“The lease is the lease. If you don’t like it, don’t sign it.”
(RLFP Commissioner Hank Smith)
So… Mr. Smith, or Hank…
Hank: Please refer to me as Commissioner… it’s a title I’ve certainly earned.
Moderator: Of course, Commissioner. My apologies…
Hank: I’m never short on getting apologies, especially on the 6th of each month!
Moderator: OK… we’ll get right to it then. Some people have called you and your policies “heartless” and “ruthless”. How do you respond to that?
Hank: I have a heart and I don’t know any Ruth’s. So, “no” and “yes” is how I’d respond to that.
Moderator: I think that they mean you are unfair and aren’t very nice about it.
Hank: Well, I’d certainly take issue with that! The boys & gals at the RLFP are about as fair as it gets. If your rent is paid by the 1st, you’ll never hear a peep from us. Even if you wait until the 5th, there will be nary a word. Now when the 6th rolls around, that’s why we’re employed, my friend. We are called to spring into action. Nobody likes giving a quarter to the librarian either.
Moderator: I think part of the discontentment stems from the lack of grace on being 1 or 2 days past due and still incurring the whole late fee.
Hank: That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard! 1 or 2 days late? 1 or 2 days late is actually 6 or 7 days late! How many days do you want? 10? 15? How about 30 days? Or how about just paying whenever you feel like it? People like you are what is wrong with this country!
Moderator: Easy, Commissioner… As I’m sure you can empathize, don’t shoot the messenger.
Hank: Fair enough. Sorry about that… I get a little fired up sometimes. But, I mean, we’re already giving you a grace period of 5 days past the real due date of the 1st of the month; that’s 120 hours, 7,200 minutes, 432,000 seconds… No matter how you cut it, that’s a lot of grace! You want more grace than that, then pray to Jesus- he’ll give you all you want! But the RLFP will only give you 5 days- sorry.
Moderator: But sometimes the check gets lost in the mail and there are holidays to think of…
Hank: If you’re looking for me to defend the postal system, you’ll be waiting a long time. But why even risk mailing a check? There are so many other instant payment options out there- BillPay, direct debit, direct deposit, on-line payment, etc. I mean, if you’re hungry, you don’t need to wait for a chicken to show up on your front yard, just drive to Chick-Fil-A!
Moderator: Interesting analogy… But why do property managers and landlords want to get rich off of late fees?
Hank: Get rich? Is that a joke? Check out what kind of cars your property managers and the RLFP are driving versus what our other real estate brethren are driving (with no late fees, mind you). You need a whole lotta late fees to add up to upgrade from a Corolla to a Mercedes.
Moderator: Then why charge late fees at all?
Hank: A. I don’t charge them- I’m just enforcing the lease. B. If there is no penalty for being late, then who knows when the cows will ever come home? I mean, landlords need to make their mortgage payments at some point. Very few of them are just stuffing the rent dollars into their pockets.
Moderator: Commissioner, thank you for your time. Any last words for our audience?
Hank: Great! I’m outta here… I can’t believe they make me do this PR stuff- what a load of hogwash…
Moderator (interrupting): You’re still on the air, Hank… Any last words?
Hank: Oh… Pay your rent on time & Happy Landlording!