Dear Tenant, Love Landlord: Dear Landlord, Love Tenant

Here is an email exchange sent to us from a reader, and if this doesn’t put a laugh in your belly for this Friday, nothing will.

Dear Tenant,

For the last couple of months (April and May), your rent checks have been short by ten cents.

Your rent is $1,984.42, not $1,984.32.

Please issue new check for $1,984.42, and include the additional ten cents for the month of April, for a total of $1,984.52.

Upon receipt, [landlord] will return your May check of $1,984.32.

Any questions, do not hesitate to email or call me.


[landlord representative]

Tenant reply:

Dear [landlord],

Please tell [the landlord] to keep the rent check (which, as always was 2 days EARLY by the way) and I am going to be super generous and give her a WHOLE quarter ($0.25) in her mailbox. That should suffice.




Dear [Tenant]

THANKS FOR YOUR GENEROSITY BUT JUST GIVE [landlord] 20 CENTS. And next month, please provide a CORRECT amount for the rent.

Thank you.

And the kicker…

[Landlord] left an envelope at my door containing 5 cents change!


7 thoughts on “Dear Tenant, Love Landlord: Dear Landlord, Love Tenant

  1. landlord lawyers will remind you not to accept too little or too much rent b/c of the potential for a seeminly tacit agreement or the basing of a rent increase on an incorrect number. as we know an incorrect basis could end up negating years’ worth of rent increases and necessitate a return of this money to the tenant-with the potential for treble damages thrown in for bad measure.

  2. yeah, it’s funny in a sad way. I wouldn’t take the check either. SF landlords can’t screw up, even by .01 cents. Otherwise it’s off to court you go. I always told my tenants, look I’m cool and I don’t want to make a fuss….. but little things require a formal, legally defensible response, because SF regulates small property landlords so tightly. So know that I understand it’s silly, but that I have to play by very strict rules.

  3. I would not call it “classic”. I would call it lame and wasting the time of at least two people. Would you pull that shit with a credit card company?

  4. So a note for the landlords. Don’t use something like 1984.42 for rent. Nobody is going to mess up 1980.00.

  5. John, I somewhat disagree.

    If rent is 1800 – and the LAW tells you to raise by 2.16%, rounding down to the cent, then it’s $1838.88 for the next year.

    It’s ILLEGAL to round up to 1839, and it’s unreasonable to ask the landlord to round down to 1830 – because this number will be the basis for next year raise of 1.87%.

    So the legal way is 1800 then 1838.88 then 1873.26

    The easy way would be 1800 then 1839 then 1873

    the super easy unreasonable way would be 1800 then 1830 then 1860

    true – there is only $13 of monthly loss after 2 years – but in a STUPID STUPID system of rent control … the landlord MUST raise as much as possible.. because in 20years, it’ll still be 70% under market value, so there is no reason to make it 80% under market value just to make it easy for the tenant.

    As for the tenant who was not happy writing down the 58 words on the check … I’d like to remind people that nobody is required to actually write a check. BillPay, ePay and other electronic payements are just for that: printing a check on a set date…. and it even pays while you are in vacation, in hospital, or just too busy to remember to pay – and if you want a full controle, you can set a manual payment with reminder: you get an electronic reminder to pay, and you decide the exact 6hours window to make your payment ;-)

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