What happens when a tenant doesn’t pay rent? It’s a question every landlord must be prepared for, no matter how carefully we screen our tenants. Whether it’s a first time offense or a growing trend, it is important to follow the same strict procedure that conforms to the appropriate legal processes. Ness Property Management Group, Inc. gives advice on how to address late or missed rent payments below.
How to Address a Late or Missing Rent Payment
No one is perfect. If you have a tenant with a clean track record who uncharacteristically misses a payment even after the established grace period, start with a courtesy call. Politely reach out to the tenant to notify them of the past due rent and give them the opportunity to provide an explanation for the discrepancy. There may be a valid reason with an agreeable solution that can be established.
However, if you try to reach out to your tenant only to find that he or she remains elusive, you should immediately follow up with the appropriate late rent notice. You should already have a template for these notices drawn up and ready to distribute whenever a tenant fails to pay within the grace period. If you don’t, you should request your legal counsel to compose one for you to have on hand.
Make sure that the notice includes:
- A statement identifying the tenant by their full name and address
- The date of the letter’s distribution
- The original payment deadline
- The total amount due and any late charges that may be applicable
- A statement specifying the date in which the account will automatically be delegated to an attorney to proceed with the eviction process should payment not be received
- A request for immediate phone contact to establish a payment solution
What Happens When the Eviction Process is Initiated?
If the tenant does not respond by the due date stated in the late notice and shows no cooperation to try to find an agreeable solution to bring their account up-to-date, you should proceed with the eviction process. Unless you have personal experience in the field of law, you should not attempt an eviction on your own. Have a lawyer who has experience in tenant eviction cases handle the case for you.
Always Follow Procedure
No two eviction cases are the same. Circumstances and causes will vary. However, always follow the proper protocol and distribution of legal notices. If you are looking for experienced professionals to take over the role of landlord for your property or properties, Ness Property Management, Inc. is here to help. We handle all matters of responsibility associated with managing rentals, including eviction processes. Simply give us a call at (305) 431-5657.