The Dreaded late night call
If our phone rings after 10:00 P.M. my heart starts pounding. I've never had a good call after 10:00 P.M. It means that there is a family tragedy, work is having troubles and wants help or there is a problem with a rental. Two nights ago, the phone rang at 10:15 and it turned out to be a renter telling me that he got his rent check back because of an issue with the address and that he fixed the address and put it in the mail. Even though the rent would be a day late, I'm okay with it because he called. The call makes everything better. Last night I had all the rents collected but one so I called the tenants and told them I hadn't received their rent yet. I usually tell them that if it is post marked that same day or the next, I wouldn't charge a late fee. That almost always gets the check mailed quickly and I look like the good guy. I didn't say it this time because this tenant had never been late before. They called me tonight and said they found the check between the fridge and the wall and they mailed it. Once again, the call made it all better. I don't mind these calls. Over the years, I've only had a few calls that woke me up and I didn't have an answer right away. I don't think well on my feet or when I first wake up so I just tell them I need to think for a minute and will call them right back. Anymore, I'll ask them what they would like me to do and it is always less than I was planning to do. Most of the time they are just telling me that there is a problem for example a drain that is plugged and they are willing to wait until tomorrow for a plumber. In 20+ years, I've never had a tenant yell at me to get a plumber here NOW! With only a couple of exceptions, I've always had decent, respectful and reasonable tenants. I believe this is the benefit of careful screening. This will be a post for another day.