What to Do If a Tenant Has Delinquent Rent

What to Do If a Tenant Has Delinquent Rent

Almost 123 million households rent their dwelling. With the spike in housing costs, this number is likely to increase.

Rental properties can be a lucrative investment. But, if you are a landlord, delinquent rent means that you are missing out on money you could use to pay bills or make property improvements. It can be difficult to know how to handle these situations.

This article explains what to do if a tenant is late with rent. It lays out a step-by-step process to address such situations. Keep reading to learn how to deal with a tenant not paying rent.

Check the Rental Agreement

If a tenant is late on their rent, the first thing to do is double-check the rental or renewal agreement, before taking any action. This is especially important if you have different policies for multiple properties or units.

Look at what leeway, if any, the lease permits. Some locations do not require a grace period, but most landlords allow them. Also, keep in mind that, if the rent due date is on a weekend or holiday, the tenant may have until the next business day to pay.

Send a Notice of Delinquent Rent

If you conclude the rent is indeed late, then you can send notice in writing informing the tenant. Include a list of any late fees as well as the total amount due. This acts both as a reminder and proof that you let the tenant know about the delinquent rent.

Speak to Tenant

If the tenant does not pay or respond to the notice, you might consider contacting them. There could be unforeseen circumstances, including hospitalization, that kept them from sending payment.

There could also be financial hardships that have impacted them and their families. Remember that it can be a hassle to market and re-rent a property. It could serve your interest as well as theirs to work out a payment agreement.

Take Legal Action

If none of the above works, then you will need to take legal action. Send a final "pay or quit" notice that includes the total amount due and a timeframe in which it must be paid.

Note that some jurisdictions require this, in writing, before initiating the eviction process. Regardless of whether it is mandatory, it is a good policy. It gives the resident one last chance to make payment.

The eviction process can be straightforward or complex, depending on the circumstances surrounding the case. It always begins with a filing in the property jurisdiction. A judge will decide on the merits of the case and determine when the tenant must vacate.

Note that, at this point, you should stop contacting the tenant. If eviction is sought, it becomes a legal matter to be handled by the courts.

Find Rent Collection Services Near You

Now that you know what to do if a tenant has delinquent rent, you can take steps to remedy the situation. Following the rules above will ensure that your tenants have ample opportunity to pay their rent without

PMI Northbay is a full-service property management company. We offer a range of services, including marketing, tenant screening, unpaid rent collection, property maintenance, and more. Reach out to us today to schedule a free consultation.