What to do if a tenant isn’t paying

| Oct 8, 2020 | Real Estate |

You put a lot of time and effort into finding a reliable tenant who will respect your property and make all rent payments on time. Unfortunately, even if you take the right steps up front, you could run into trouble down the line.

If a tenant doesn’t pay in full and on time, it’s important to take action. Don’t sit back and hope that they get around to it. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Reach out to your tenant: Let your tenant know that they’re past due as outlined by the terms and conditions of the lease. Sometimes this is all it takes for them to realize they forgot. If your first attempt to contact them doesn’t work, try again through a different means.
  • Send a certified letter: Known as a “pay or quit notice” you send this when your tenant neglects to pay rent. Not only is it a reminder, but it’s the right place for telling your tenant that their lease is at risk of termination should they neglect to pay.
  • Take legal action: You don’t want to do this, but there may come a point when you have no choice. If you need to file an eviction, it’s critical that you take the appropriate steps as outlined by the law. In other words, you can’t simply show up at the tenant’s door and tell them they have to get out.
  • Make it more enticing to leave: If you don’t want to go through the eviction process, consider the benefits of enticing the tenant to leave, such as by waiving their security deposit. You may realize that it’s cheaper to do this than it is to continue your legal battle.

These are the types of steps to take if your tenant isn’t paying their rent. Sometimes things work out quickly. Other times your tenant will ignore your calls for payment and hope that you don’t take things to the next level.

As a landlord, it’s important that you have an ironclad lease. When you combine this with knowledge of your legal rights, you’ll know exactly what to do if your tenant doesn’t pay.