What to Do When a Tenant Skips Out on Rent

What to Do When a Tenant Skips Out on Rent

Did you know Covid caused 10% of renters to have issues paying their rent? Another 25% of renters worked out payment plans with a property manager. 

Rent collection is one of the tougher aspects of managing property, and it's especially difficult when a tenant skips out on rent altogether. 

What do you do when a tenant fails to pay? Keep reading for some insight into the best way to handle late rent and a tenant's failure to pay rent. 

Double-Check Your Lease Agreement

Check your written lease agreement and make sure your tenant has gone beyond any written grace period. It's possible the tenant has a grace period in their mind that you've forgotten. 

How do you have the payments set up? If they go into a bank account, double-check the account to make sure you haven't missed the payment. It's always best to have an easy payment process

Still no payment? 

Make a Quick Phone Call

We all make mistakes sometimes, especially when under pressure. Covid has put many people under an additional financial strain, including many tenants. 

Make a quick call to your tenant. Be courteous and respectful and remind them the rent is late. It's better to call than email. 

Have a personal conversation to find out what's going on and whether the tenant forgot or has a serious issue. Don't continue to call your tenant since constant calls are a form of illegal harassment. 

Send a Late Rent Payment Notice

Along with a phone call, send a late rent notice. When collecting rent, it's important to put things in writing and mention any late fees due as well. Laws vary by state about how much you can charge in late fees so make sure you understand the local law

Let the tenant know that if the rent goes unpaid, you'll take legal action. Always keep a copy of anything you send to your tenant. You may need this paperwork for court later. 

A Pay or Quit Notice

Is there still no rent money from your tenant? It's time for a Pay or Quit notice. This is a legal notice that begins the eviction process. 

This official document spells out your intent to evict if the full amount of rent and late fees isn't received by a specific date. It's a good idea to use a lawyer for this part of the process.

Post the notice on the tenant's door and send a backup notice in the mail. If the eviction goes to court, you'll need proof you made a good faith effort to inform the tenant. 

If all your efforts fail, you'll need a lawyer to begin the eviction process. Never take partial payments from your tenant because that could void previous legal actions, such as the Pay or Quit notice. 

Property Management Makes Rent Collection Easier

If you don't want the hassles of rent collection, use a local property manager. Property managers take the headache out of being a landlord. 

Are you ready to let someone else handle rent collection? Give the team at Blue Ribbon Property Management a call today!