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What Should I Do When My Tenant’s Rent is Late?

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenAs a property owner or landlord, there are lots of things you can do to push for on-time rent payments. But there will be times a tenant will still make late payments or miss rent payments altogether. It is essential to know the best way to manage 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

One of the first and most important things you can do as a Staunton property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. The best ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Being in touch with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and more frequent communication when things get rough. What’s more, you can help motivate your tenant to keep their payments on time by making rent payments easy and convenient.

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. Also, double-checking your lease documents can help determine whether your tenant is still in the agreed grace period for on-time payments. 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

When the grace period has passed and you still haven’t received the rent payment, you need to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. This can be an official or a friendly reminder, just make sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

When you’ve established regular, positive communication with your tenant, you need to continue that trend when handling late or missing rent payments. Just by simply giving a friendly phone call to your tenant, you can understand the situation a lot 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 sending reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and multiple 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 should have the amount of money the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in full, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not fulfilled. 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

If everything else fails, it might be time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is the eviction process, which needs a court ruling in most areas. In multiple areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant or change the locks until the court proceedings are over. The proceedings could take months and can be costly for those involved. It is necessary to follow the law and evictions process to avoid delays or having the judge rule in the tenant’s favor.

Keep it Professional

Lastly, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Taking any amount of cash will just restart the eviction process from the beginning. Just be sure to document everything, including the phone calls. Finally, it’s necessary to continue your professionalism and keep 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 Summit to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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