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Rent Collection: What to Do If Your Tenants Won't Pay

Rent Collection: What to Do If Your Tenants Won't Pay

Over 44 million American households rent their homes. There has never been a better time to be a landlord, but every profession comes with some problems. Rent collection is the main problem landlords tend to face.

While most tenants will pay their rent on time each month, what do you do if a tenant fails to pay their rent? Do you just chalk it up to bad luck and allow them to complete their rent payments later in the month, or do you need to consider other rent collection strategies?

Keep reading to find out what to do if your tenants simply won't pay their rent.

When Is the Rent Actually Late?

While rent payments are due on a specific date, usually the first of every month, there may be times when rent isn't considered late, even if you only receive it later.

For instance, if the first of the month is a holiday or falls on a weekend, rent generally isn't due until the next business day. Some bank transfers also take longer to reflect. So even if your tenant paid on the first, you might not get it till later in the week.

It's important to make sure what your local and state landlord-tenant laws say about grace periods. If you're planning on charging late rent fees, you have to make sure the grace period passes before charging a fee.

Contact the Tenant

When a tenant misses their payment date, you need to contact them. A late-rent notice serves as a reminder to the tenant to pay their rent as well as any late fees. You also need to specify when they need to pay this amount before you take legal action.

This is not just a common courtesy. The late-rent notice is also evidence that you made an effort to collect rent before considering an eviction. If you have a property manager, they'll take care of the entire rent collection process, and you won't have to write these notices yourself.

Pay or Quit Notice

If the tenant still hasn't paid their rent after they've been contacted, then pay or quit notice is the first step in the eviction process. This notice is a written warning that they need to pay all outstanding fees or leave the premises immediately.

To ensure the proper guidelines are followed, you need to consult property managers or real estate lawyers. They'll make sure the notice can't be dismissed later on.

This notice can simply be placed on their door, but it's also a good idea to mail them a copy just as a precaution.

Know How to Handle Rent Collection

As a landlord, rent collection needs to happen in a timely and organized fashion. You don't want to constantly battle with tenants to get the rent from them, so it's important that you have a few rent collection strategies ready to go.

If you don't want to handle payments yourself anymore and would rather employ a property manager to take care of rent collection for you, contact us today. At Pleasanton Property Management, we make sure you get paid on time every time.