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Artful Dodger

Posted on Saturday, May 29, 2010 in Mens Clothing

Artful Dodger
Artful Dodger

Knock on the tenant’s door and bellow “Your rent is late. Cough it up.” If collecting late rent was as easy as that, then you would not need to read this article. Unfortunately, tenants with overdue rent are masters at stall tactics and filled to the brim with excuses. You need to take decisive action, maintain a paper trail, and follow through if you’re going to get the money you’re owed.

The first step to collecting late rents is to actually start collecting! Don’t just “let it slide,” or wait a few days to see if the tenant is going to come around with a check. Take action the morning of the day the rent is officially late. Otherwise, you look like a pushover, and what you really need to do is send the message that paying late is unacceptable.

One approach is to send a notice in the mail. Phone calls are too easy to dodge, and “I did not get the message” is a ripe and ready excuse. The letter should state when the rent was due, when the grace period expired, how much money is owed (regular rent plus late fee), and what further actions you will take if you don’t get the money by a certain date.

A better approach, however, is to show up at the rental property and hand deliver a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit. It’s an official written notice that the rent is late, which states the date by which you will sue for eviction if you haven’t been paid. You can find standard Notice to Pay Rent or Quit forms for free on the Internet.

Your Notice to Pay Rent or Quit has a little buddy called the Payment Pledge. These two fellows should always stick together. The tenant signs the Pledge, acknowledging that he or she received the notice. The tenant must also provide the date on which the rent will be paid and where the money will come from. Requiring the tenant to sign the Pledge provides you with proof that the tenant was made aware of the overdue rent. Plus, most people are more likely to stick to their word if it’s in writing.

Your personal visit with these two documents in hand will be enough to get most tenants in gear. Unfortunately, you may come across the occasional artful dodger. If the Payment Pledge isn’t honored, then it’s time to take the next step: suing for eviction.

Word of caution – a tenant might try to make nice and avoid going to court by offering you partial payment. Don’t do it. Accepting partial payment can very well get your eviction suit dismissed. In which case, you’re back to square one and have to file suit all over again in order to obtain the remainder of the balance.

In court, the tenant will have two choices…pay up or get out. Courts don’t particularly want to throw people out on their rear ends. Though you may be feeling utterly powerless as the unpaid rent continues to pile up, the court will view you as the more powerful party. To increase your odds of wining the suit, show the court that you gave the tenant plenty of notice and ample opportunity to catch up on the rent.

Here’s when the paper trail comes into play. Document every step you take along the way as you try to collect the overdue rent. Be sure that you’ve followed the letter of the law, as some states have laws that dictate the date that rent is due, how long the grace period must be, and how high a late fee you can charge. Take both of these steps and you’ll preclude the tenant from raising the most common defenses (“I didn’t know!” or “I tried to pay on time, but my landlord wouldn’t take the money!”) during the proceedings.

It’s great to be rid of the deadbeat tenant, but you still want your money, right? That’s why you absolutely, 100% must sue for the back rent when you sue for eviction. The court will not automatically award you back rent. You have to ask for it.

In some states you can file both suits at the same time. In other states it depends on whether or not the tenant was personally served with the summons. It’s impossible to generalize, but suffice it so say, make sure you really know the law on this one.

Now that you’ve grown a few gray hairs from reading about the worst case scenario, here’s some good news. Most of the time, taking swift action and showing up with the Notice to Pay Rent or Quit will get the rent paid. Going to court is miserable for just about everyone, and tenants want to avoid it just as much as you do. More likely than not, you’ll find yourself with the money you’re owed if you just remember three F’s: be fast, be firm, and follow through.

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What store carries Artful Dodger clothing?

I am looking for the Artful Dodger clothing line and was wondering if anyone knew of a store that carried it…
I absolutely love the clothes and because they’re so expensive, i would like to not have to pay shipping and handling to purcahse them…
ANYONE?

see there

ARTFUL DODGER – “Scream”

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