Velmi zajimavy komentar co mi poslal Rudy ohledne minuleho clanku. Myslim, ze to hodne trefil! Napsal to v anglictine, protoze v anglictine psychologii studoval.
What you are describing is power struggle. Tenant is trying to be in control, so are you. Not sending you rent on time is a message – nothing else. If they communicated this prior to being late it would also be a message, but a different one. You sending them invoices is also message from you to them. But the unconscious message is your anxiety. And they unconsciously know it – which gives them satisfaction. So when it comes to power, they are winning. You may deny right now the anxiety (as that is what our defenses do), but your anxiety is obvious. You sent the invoice. You stated that you ‘feel responsible to warn them’, why? From your initiative you sent them invoice, why? I am sure you have conscious justifications, but at the end you are trying to relieve your anxiety. Your mind is spending on this quite a bit of energy. You are justifying. Your mind goes into ‘invoices used to go to other employee so they can overlook the invoice, so you are trying to remind them’, why? Do you really believe that they are not aware of this? This whole thing is about you, not them. You actually wrote a blog article about this. Writing things down (journalling) is a healthy way to release anxiety by expressing feelings through a conscious transformation into a language. People that don’t know how to do that usually act out.
So back to you and your problem. The healthy thing to do is to set boundaries and be consistent. Inconsistency is the worst thing. The legal document sets the boundaries. If you allow the tenant to cross them without consequences, then it will happen again, and they will feel in power. You certainly don’t have to charge them penalty, but it is warranted as they crossed the boundary. If you don’t create a consequence, they just won a power struggle. If you charge them the penalty it will be a message that boundary crossing is unacceptable. Now, after sending them invoice with the penalty (thus another message) if they try to negotiate or basically use resources (e.g. time, their own anxiety) to ask you to forgive them, then that may be enough of a consequence for them to realize that boundary crossing is not acceptable, at which point it will be at your discretion to reduce or eliminate the penalty. If you don’t create consequence for boundary crossing, they won the power struggle and it will repeat in this or another form again.
Having said that, there is also a reason why this situation arose to begin with. Yes, they could be financially struggling and within their own insecurity having hard time admitting it and thus are in a denial in which they just ignore your invoices – thus this situation having nothing to do with you. However, you mentioned that ‘these people piss you off little bit’, so I see that you already had a power struggle between each other before and this is just a continuation of it. Something happened last time, and now they are pushing back to get control back. And it is working!