Landord Ethical Dilemma




I recently started a company called Sage Leasing LLC and turned my Stonegate home located in Parker Colorado into a rental property. Finding a renter was easy as demand for rentals in Parker is strong. The couple that we found has a six year old boy and a small dog. The family signed a two year lease and just recently completed their first year. They have been excellent renters. Each time I go over, all of my Stonegate Sage Leasing rentals look spectacular and this family has always paid their rent on time.

On February 4, 2013, I received notification from the wife that her husband had been admitted into the Parker Adventist Hospital and they were not sure what was wrong. Almost every day I have been receiving updates on his medical condition. After about two weeks he is still in an induced comma with a blood count around 27k. I'm not a medical person; however, I'm told that normal is around 12k. I was also informed that he has started to breathe on his own gain, which is very positive.

To show support my wife and made and delivered a meal. When delivering the meal a family member asked what the monthly rent was. I told her and she seemed a bit surprised at the amount. She then explained that they were planning to make the next month's rent payment so the family did not have anything to worry about. I said, "ok".

Around the two week mark, the wife texted me to ask if they could use the deposit for the next month's rent. I talked about it with my wife and then responded with a yes. I added a caveat that we would like to see the deposit replenished once things get back to normal. She seemed thankful for our willingness to work with them.

Shortly after two weeks had passed, I receive this exact text from the wife, "Would u ask ur church if they would be willing to make a donation to our family to help w/our daily needs and medical expenses? God is love & he helps those in need. Thank u". At first I'm a little taken back. Do they not have insurance? Do they have zero margin in their life that they need assistance for day-to-day living expenses after just two weeks? As a result, I respond back the following message, "Our church can help or guide you to the right places depending on your needs. I'm actually on the team that makes these decisions. Perhaps we should meet to go over your financial situation". She immediately responds back, "Thank u. I have already done that. Just need resources through the transition. Organized finances & have tons of resources to receive aid" Note that the time between all of these texts was about two hours.

After receiving the aforementioned texts, I'm concerned. As a result, I told her I still wanted to meet or talk over the phone to discuss her financial situation. At that point, she stops communicating with me and the daily status updates cease completely. So here I am wondering - what should I do? They can't pay rent and they are not communicating. The husband is in serious critical condition and the family appears to be angry that I'm not being more sensitive. This is where I'm at in the story - I will post part II as I figure things out. That said, you can clearly see that this is a serious ethical dilemma. The family is in chaos and it appears I'm not going to be receiving any more rent payments for the foreseeable future. What would you do in this situation if you own and operated Sage Leasing?