Yesterday was a day for the record books for me. You'd think that getting news that your tenant can't pay you would be the most eventful thing of the day. Long term it was probably the worst news I had, but there was some definite competition. I'll leave the details of the rest as a tease for now. Let's leave as easily the biggest roller-coaster of good and bad things to happen to me in one day.
Back to the tenant... She called asking if I had a minute to talk. Since I was knee-deep in solving another crisis, I responded with "Literally a minute." Then she drops the bomb... "I just got laid off and I can't pay you..." She started going in to the specifics on how she can't pay April's rent (I was expecting that April's rent was just taking it's customary long route through the mail), May's rent, etc. I came very, very close to saying, "That's okay, just dip into your emergency fund." My brain often thinks in sarcasm. Fortunately, I often have a little voice to censor it at inappropriate times.
She continued saying that she called because she wanted to be open with it. I told her I appreciated it. Then my minute was up. I had to attend the other crisis. I left it as, "Let's let the dust settle for two days. Neither of us are in a position to make any great decisions at this minute. Things will look different, hopefully better, in 48 hours."
So that's where it stands now. One of my best friends is a real estate lawyer in Boston. My first step is to consult with him. Her lease ends in June and I have a month's rent in escrow - so it might not be worth beginning the eviction process. I really don't know what that is, but I'm thinking after two years of a great relationship with this tenant, I might not even want to think to go down that road. The other possibility is an intriguing one. The same real estate lawyer has occasionally mentioned how he could use a little help with his paperwork. My tenant did exactly that for a large law firm. If he still has the opening, he fills that position, she gets a job, I get my rent paid, all three of us do a little dance.
It's almost too perfect to work out that way, isn't it?
34 Responses to “My Tenant: “I’ve Lost My Job and I Can’t Pay You…””
Next: Topsy-Turvy Tuesday