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Rent Collection: What to Do When Your Tenant Doesn't Pay

System - Monday, October 31, 2022

Renting out a property means regular passive income. Unfortunately, it's not always a guarantee. Sometimes tenants don't or can't pay the rent, and that can mean financial issues for you.

There are a few options for late rent, such as a simple mistake where they forget to pay. In that case, the solution is over rather quickly. But other times, lack of rent collection is a more serious issue.

Tenants might not have the money, or they might be refusing to pay rent. In that case, what does a landlord do? Here is a quick guide for when a tenant doesn't pay rent.

Send a Late Notice

After the grace period, send the tenant a late rent notice. This will notify them that rent is past-due and will warn them of further legal action if it's not paid. The notice should also include any late fees that need to be paid along with rent.

Deliver the notice in person or via email. You can also tape it to the door or slide it into the unit so the tenant can't miss it. If you do need to pursue further action, this document will show that you started the proceedings.

Call Your Tenant

Next, you'll want to call the tenant. After sending the late notice, give them a call. You can notify them of the late notice and explain what payments are due. The tenant may also be able to explain the reasons why payment is late.

In some cases, you may be able to work something out and not have to take further steps. However, if you can't, don't continue to call the tenant, as this can be construed as harassment.

Pay or Quit Notice

If there's no response to the late notice, you should send a pay or quit notice. This is the first step for eviction and is much more serious and official than a late notice.

The tenant will know that you're serious about the intent to evict. The notice should include how much money you're owed, including fees, and the deadline to pay this amount.

Take Legal Action

If the previous steps don't work, you might have to take legal action. You should hire an eviction lawyer and file a complaint in court. You'll have to complete the paperwork and get a date for the hearing before taking the tenant to court.

In many states, you can't evict a tenant until court proceedings have ended. Unfortunately, this process can last a few months. But having everything documented can only help you in court, and you should be able to get what's owed to you.

Make Rent Collection Easy

Paying rent is fundamental, but sometimes it doesn't go as planned. Sometimes tenants might not be able to pay or may forget to pay. But that doesn't mean you should go without your money.

As a landlord, you have a few options for rent collection if the payments are late, forgotten, or refused to be paid. Knowing the process will save you time and stress and ensure you get the money you're owed.

Want to make the landlord process easier? Property management can maximize your rental process. Contact us to discuss managing your properties.