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

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenAs a property owner or landlord, there are lots of things you can do to push for on-time rent payments. Although, some tenants still make late payments or miss rent payments completely. In these circumstances, it is crucial to know the best way to handle them. Most landlords create a step-by-step process that the tenant can follow to make sure that their response is both timely and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the first and most important things you can do as a Brandon property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Some ways to do this are by regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Staying in contact with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and constant communication when things get tricky. Also, making paying rent easy and convenient may help push your tenant to keep those payments on time.

Check Payment Records

When a tenant’s rent payment is still overdue, the next thing to do is to double-check your information and make sure that it’s late and not just a written error. Also, be sure to double-check your lease documents to check whether your tenant is still in the stated grace period for on-time payments. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It is essential to have your facts in line before you move on to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

When the grace period has passed and you still did not receive the rent payment yet, you need to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. This reminder can be official or as friendly as you’d like, but just make sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

If you have established regular, positive communication with your tenant, it is necessary to continue that behavior when dealing with a late or missing rent payment. By simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call, you can understand the situation more and find out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to discuss the details of the situation, typically when they are facing sudden financial hardship, even a brief conversation could accomplish a lot. On the other hand, 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’ve tried many reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it might be time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that expresses your intent to pursue action opposed to your tenant. The notice should include the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in full, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not fulfilled. But be sure to follow state and local laws that dictate when such notices can be sent and how they must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

When all else fails, it might be the time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is the eviction process, which needs a court ruling in most areas. In most areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. Those proceedings could take months and can be costly for all of those involved. But for no delays or having the judge rule in your tenant’s favor, it’s necessary to follow the law and the evictions process to the letter.

Keep it Professional

Lastly, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Take any amount of money and you will just restart the eviction process from the very beginning. And be sure to document everything, even phone calls. Last, it is important to continue your professionalism and stick to the terms of your lease. You may not like to, but an important part of managing your rental property as a business is by enforcing your lease.


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 Freedom to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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