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

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenThere are many things you can do to encourage on-time rent payments as a property owner or landlord. But there are times a tenant will make a late payment or misses a rent payment entirely. It is important to know the best way to handle them in these situations. 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 important things you can do as a Kingsville property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on schedule. Regular communication and convenient online rental payment options are the best way to do this. Be in contact with your tenant – even when things are going smoothly- as it encourages better and constant communication when things get hard. 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 that you didn’t forget to log it properly. In addition, determine whether your tenant is still inside the stated grace period for on-time payments by double-checking your lease documents. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It’s crucial to have your facts in order before advancing to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

When the grace period has passed and you still haven’t received the rent payment, you need 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

If you have established regular, positive communication with the tenant, it is essential to continue that trend when managing 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. Even though your tenant might not want to discuss the details of the situation, especially when they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a brief conversation might accomplish a lot. But 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 exceeded your lease’s grace period and multiple late payment terms, it may 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. This notice must include the amount of money the tenant has to pay, the deadline to pay in full, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. Be sure to stick to state and local laws that govern when such notices can and how they must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

It may be time to pursue legal action against the tenant if there are no other options left. The eviction process usually requires a court ruling in most states. In multiple places, it is illegal to remove a tenant by force or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. The proceedings could take months and can be costly for those 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

Finally, as you work with your tenant, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, do not 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 want to, but enforcing your lease is a crucial part of managing 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 Shoreline to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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