Tenant not paying rent? Even the late rent notice isn’t working? Don’t worry! Read this guide to move in the right direction.
As a homeowner or a landlord, a tenant not paying rent can prove to be your worst nightmare. It can be pretty frustrating.
And, you might be tempted to just proceed with the eviction process, which is not the right solution most of the time.
So, what else can you do to collect your rent without going through the hectic eviction process?
Let’s talk about that.
Establish Effective Communication
Effective communication is vital in all types of dealings. Maybe your tenant isn’t paying the rent because they’ve forgotten about it.
Or, maybe they are about to pay it.
So, sending a late rent notice isn’t the very first thing you want to do.
Just get on a call with your tenant and see what they have to say about the delay.
Send a Late Rent Notice
If you are not able to effectively communicate with the tenant, send a late rent notice. Let them know that the rent is due and they need to pay it as soon as possible.
Sending the late rent notice should be your first formal step.
The notice should include:
- The date on which the tenant’s rent was due
- Any late fees (if applicable)
However, as a courtesy, you may want to wave off the late rent fee if it’s the first time the tenant hasn’t paid the rent on time.
Follow Up on Your Tenant
In case your tenant has forgotten to pay the rent, they’d send it after receiving a late rent notice.
But, if you still don’t get a response, follow up on them and make sure they’ve received your notice.
Then, ask them if they intend to pay the rent or not.
At that point, your tenant might give a reason for withholding the rent. For instance, a pending repair issue.
If that’s the case, review your lease agreement and see if it gives the tenant any such rights.
However, most of the time, that wouldn’t be the case.
Your tenant might come up with a reason, such as, “I don’t have the money right now”.
What should be your course of action then?
Work With Your Tenant
Let’s assume your tenant hasn’t paid the rent because of financial hardship. They might have lost their job or faced a financial loss recently.
It would be within your rights to proceed with an eviction as your tenant is in violation of the lease agreement.
But, it would be better to take the high road and practice some compassion.
If your tenant hasn’t given you a tough time in the past and always paid their rent on time, they probably are in financial hardship.
Work with your tenant and try to reach an arrangement where both of you don’t take a financial beating.
For instance, you can take half the rent amount right now and leave the rest to the next month. Anything that aids their situation and keeps things smooth.
However, as a landlord, letting the tenant off the hook for several months might not be feasible.
You do have your own payments to make, right?
But, if you can afford to let a couple of months slide, it would most probably be the right thing to do.
That way, you will also avoid the lawyer’s fee and other court costs incurred in the eviction process.
However, you do need to be mindful of something while reaching a mutual settlement. For instance, if you are allowing the tenant to pay partial rent right now, that would negate any past action.
And, this includes the late rent notice. So, before you proceed to an arrangement with your tenant, it’s a good idea to consult a professional.
The Last Resort – Eviction
You’ve sent a late rent notice, waited for a month or two, but there is no progress on the rent front.
Now would be the time to go through with an eviction.
But, before doing that, check if there is an eviction moratorium in effect in your state or locality. If it does, you won’t be able to pursue an eviction.
Let’s say there are no such hurdles like that. The first thing you’d do is send the tenant an eviction notice.
And, if your tenant does not agree to evict your house, you’d have to file an eviction action in court.
The court will then give you a date to let you present your case. If it finds that the tenant is in violation of the rental agreement, the court will give a judgment in your favor.
Your tenant will then have a legal obligation to vacate your house.
And, if the tenant is stubborn enough to resist the court’s order, you can then get the help of law enforcement.
The legal entity will then remove the tenant as well as their property from your house.
Clearly, an eviction can be a hectic, time-consuming, and costly process. So, you should try to come to an arrangement with the tenant before taking that route.
As a landlord, you can’t just do nothing when your tenant not paying rent. But, you also don’t want to rush into evicting the tenant either.
If your tenant provides a genuine reason for not paying the rent in time, it’s a good idea to try and work something out first.
The eviction process can take a lot of effort and time. And, you’ll also have to hire a lawyer and pay the associated court fee.
So, avoiding eviction should be your first priority.
Finally, if your tenant isn’t cooperating and is not willing to pay the rent, evicting them will be your only practical option. To avoid all of this headache and stress, you could also get a free no-obligation cash offer on your rental property by filling out the form below.
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