Last night, I had the ugliest confrontation with a tenant that I have ever had.
A woman lived in our mobile home park and was always late with her rent. She would be 2 or 3 months past due and would not communicate with us. When she did communicate with us she disputed my records and was angry with me for charging her late fees.
An example: Last year she didnâ€™t pay June lot rent. I mailed her an invoice for the rent plus a late fee. She called me and was upset, saying that she had paid the rent and had a money order receipt to prove it. I said bring it in.
She brought in the receipt. It was dated for June of an entirely different year.
In January we hired a lawyer to evict her. She came to us and said she had a place to move to and that she would sell her home and pay us all that she owed us from the proceeds of the sale.
We agreed to that and called off the eviction proceedings. We were just thrilled at the idea of getting rid of her.
It took her six months to sell her home. In the meantime she lived rent-free, hassle-free on our property. I tried to help her sell her home by referring people to her.
She finally sold the home and instead of paying us what she owed, she started giving us the run around.
She would tell me that sheâ€™s coming to the office but then she wouldnâ€™t show. I knocked on her door. She was too ill to come to the door. The husband complained that I was never in when they came to the office. I said, “I’m here now. I’m coming to you.” He said they would settle up with us “tomorrow or the next day.” It was always tomorrow or the next day.
Last night, they were packing up their vehicles and moving out. I became the Bad Guy for showing up and asking for the rent they owed. They became extremely rude and belligerent toward me. Have you ever had four adults scream insults at you at the same time? I now have.
The husband and the son threatened me with physical violence.
I got $1,100 out of them (they owed $1,800). They would not take a hand-written receipt. I write hand-written receipts often if Iâ€™m away from the computer. There never has been a problem with hand-written receipts. They insisted that I drive back to the office (over a mile away) and make them a computer printed receipt.
We lost control of the situation. After she sold her home and was about to drive out, the woman was able to dictate how much she would pay us and what kind of receipt she would accept.
I never want to go through that again. What could I have done differently? Looking back, we should have gone ahead with the eviction in January. When things got heated, maybe I should have left and returned with a police officer.
What do you think?