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Kicking Out the Pastor

From time to time, a landlord client of mine calls, sometimes to engage me to draft a lease, sometimes for some free guidance.

 

“Joe” needs gratis advice when he isn’t being paid by a tenant and is unsure how much of a lifeline to extend a faltering person or floundering business.  He’s a good guy, and is usually very patient, so I don’t mind helping when I can.

 

Our most recent complimentary conversation involved a storefront Joe owns. It has been used as a downtown church for about 10 years, and the rent hasn’t been forthcoming since March. While the church owes him more than $15,000, Joe’s had to pay over $6,000 in property taxes insurance.

 

Before he signed the lease with the church, I recounted for Joe a conversation I’d had with a pastor acquaintance of mine many years ago. He shared that when he first came to the mainland US to start a ministry, he rarely paid the rent on time. He’d been counseled by a congregant that it was OK to string the landlord along, as it’s considered “bad publicity” for a landlord to sue a church.


Photo by foxypar4

Joe said, “I remember when you told me not to rent to a church unless I was prepared to evict them for not paying, but I never thought it would come to that. Now I can’t afford to be so charitable.”

 

After we spoke for a while, Joe decided that he was going to meet with the pastor to demand he pay up or get out. But he felt really bad that he might “Kick a man of the cloth out on his keester.”

 

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