The Craziest Tenant Excuses for Not Paying the Rent

The dog ate the rent

Paying the rent each and every month. It is not like you, as the landlord, are asking that much. You just want the rent to show up on time. But it is amazing the excuses that a renter can come up with when it comes time to cough up the rent.

We would like to share some of the funniest tenant excuses for not paying the rent that we have heard. Though delinquent rent is never a laughing matter, we hope that a few of these will bring a smile to your face and make you glad for the tenants that you do have.


 “I thought the lease said we don’t have to pay rent if we are not in the apartment. We have been on vacation for the last month.”

– When I heard that one, the first thought that went through my head was “Wow, we should include that term in our lease… Not!”


 “I spent the money on my kid’s graduation. I thought that was much more important.”

– Hmmm, party balloons and cake or a roof over my kid’s head. What to choose?


 “My last landlord didn’t seem to mind if we were late with the rent.”

– Really? If that is the case, why didn’t you just stay there?


Here is one that I read recently and wanted to share:

 “My wallet with the cash for the rent fell out of my back pocket while I was on my way home from work on my motorcycle.”

– It must be true because who could make that kind of story up. By the way, “The rent’s still due.


 “My granny just died and as soon as I get my inheritance, I’ll pay the rent for the next 3 months.”

– Well, at least they loved their granny – or so we hope.


 “Oh no, I accidentally mailed the rent to the old landlord! I hope he sends it back especially since we did owe him back rent.”

– Sometimes it is just easier to file for an eviction.


 “The banks are always closed by the time I get out of work so I can’t get the money out of my account.”

– Really? Seriously? Have you heard of an ATM card or maybe a check?


 “How many more days do I have until I get evicted?”

– I answered, “Until tomorrow.


 “I am waiting for my unemployment check.”

– I have to say that has been the scariest statement yet. Nothing puts the fear of God in a landlord than unemployment during winter. Try evicting someone and their kids when it is 15 degrees outside.


 “We are planning on moving.We will pay you when we move out.”

– Right. How about you pay me now.


 “I had the rent but because you didn’t come and get it, I spent it”

– I sent them another copy of the lease agreement and highlighted when the rent is due and where to send it.

Yes, one of the joys of owing rental properties is handling tenant excuses. If you fear that you cannot deal with another creative excuse, one easy solution is to hand over the problem to a qualified property management company. Not only will they deal with your tenants for you, but your checks from us will always be on time and without an excuse.

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