8 Replies Latest reply: Oct 2, 2012 6:49 PM by marym RSS

    Late payments

    New Member

      I have a guest that is 3 weeks late in making their first rental payment.  I reminded them about the 1st installment via email and was told that they would send the check sometime this past week.  I am still not in receipt of their payment.  In the meantime, I opened up that week on the Homeaway site and have since been contacted by another potential guest that wishes to book.  I sent another email to the first renter to inform her that I now have someone else interested in that week and that I would return her deposit when the new party books.


      Did I do the right thing?  I feel bad - but I do not want to get stuck at the last minute with a non paying - no show situation.  My agreement clearly stipulates the due dates for each payment.  I usually give folks some slack, but three weeks (with a reminder)  is more than enough time I believe.  Why do I feel so awful about this?  Any thoughts as how to handle this situation in the future?  Thanks!

        • Re: Late payments
          Senior Contributor

          You did the right thing, in my opinion. You have a contract that your guest agreed to and they have broken the contract by not fulfilling their portion.


          • Re: Late payments

            Yes, agree with Debj.  Three weeks late with a reminder is unacceptable.  They probably have no intention of sending you payment.  In my opinion, these are people who would most likely not respect your home if they already can't respect the contract.  You're definitely better off renting to someone else.




            • Re: Late payments
              susaninrehoboth Premier Contributor

              You are doing the right thing! I would have opened the week within a week of the payment being late.Don't feel bad. Feel smart. You are running a business. The first guest did not meet the terms of their agreement. They should be history.

              • Re: Late payments
                carol Premier Contributor

                You wrote:  "I reminded them about the 1st installment via email and was told that they would send the check sometime this past week."


                Unbelievable!  If they don't care enough to send it TODAY when they are reminded, they are not worthy of your house.  

                • Re: Late payments
                  anja Senior Contributor

                  Let's give you one more "thumbs up"!


                  That first person did not uphold their end of their agreement --- and were already in breach of contract, so early on.   It's my opinion  that people who breach the payment terms, do not respect you, and those types are not candidates for "private owner rentals". They wouldn't get away with this if they booked a motel....so why treat a private propery owner any less respectfully....?  .....because I believe that they do not perceive your business seriously...I believe that they think  you're just someone with a house to rent...not a business with contractural obligations to meet. Once, when I was confronted with the same situation, a guy who was in breach because of very late payment of a balance owed and then, instead of following up my reminder, questioned why he couldn't pay on arrival, instead -- he wanted to wiggle around the contract he signed.  And, I refunded him! These types should stay in motels.


                  Be prepared for their feedback, be it harsh, threatening or apologetic -- you should be nice and respond professionally regardless of their tone....but get your point across that they simply have to understand why they "missed their opportunity", so perhaps they'd learn to respect owners who do so much to be helpful -- but we're not to be disrespected, from the get-go.

                  • Re: Late payments
                    New Member

                    I am facing the same situation and am wondering how Homeaway property managers would respond.   I have $200 deposits for several upcoming weekends.   One of those weekends is 9 days away.  The renter paid the deposit but hasn't made the 100% payment I required 2 weeks prior to the stay, and has ignored the Paypal payment requests.


                    If I cancel her rev, what about the deposit?  


                    Similarly, I have a $200 deposit and 50% of the payment for the biggest event we have in town all year, and I have had many inquiries about that weekend (even though I show the house as having been booked).  That renter, too, is late making his final payment. 


                    I find this quite annoying and am wondering at which point you guys either charge a penalty (and would that just come out of the deposit?), cancel and refund a portion or all of the payment, or ?  


                    I don't have to worry about these parties gaining access. The house has ResortLock and codes aren't issued until full payment is received.  But I don't want to be stuck losing 50% or more of that weekend's profits.


                    I only use Paypal.  No checks.

                      • Re: Late payments
                        anja Senior Contributor

                        I am not a property manager and I do not know if there are standards for this among their trade.  By the way, there is a separate forum for Property Managers so you might want to copy/paste your post there.  Go to the top of this page, open the drop-down box where it says, Owner...and choose Property Manager. 


                        But, as a self-managed owner,  I've had a few cases of very late payments ...2 cases worked out well ...they were just slow in getting organized, they paid, they stayed and were good guests.  I always give people the benefit of the doubt, first, before I begin considering penalties.


                        But, one case I decided to cancel because the situation became unacceptable and it ended with a conversation, over the phone, and agreement to cancel!  .I felt I had to because of his verbal attack + late payment + his attempt to change the rental terms + his wish to pay on arrival instead so he could, "check the place out" first  + his wisecracking + his referring me as "you people"....[which people?].... I thought that was "enough" disrespect prior to arrival, along with his contract breach.  His speak was peppered with too many "four letter" words. [Gee, he was so polite when he inquired.]  I told him he was not only breaching contract but disrespectful to me, he was making it harder for me to hand over my keys, and I'd perfer to send him a refund for the deposit....he replied, "Fine!".  He agreed...so done deal!   I can tolerate a lot, but not personal disrespect.  


                        In all cases, I phoned the people for a well-meaning conversation to hear if they were still interested in keeping the reservation. Sometimes life gets in the way of keeping to commitments and I found out that two of my late payers had some serious issues consuming them....they appreciated my call and they paid quickly. 


                        I would always phone the guest(s) first before deciding (with their knowledge) what the next move should / would  be....follow it up with an email reiterating the conversation's outcome....and requesting their email response.  I wouldn't take the chance of cancelling anyone or claiming to keep any monies without a conversation...{we don't know who we're dealing with in reality...it could backfire on us --- threats, maybe a lawsuit} ....even if they never would or could follow through I don't want the aggravation people can bring  to my "peace".   I think it's in my interest and the guests' interest to work it out,  to come to terms.   I'd get their acknowledgement and agreement to any consequences, even to a cancellation if it came to that. Some people will insist on the stay taking place --- some people can become very indignant and arrogant if they think that they are being deprived something....even if it was they who were in breach of a rental agreement. That's when I'd speak to an attorney..There are laws covering breach of contracts, tenant laws, and there are many variances to handling these matters that an attorney can help with, if push ever comes to shove.  But, personsally, I don't think it should ever have to....I think a well-meaning conversation can usually fix the problem of late payers.  I am so not into arguing or "the fight" with guests.   But...I will never, ever stand for any disrespect to me, or mine...and I will stand my ground and fight it if the push ever came to shove, by anyone ...breach of a contract does have strength.,,, according to my attorney.

                      • Re: Late payments
                        Active Contributor

                        I had a similar situation with a guest who had stayed with us twice previously.  I sent out a lease and waited 6 weeks for a signed lease and the first 1/2 of the rental.  I sent 2 e-mail reminders. Each time he told me "the check would be in the mail."   Finally, I'd had enough and told him we were withdrawing our offer to rent and advertising the week as "available" again.  Well, you would of thought I'd committed some sort of major offense - he was angry at me for "spoiling" his vacation, that all his family members had made arrangements to be there for that week!  I felt bad....for about 2 seconds.  It was in March, he'd be able to book another rental, and I bet that owner wouldn't wait 6 weeks either...and I'll bet he paid more!  I have now included a line on my contracts that say the terms of this lease represent an offer to rent which will expire 15 days from the date of mailing. It's a business and I'm going to treat it like one, and I expect nothing less from my guests, I guess.