Top Oddball Excuses Landlords Hear When Tenants Don’t Pay the Rent


Stop Making Excuses

Excuses, excuses. They didn’t work in school. They didn’t go over well with the parents. They don’t fly at work, and they certainly aren’t gonna make a bit of difference to your landlord.

A survey in Scotland came up with a top ten list of crazy excuses tenants have given as to why they couldn’t pay the rent. You can read the full story for the entire list, but I’ve chosen to share my three personal favorites with you.

“I have a phobia about touching my checkbook.”

Phobias come in all shapes and sizes. I’m not going to argue anyone’s issues, because I’ve got some doozies of my own. I won’t go into detail, but if you wanna watch a grown woman pass out, put a Popsicle stick or wooden spoon in my hand.

This tenant may have legitimately had a phobia connected to germs that hindered her from paying the rent.  Or maybe it was a fear of bouncing things, like checks.

“My pet died and I have to pay the funeral costs.”

I totally get this one. When my sweet kitty Ti-Jo passed when I was in college, I wore black for a month. My parents wouldn’t let me get him stuffed, so I did the next best thing so he could stay with me forever and had him cremated. Although I did not hold a funeral per se, I definitely broke the bank with the memorial shrine, antique fur holder, professionally framed pictures, hand-painted sweatshirt, and cedar engraved urn that I purchased.

So I’m certain if this tenant’s pet really did die, and she cared for it in the least, she spent a good deal of money memorializing it and truly couldn’t pay the rent. Side note – shoot me a message if you want an extended laugh about the engraving on my cat’s urn, and why it may have cost more than typical engravings.

“The money fell out of my pocket.”

Unless you purchased them in the 80’s, gone are the days of the “Mom jeans.” Since many of us refused to succumb to the horror of  wearing them, denim companies had no other choice but to respond. Sadly, they did so by designing jeans for 40 year olds the same as my 4 year olds. Not only do they barely cover our “assets,” but the slit in front formerly known as a pocket no longer exists. Instead, in its place is a seam that looks like it should be able to hold my Chapstick, but is really only a decorative stitch at most that is clearly only there to accentuate my child-bearing hips.

So yes, I absolutely believe this tenant lost the rent money so long as she is a woman, a Mother, and not wearing Jordache.

So there you have it – my top three of the survey that took place in Scotland. Your thoughts? Are you a landlord that has heard a good one or two? If so, please share below!

3 comments
Jon Imhoff
Jon Imhoff

Twenty years ago I was unable to pay my rent when my employer's check bounced. They did eventually make good on it. Another time my employer ceased operations on payday, but I was still able to pay the rent.

Tara Wright
Tara Wright

How about my paycheck was messed up this pay period but should be fixed by my next check!! I think that would be a good one. Not that I have used that one or anything, just helping the fellow readers out in case they need some more excuses :)