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Non/Slow paying renter's information...

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by topsites, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Say you have this situation with a renter, did not know they were renters until after the fact, now have a problem with insufficient / incorrect information (such as name first / last)... I have to have this information to start processing the issue into collections, without it I might as well not even bother.

    In my case, I can always look up the owner by the address, we have this advantage with the county web site, it lists this much and further owner contact information as well...

    Would you, or have you, contacted the owner in an attempt to obtain such information?
    If so, is this advisable and successful, perhaps with a short polite letter?
  2. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 820

    I would contact the landlord, the renters might have an agreement for lower rent if they handle the maintenance.He should definetly have security deposit 1 1/2 months worth.Its worth a shot at that angle, also as well as there proper identity. Dont know the legality, just the first thought that came to mind.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I gave this a lot of thought and I don't think it's such a good idea anymore :laugh:

    I drove past their house again and made sure to get the address some kind of way, wrote it down, went back home...
    Turns out I had it wrong, that right there resolved about half the problem, the rest I'll deal with.
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I learned this lesson many years ago... with me, Renters pay in advance. Renters are a risk unless they pay in full and in advance.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Understood, but how do you know for sure?
    With some to most I can check this out, but I don't always remember to do it and I don't think it's cool to ask, thou it might be ok.

    But yeah, it's something I'm starting with any (small) 1-time jobs and renters, both of those are risky, I have an easier time with folks who are moving thou those would appear risky as well, I usually get paid there. A good half the time it's almost like lawn condition, too, those lawns that don't look like all that = low priority = watch out.

    The only other trick I know is to drive past early afternoon, say 3 p.m. or so, open up their mailbox and look at some of their mail to get the info. Some might say it's interfering with postal delivery service but it's not, however it is not something I enjoy doing to be sure (but it works), just look at the address printed on the envelopes then make sure to put it all back undisturbed (and of course unopened).

    Yeah, get paid in advance is the ticket, I have to agree.
  6. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    I strongly suggest you stay out of your customers mail boxes, and you should always assume you are being watched when you are working. Just come out and ask. You have a right to know who owns the property you are providing a service to. I just say when meeting the people... For my records I need the name and contact information from the property owners are you the propertys owners or do you rent? Don't be afraid to ask just politely state, for exhample.

    1) are you the homeowner or do you lease this property?.
    2) due to previous experience if you are not the home owner I require a deposit before any work is performed,
    3) are you the home owner?
    4) for "obvious reasons I require immediate payment from tenants or lessees are you the home owner?

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 834

    With the professional scammer, they'll even remove the house number or deface it. To accurately get the info, record the addresses of all the immediate neighbors. Then go to the town and look at the tax map. That will give you a block and lot number. With that, you can look up the correct address and the owners info. You might have to go to the county land office as well.
  8. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,834

    Ya,I hear ya, but at some point you just gotta kick back and ask yourself is it worth the bother to do that degree of foot work. I wouldn't.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I tell you from here on out, 1st time / off-season / 1-time / crap work / red flag = advance payment.

    At least we're on the same channel, when someone doesn't pay that to me's fighting words, there's not much I can't or won't do in an attempt to get paid, I need the customer's information and that is all I'm after and I don't care who is watching or talking.
    I'm not opening it, I am not permanently removing it, all I want is what should be a matter of public record.

    I dislike looking at mail, but the info is on there, and as a last resort I will do what I must do to get paid, it's not that far off from showing up when they're having a party. I'll have to check into postal regulations, and I suppose in a technical way it goes against that, but also technically it's only against the law to INTERFERE with delivery (translation: disrupt!).

    I like asking, but what if they're deceptive, what if they lie?
    Because with these jokers once it starts it never ends, one after the other they come.

    I'm a firm believer that chasing all deadbeats reduces future happenings of this nature, as for the worth of it, I think it's all about the same in the end, one way or the other it costs. Being that the consumer absorbs this cost in the end, I find it fair that the deadbeat pay for most of it.

    But chase I do, I got paid the first time a few days ago from someone who stiffed me a long time ago (over a year, at least). I tell you I was surprised at how good that felt, that satisfaction is something I had to experience at least once, it really made up for the bs...
    I am so ready to experience that feeling again.

    Some never will pay, but on their credit record the event rests, this I can tolerate, the anger that results from someone who assumes that there's nothing I can do (and that is really why they stiff me) is just more than I can handle.
  10. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,547

    I charge everyone in advance, renter or not. I just dont understand how you can have the wrong address and blame the customer. How did you get there to do the estimate, or send a bill?

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