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

late rent paymentThere are multiple things you can do to motivate your tenant to pay rent payments on time as a property owner or landlord. But there are times a tenant will make a late payment or misses a rent payment entirely. In these circumstances, it is crucial to know the best way to handle them. Most landlords establish a step-by-step process that the tenant can follow to ensure that their response is both timely and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the first and most important things you can do as a Celina property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Great 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 your tenant’s rent payment is still late, then you should double-check your records and be sure that it’s late and not a recording 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 essential to have your facts in line 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 friendly reminder, but be sure to place 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. By simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call, you can understand the situation more and find out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to discuss the details of the situation, typically when they are facing sudden financial hardship, even a brief conversation could accomplish a lot. Besides, 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’ve tried many reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it might be time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that clearly expresses your purpose to pursue action against the tenant. The notice should include the amount of cash 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 places, it is illegal to remove a tenant by force or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. Those proceedings can take months and can be costly for all who are 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

Lastly, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, avoid accepting partial rent payments Taking any amount of cash will just restart the eviction process from the beginning. Moreover, be certain to document everything, including phone calls. Finally, it’s necessary to continue your professionalism and keep to the terms of your lease. You might not like to, but enforcing your lease is an important part of handling 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 Focus to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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