If you’re a landlord and your tenant doesn’t pay rent on time, you may be thinking of eviction in the first place. If this is you, then you’re making things more complex.

Not all tenants are equal. And not everyone delays the payment intentionally. There are some situations when tenants have no way to pay the rent. But they try heart & soul. As a landlord, you may consider such delays.

On the other hand, it’s your business, and you have various expenses for your rental property. So you need to collect the rent on time.

Not to mention, some tenants always delay paying your rent which is intentional. They are not paying too much attention to it. Also, some people don’t want to pay rent on time when the contract is about to expire.

In this article, I will explain what you can do if your tenant doesn’t pay the rent. This will be a step-by-step guide. So their order matters.

Step-by-step process for landlords

In the above, I explained the overall scenario of the delays. Here I will walk you through the process.

Let’s start.

Discuss with your tenant

Discuss with your tenant

This should be your first step in resolving the issue. And this discussion is just not asking for the rent. It’s more than that.

For example, your tenant may be a good person and have the desire to pay the rent. However, he may be experiencing temporary financial difficulties. So ask questions regarding their problems. Don’t feel shy to ask for a specific date and commitment. However, you should be polite even if the tenant doesn’t want you to ask such questions and is not interested in the discussion.

Sometimes this type of simple discussion solves the problem.

Hire or consult with a property maintenance contractor

Hire a property maintenance contractor

You probably don’t have a property maintenance company and that’s why you’re on this article. Anyway, a property maintenance company or contractor can help you to collect rent and many other things. You can check their responsibilities on this post.

A property maintenance company works with many different types of landlords and tenants. It’s their daily job. They are more than experienced in handling this type of situation. Also, they always try their best to keep happy both parties.

So hiring or consulting with a property maintenance company can save the day.

Add additional charge for delayed payments

Add additional charge for delayed payments

You definitely know that you have a contract paper with the tenants. So also look into the contract and see if there is anything mentioned regarding the delayed payments. If not, then your contract is not cent percent accurate. A proper contract should include it.

But if your contract has clear instructions about the delayed payment, be sure to notify/remind the tenant. This additional charge forces the tenant to pay the rent before the fine date. Just like most people hurry to pay utility bills.

Send a formal notice and get a receive copy

Send a formal notice and get a receive copy

Verbal and written communications have totally different impact and weight. Until this point, you tried a couple of things which are mostly verbal communication.

And this is your first step in starting legal action. However, you’re not going to court yet. Write a formal notice to the tenant. Be sure to mention necessary information in the letter such as the tenant’s name, identity, your apartment location, etc.

You don’t need to get help from an attorney yet or to write this simple letter. Just include how much you owe, the terms they already violated, etc.

After you write the letter and sign it, make a copy (photocopy) of it (including your signature). When you send it to the tenant, be sure to take a sign of your tenant which is called receive copy. This will be proof in the future and if you need to go to court.

Alternative: If you don’t want to send the letter directly and if you don’t want to a receive copy, you can send the notice via the post office.

Negotiate with the tenant so they leave the house in exchange for one month free rent

Negotiate with the tenant

If none of these worked for you, you may negotiate with the tenant. Even you can give up one month’s rent in exchange for vacating the property.

The eviction process is time-consuming, hard & irritating both for the tenant & landlord. As a property maintenance company, I would suggest not going through the eviction process if you can resolve the issue for one month’s rent. Moreover, you also have expenses for the eviction process. Sometimes it can be equivalent to one or two months rent. So it’s worth vacant the house in exchange for one month’s rent.

Send eviction warning

Send eviction warning

Until this point, you tried everything as much as you can. Now you have no way other than the eviction.

But wait! Before starting the process, send a final notice explaining the eviction process. Also, give them (tenant) at least 3 days.

Start eviction process: Contact an attorney and get help from the court

Start eviction process

If you don’t hear back after three days, you can go for the eviction process. Since you don’t have a property maintenance contractor, you have to contact an attorney yourself. And the attorney will walk you through the rest of the process.

This is the last resort for vacating the property.

Wrap up

In this article, I explained what to do when your tenants don’t pay rent. I showed you the step-by-step process on a priority basis.

Also, I mentioned that if you had a property maintenance company, you would not have to carry any of these hassles. So if you’re entitled to not hire a property maintenance contractor, you can hire for a short term and only to fix the rent collecting issue or vacate the property and place a new tenant or go through the eviction process.

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