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There will come a time when a current tenant may fall seriously behind or owe you for something due under the lease, such as an accumulated water bill, a bounced security deposit check or some damages they did to the premises. A promissory note is simply an agreement when one party agrees to pay another party a particular past due sum or currently due sum on a particular date or dates.
Some recommend that a promissory note should be used only with a past or departing tenant owes you money and desires to pay you on a certain date or dates according to the payment arrangement spelled out on the promissory note. These people also recommend never using such an arrangement with a current tenant. The tenant may vacate owing you past due rent, late charges, unpaid utility bills or anything owed under the terms of the lease This Note will memorialize the debt in writing and can be used later if the past tenant defaults, and you wish to pursue the debt.
These same people recommend that a promissory note should not be used with a current tenant who owes you money. They point out that unless the promissory note clearly states that the amount is rent due under the terms of the lease, the landlord may have unwittingly converted past due rent into simply a monetary obligation for which he will not be able to evict the tenant using a Statutory Notice Period. Also suppose the tenant fails to make a payment, what is owed: the full balance all at once; or only that missed payment? This matter may be clarified by an acceleration clause in both the lease and the Note.
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