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What Should I Do When My Tenant’s Rent is Late?

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenThere are multiple things you can do to motivate your tenant to pay rent payments on time as a property owner or landlord. But there will be times a tenant will still make late payments or miss rent payments altogether. In these kinds of situations, it is best to know how to manage them. For multiple landlords, establishing a step-by-step procedure is a way to make certain that their response is both well-timed and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the first and most crucial things you can do as a Sudden Valley property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. The best ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Being in touch with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and more frequent communication when things get rough. Also, making paying rent easy and convenient may help push your tenant to keep those payments well-timed.

Check Payment Records

If your tenant’s rent payment is still behind schedule, the next thing to do is to double-check your records and confirm that it’s late and not just a recording error. Also, double-checking your lease documents can help determine whether your tenant is still in the agreed grace period for on-time payments. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It is crucial to have your facts straight before you move on to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

If the grace period has passed and you still didn’t get your rent payment, it is important to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. You may make this an official or a friendly reminder, but just be sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

When you’ve established regular, positive communication with your tenant, you need to continue that trend when handling late or missing rent payments. By simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call, you can understand the situation more and find out why the payment is late. Though your tenant may not want to talk about the details of the situation, especially when they are facing sudden financial hardship, even a short conversation would accomplish a lot. Besides, be careful not to call your tenant repeatedly or demand payment. This is considered harassment, which is illegal.

Send a Pay or Quit Notice

If you have tried reminders and the rent payment has overpassed your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it is time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that clearly expresses your purpose to pursue action against the tenant. Your notice must have the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in total, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. Make sure to follow state and local laws that govern when such notices can be sent and how it must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

If there are no options left, it might be time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is the eviction process, which needs a court ruling in most areas. In multiple areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant or change the locks until the court proceedings are over. These proceedings can take months and can be very costly for everyone involved. It is important to follow the law and the evictions process to avoid delays or having the judge rule in the tenant’s favor.

Keep it Professional

Lastly, it is important to keep some things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Taking any amount of cash will just restart the eviction process from the beginning. And make sure to document everything, even the phone calls. Finally, it’s necessary to continue your professionalism and keep to the terms of your lease. You might not want to, but enforcing your lease is an important part of operating your rental property as a business.


Dealing with late or missing rent payments can be a time-consuming headache. That is why many rental properties owners hire property managers like Real Property Management Teyata to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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