treat them way you’d want to be treated

De ar Dave,

I have tenants who have be en per fect in pa yi ng re nt on tim eforalm ostayear. Las t mon th, the woman lost her job, and when I went to coll ect the rent the other day, she said she didn’t have any mon ey. I’m pretty suretheyusedpartof it for acarpaymentand the electricbill, an dIknowthe y need these things . Still, I’m tor n ov erhow tohan dlethisand how lenient to be.

Alex De ar A lex,

You’re right , what they spe nt the mone y on wer e thing s the y nee de d. At the sa me time, the y probably knew the rent was due and when it was due. Since you know about thei r situa tion, and you’re thei r land lord, it might be a good idea to of fer to try and for mulate a plan that wou ld help themgetthr ough this tough time.

If it wer e me , I’d s it dow n with them and make a bud- get and list of prior it ie s. Fo od comes first, water and electr ic - ityafter that,the nrent,and f i na l ly the c ar. G et i nto t heir busine ss a litt le , an d fi nd out wh atelseisgoi ng on intheir live s. You hav e to be fair an d firm to be a qu alit y land lord.

I’d be willing tocutthe m som e slack if t hey ’re coope ra- tive and honest ly have to cho ose between feeding thei r kids and pay ing me. But if the y in sist on misb eha v ing w ith thei r mone y or having par tie s on the weekend,

I’d have no problem telling them to findanothe rplace to li ve.

The bigges t thing is to treat t he m th e way you would want to be treated if t he ro les we re re ver se d. I th in k mos t peop le wa nttodo what’srig ht, bu t youwantto feel goo dabou t ex te nd ing mercy wh en , and if , it’s appropriate .


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