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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. In these kinds of situations, it is best to know how to manage them. For a lot of landlords, having a step-by-step process helps ensures both a timely and consistent response.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the important things you can do as a Hoover property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on schedule. The best ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Staying in contact with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and constant communication when things get tricky. 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

When a tenant’s rent payment is still overdue, the next thing to do is to double-check your information and make sure that it’s late and not just a written error. Also, make sure to double-check your lease documents to validate whether your tenant is still in the stated grace period for on-time payments. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It’s crucial to have your facts in order before advancing to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

If the grace period has passed and the tenant hasn’t paid rent yet, it is important to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. This reminder can be official or as friendly as you’d like, but 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. You can understand a lot about the situation and find out why the payment is late by simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call. 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, make sure 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. Your notice must have the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in total, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. Make sure to stick to 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

When all else fails, it might be the 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. These proceedings can take months and can be very costly for everyone involved. But to avoid delays or having the judge rule in your tenant’s favor, it is essential to follow the law and the evictions process to the letter.

Keep it Professional

Finally, as you work with your tenant, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Take any amount of money and you will just restart the eviction process from the very beginning. Just be sure to document everything, including the phone calls. Lastly, you need to maintain your professionalism and keep to the terms of your lease. You may not like to, but an important part of managing your rental property as a business is by enforcing your lease.


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 Victory to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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