Question for Frank

Good day Frank. I believe I already know the options available to me concerning my question to follow but I would like your opinion, and any other BB owners w\ experience, as to how you have handled this in the past. I recently leased a billboard to a client and received the 1st months lease payment, vinyl costs and installation fee. The client signed a 6 month lease @ $350 per mo. I just learned yesterday that the store owner is closing her doors because of the economy. My client on the sign stated she is in negotiation w/ another business owner to purchase her store and they are at about 80% in completing the deal.

Obviously, there are many scenarios that can take place here from the 2nd business owner actually completing the deal to purchase my clients store and I strike a deal with the new owner to sign a new lease and leave the sign up and all is well. Then of course the deal could take months to complete or never happen at all.

The question I would like a second opinion on is this… What type of recourse do I have in collecting the 5 months lease payments from the original client other than taking her to court? I do not see any other option but honestly I do not really want to take her to court for various reasons some of which are: Lawyer fee’s would eat up most of the money I would collect even if I win. Second, the client has no money because she has not paid me, nor other vendors in the past 2 weeks I learned.

I will contact the potential buyer on Monday and see if he would be interested in leasing the space if he purchases her business. If he is not interested then I am planning on removing the advertisement right away and look for a new client. I have had a good track record w/ the space so I should be able to lease it again within 2 weeks I am quite sure.

So any tips on how to collect on the 5 months lease other than court? A follow up question too… in general how did you handle non-paying and also slow payers when you were in the business? With non payers I am sure it depended on how much was left on the lease and the amount of the lease payment?

Thanks for the advice.