Anybody who has been land lording for a number of years has an abundance of stories to tell about the human drama: some humorous, some bizarre, and some defy to be categorized. Friday morning I received a call of desperation from a woman pleading for help. A tenant, on his way to work at a chicken processing facility, was ticketed for an expired inspection sticker and subsequently arrested and incarcerated in the county jail. It appeared that somebody had accused him of and charged him with stealing a seven- year- old laptop. The jailers informed me that his bail was set at $5000.- and his bail bond was $ 500.-. and that his arraignment would probably be some time next week. The situation was as novel to me as it was to my Latin tenants who have been with us for the past two years. They are very good people in our book. The family
From you writing, these people are proven, hardworking good tenants and this false accusation and minor traffic infraction (not a jail-able offense in itself) would likely prevent them from continuing to be productive, good tenants.
While I have not faced this same scenario I can hope that I would do as you have done for them. For one, it is the right thing to do and for those that do not know me, I have more than my share of tenant stories (both pro and con) so don’t think I am living in some bubble on this issue.
Second the chicken processing plant here tolerates very little and fires at the drop of a hat so imagine your tenant would have no job if he missed more than a day which means you would have no rent coming in and likely have to spend nearly as much to replace this tenant so no real loss here in my book.
Lastly you have created a good will that I believe will not soon be forgotten. This tenant will likely feel a bond with you and your property that few tenants have. You will also likely be the talk of their community and have a friend to recommend other good tenants for future vacant properties you may encounter.
I believe that most immigrants rely upon their countrymen when first starting out and this bond remains for generations. I know that when I moved to my current location I asked referals from people from my church that I knew well and respected (everything from auto repair shops to parts stores). The same is likely to be even more so when your tenants friends or co-workers ask if they know a good person to rent from.
I applaud your decision Bernd.