The moment we met, I saw the makings of a long-term relationship. (1)
We started strong in August 2006. (2)
And as often as I could, I would text her, find out how her family was, pray that they were safe in their home during the big storms.
I brought gifts for her and the family during the holidays.

Goodbye old one, a new one is coming.
Goodbye. Gone like bula.

But along the way, we encountered challenges. (3)
I felt she was not committed. She felt I was not being understanding.
I felt I gave all the patience I had. She felt she deserved more.

Along the way, it was getting harder to communicate with her.
She was starting to come up with so many excuses.
I was getting tired. She was increasingly difficult to deal with.

In 2007, I wanted to break-up. (4)
She was enraged! She said it was unfair.
She appealed. Said she’ll do better.
She would raise her voice at me one minute, and then beg for my understanding the next minute.
I gave in, gave it another chance. (5)
The truth was, I wanted her to stay.
Maybe we just needed the wake-up call.

Things improved after that initial storm.
She stayed committed … for a few months. (6)
And then it happened again. She backed-up on her commitments.
At one point, she pulled the rug right from under me — blatantly walking away from her commitment. (7)
She claimed she was good with her commitment.
But the fact is, for almost the entire 5 years, she was never ever on time with our agreed dates. (8)

For the last 5 months, I knew it was over. (9)
She totally disregarded our dates.
She totally disregarded her commitments.
I couldn’t contact her. She didn’t contact me.
This has got to end.

Today, I visited her in Cavite.
When I reached the house, I was surprised to see a shirtless man in shorts.
I greeted him: “Magandang Umaga. Ako si Edwin. Hinahanap ko po si Jen-Jen.”
He recognized my name. He hurried inside, called for Jen-Jen.

The moment our eyes met, I could feel the tension between us, despite the courtesies.
She led me to the sala while she fixed herself. She was absolutely surprised with my visit.
She tried to settle down, as the shirtless man watched the drama unfolding.
After my long silence, interrupted by her random un-solicited excuses, I raised my hand to keep her quiet and then broke the news:

“Jen-Jen, it has been 5 years of lack of commitment. It has been 5 months of zero commitment.
This has happened before and you know how it goes.
You have not paid your rent. I’ve given you enough leeway.
I am rescinding our rent-to-own contract.

I shall furnish you the eviction notice.
It’s time for you to move out of my house.
” (10)

(1) Jen-Jen (not her real name) was the first tenant-buyer I dealt with in my rent-to-own real estate business. She is a mother of 3 daughters, married to a seaman OFW (the shirtless man in the story).
(2) We signed a Lease-Purchase Agreement in August 2006.
(3) Within a few months, she fell behind with her cash payments.
(4) By January 2007, her total unpaid dues reached P23,500 overdue for as much as 4 months. I issued notices of overdue payments, and eventually an eviction notice.
(5) With the help of the homeowner’s association President, my tenant-buyer and I reached an amicable settlement. She continued on to stay in my house.
(6) Part of the settlement was for her to issue post-dated cheques. Indeed she issued cheques. But just a few months later, her account lacked funds for the current cheque.
(7) She immediately withdrew all her money from her checking account. The current cheque bounced. The rest of the cheques were invalid because her checking account was closed. She reverted to cash payments.
(8) She was almost never on-time with her payments. There was always at least one month behind with her payments.
(9) In August 2011, she failed to make a payment (My account was promptly closed by the bank on the month that she did not make a payment). That was it. She never made another payment since then. She never contacted me to make a payment.

And, by the way, my defaulting tenant also has arrears with the homeowner’s association — zero payments since June 2007.

(10) Today, I issued an eviction notice to my defaulting tenant.
I gave her two weeks to vacate the premises.
The current homeowner’s association president has been kind enough to mediate, ensure the peace and assist in vacating the premises.


Key message

This is what happens when a tenant-buyer is not committed to the agreements.
In this world, there are reasons and there are results. Reasons don’t count. Only results matter.


Among all my tenant-buyers, I learned the most from Jen-Jen — the most difficult to deal with.
Because of my experiences with Jen-Jen, I was able to update my contracts to prevent any unfair practices, I learned to negotiate, I learned to be patient and persistent. I even learned to let go at certain points and just allow.

Thank you Lord for all the lessons I learned from Jen-Jen.  

Now I’m honoring my worth, honoring the value that I give to the universe through my real-estate business. There are many other tenant-buyers who are very much committed to purchasing their home.

I will be more selective this time of my tenant-buyers: Character is foremost (based on gut), Commitment comes as a close second.

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