It is strange how unusual comments said by random people stick with you. You don’t know why, and you barely remember the face of the person who said it, but you remember the sentence perfectly.

In this particular instance, the sentence was uttered by a character out of a 2007 film. It was the landlord, or slumlord in this case, reminding a young character that there are responsibilities that he must mantain.

It’s a free country, but not a rent-free country.

It is a truth that Empire sometimes has to remind tenants of, though certainly in different words and with more tact. There is no such thing as a free lunch; they must pay the rent.

The new year is approaching quickly. Many look forward with apprehension and a feeling of awe. Time passes at the speed of light, and 2019 is arriving long before any of us were ready for it. Here at Empire, we look forward with an apprehension that verges on dread.

January 1st is not merely the first day of a new year. It is the occasion of the rent becoming due, and only six days after Christmas.

We have late payments every month. Even some seventy-two-hour notices, ranging normally in the single digits. Even the best tenant does occasionally get behind; life happens. However, Christmas is different.

Almost every tenant just spent the last month shopping for the gifts to fill the vacant space under the tree. It is easy to get a little carried away and forget that the roof over your head is far more important than the lovely wrapped boxes that are starting to accumulate.

The number of seventy-two-hour notices issued skyrockets in January. Tenants are running slightly behind financially, struggling after the holiday sales. Empire is compelled to remind them:

It’s a free country, but not a rent-free country.

Our owners can rest easy and enjoy their month of holiday cooking, and the guilty feeling that comes with stealing just one more candy cane off the tree. Empire will always have your back.

Happy Landlording!