While renting a place seems like an easy way of getting an augmented budget at the end of the month, there is more to it than meets the eye. Namely, one of the main problems that landlords have to deal with is the late rent payments.
For this reason, we will address some steps that will help you deal with this unpleasant circumstance and have a positive outcome.
Be quick to act
It is important to understand that late rent payments are not small or mild problems.
As soon as the payment is past due, you as the landlord need to proceed with some sort of action. The goal here is to convey that rent is to be taken seriously. So, whether you choose to charge the tenant with a late penalty fee, or serve a notice, make sure to clearly get that message across. If you are interested in the former option, you want to make sure that your rental agreement allows it. If you have a written or tenancy-at-will agreement, check to see whether it has the late payment penalty clause.
Not having one means that you won’t be able to charge the tenant with a late penalty fee. You should also keep in mind that the eviction process most commonly does not begin until the notice is filed, and can take anywhere from five days to several months to complete. Thus, you ought to be wary as these delays can get quite costly.
Deal with late rent payments through an in-person meeting
Issues such as these are best dealt with in-person and not over the phone.
You need to hold the tenant accountable and discuss why they haven’t been able to pay the rent. While irresponsible behaviour is not the one to be tolerated, there are certain circumstances that can provide a justifiable reason behind the late rent payments. For example, a medical emergency or a sudden job loss really are the situations you can understand.
At moments like these, you might feel inclined to offer your tenants a temporary payment plan to catch up.
However, if they fail to appear to be serious about the deadline, this is the time to go over late penalties and possibly even serve a notice of non-payment of rent.
Being understanding at times like these is a great virtue. Howbeit, you should not allow anyone to take advantage of your generosity. If the tenants were not so fair as to respect and appreciate the help you offered, you can point them to easymovekw and thus part ways.
Said action would prove to be mutually beneficial. It would both speed up their moving process, allowing you to find new tenants faster, and give them a great moving company to cater to their needs.
Stay calm and respectful when approaching this issue
In all fairness, the situation itself is rather unfavourable.
However, that is not to say that you ought to let your emotions get the best of you. Rather, try to stay calm and keep your cool when approaching the issue at hand. Having a heated response brings forth a risk of damage to the property. On the other hand, taking an approach that is too soft can fail to get the message across, thus reinforcing the same issue to occur repeatedly.
So, when the time comes to have the talk, be respectful but firm with your tenants.
Do not restrain from communicating and enforcing the rules that are outlined in the lease agreement. If you cannot see eye to eye, suggest that they find the most reliable movers out there and simply find another home.
That is, after all, the only outcome of this situation.
Have all the necessary paperwork
If you were not able to sort this ordeal through conversation or certain agreements, you might have to turn to more concrete actions. You can choose to evict your tenant or even file a lawsuit to recover the unpaid rent. Whichever option you go for, know that you need to legally prove your claims with adequate documentation.
This means that you need to show the whole tenant’s payment history.
It would include all of your rental payments, as well as all the agreements and notices that were given in person and in writing. This is especially important if your tenant has the habit of being late with the rent payment. If at any point in the past, you allowed the rent to be repaid at a later date or in partial payments under special circumstances, you want to ensure you have it in written form, signed by both parties.
Be careful not to accept partial payments if you plan to evict
In the vast majority of cases, the landlord is able to proceed with the eviction process when the tenant who was already served the official notice to pay, still hasn’t sorted the rent they owe. However, one should be aware that accepting partial payment in place of a full one has its risks. Namely, doing so at any time during the notice period can result in costly delays, as well as certain complications in the eviction process itself.
Say that a tenant pays a partial payment during the notice period. If this is the case, the notice to pay or vacate gets annulled. Failing to pay the rest of the debt does not mean they have to vacate. In addition, you will have to serve another notice. What’s more, in certain areas, if the landlord accepts a partial payment after the notice period is over, and the tenant does not pay the second time, the landlord must initiate the eviction process again. Of course, only after providing notice.
As you can see, there are multiple steps you can take in order to deal with late rent payments. You are in charge of the situation’s outcome and the way it will escalate. It is important that you know your rights, and that you do not restrain from invoking them. After all, this is business. You should be considerate, but not at the cost of good judgment.