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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 some tenants will still make late payments or miss rent payments completely. 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

As a Bedford County property manager, it is important to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Some of the best ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. If you keep in touch with your tenant- even when things are fine- you can have better and more frequent communication when things get rough. Also, making paying rent easy and convenient may help push your tenant to keep those payments on time.

Check Payment Records

If a tenant’s rent payment is still overdue, you could double-check your records and make sure that it is late and not a written error. 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 is crucial to have your facts straight before you move on to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

If the grace period has passed and you still didn’t get your rent payment, it is important 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. Giving your tenant a friendly phone call would do a lot to help you understand the situation more and figure out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to talk about the details of the circumstances, especially if they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a quick conversation could accomplish a lot. On the other hand, 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 overpassed your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it is 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. Make sure to follow state and local laws that govern when such notices can be sent 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 typically needs a court ruling in most places. In most areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant 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

Last, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, avoid accepting partial rent payments Taking in any amount will basically restart the eviction process from the very start. And be sure to document everything, even phone calls. At last, it is most crucial to maintain your professionalism and adhere 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 Cairn to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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