Late Property Rent Payment Situations with Tenants

Having to remind tenants that their rent is due or past due is no fun for anyone. As the landlord or property manager, it is a situation fraught with conflict and emotion.

There can be many reasons a tenant is late with the property rent or is unable to pay on time. As the tenant, the fear of eviction can cause them to avoid you, not answer the phone or a knock at the door and not open their mail.

So what do you do?

First, understand that this is a business and the tenant, tenants and/or co-signers signed a contract when they signed the lease. It is not personal. Your job is to hold them to their obligation. While personal contact can be uncomfortable, it is necessary to discover the cause of the situation and decide on the proper course of action.

You can start by providing them a Late Rent Reminder. The form on Apexlink is a simple and friendly reminder that you can fill in with your name and address, the renter’s name and address, a date, the due date, the past due amount and any late fee that you may charge for overdue rent as stated in the lease.

Hands giving & receiving money - United States Dollars (USD)If you allow partial payments, it should be in the lease, as well as how late fees are figured. The good part of accepting partial payments is that you are receiving some money but that leaves with you having to track the amount owed from month to month if it comes to that. You also have to determine at what amount the tenant is so far in arrears as to qualify for eviction.

In some countries, state/province, accepting some money for the month means that you can’t collect again for the rest of the month. So be sure to check your state/local laws. For that reason, many landlords and property management companies do not accept partial payments.

If the tenant does not pay the property rent, it is time to file to evict the tenant. Eviction laws vary state by state, province by province so be sure to do your homework. Some states/province require filing right after a missed payment while others have a grace period. Others require several notices be sent to the tenant, notifying them of their rights and creating a document trail that must be maintained. You can also get these forms on Apexlink, such as the Eviction Notice and Intent to Vacate.

If it comes to eviction, be sure to start the process as soon as the state/province allows. It can take more than a month to evict a tenant, adding even more time on to the potential vacancy. While you may be affected by a tenant’s circumstances, business protocol demands you treat all tenants the same. You do not want a reputation for being slow to evict or you may begin to attract the wrong type of tenant.

Collecting property rent on time and following through on repercussions is good for your reputation, business and success.  Try ApexLink Property Management Software to streamline your property management objectives.