I own a duplex, live in half, and rent out the other half to college students. I have just made a mistake that cost me $750.
One of my tenants was late paying her rent. I'd thought it was still late, but she informed me that she put it (roughly $750 in cash) in my mailbox while I was out of town for three weeks. She claims she told me that she was doing so, but she did not. (I certainly would have asked her not to!) Anyway, the money was not there when I returned and I am out $750.
One lesson I have learned is to insist on either a check or cash payment in person. (And, to not let late payments slide for some reason.) But in the meantime, I am out $750 and I have to decide what to do about it. I see at least three options:
Eat the loss. Annoying, although I can afford it.
Say that I never received the rent and insist on its payment.
Report the theft of $750 to my home insurer. (I am not sure if they would pay such a claim, or if my premiums would go up.)
I am guessing that I am stuck with (1) but I am wondering if (2), (3), or something else might be a realistic option? (I might add that I'm not prepared to go to court.)
Update. Thanks to everyone for their responses. After reading here, and also getting advice from a local property management company, I decided to ask for the payment in full, but say that I don't need it right away. We haven't made arrangements yet, but my tenant has acknowledged responsibility and it seems that I've avoided burning any bridges.
I also hired the property management company. I am leaving town for six months next year, so this was about to become a necessity soon anyway, but I immediately realized that for someone as scatterbrained as me their services are a godsend and I should have hired them long ago. This situation never would have occured if I'd done so. I've made it clear that keeping the tenants happy and maintaining the property in good condition are my first priorities, and that I will be backing these claims up with my pocketbook.