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

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenThere are many things you can do to encourage on-time rent payments as a property owner or landlord. But some tenants will still make late payments or miss rent payments completely. In these circumstances, it is crucial to know the best way to handle them. 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 crucial things you can do as a Greenwood 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. If you keep in touch with your tenant- even when things are fine- you can have 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, 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 you still didn’t get your rent payment, 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

If you’ve established positive, communication with your tenant, it’s essential to continue that 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 aware 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 reminders and the rent payment has overpassed your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it is 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. But be sure to follow state and local laws that dictate 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. The eviction process usually requires a court ruling in most states. In most areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant 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. 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 is important to keep some things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Taking in any amount will basically restart the eviction process from the very start. 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 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 Indianapolis Edge to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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