Life happens to tenants – even good tenants. We understand that a medical emergency, a divorce, or a job loss can contribute to financial instability. However, rent needs to be a priority, and tenants need to be prepared to pay their rent or give up the home.
When you have a tenant who is paying their rent late, you want to keep the lines of communication open and make sure that rent ultimately gets paid. While too much leniency will only result in your tenants making this a habit, find out what’s causing the late rent payment. If it’s a one-time situation that will quickly be rectified, you may want to work with your tenants. But, if your tenants have paid late for the last three or four months, and there’s a new excuse every time, it has become a pattern, and you need to take immediate action.
Tenant Not Paying Rent: Put a Process in Place
A consistent rent collection process will help reduce the likelihood that rent is paid late. Make sure your rental agreement reflects what your rent collection expectations are, and include any information on late fees and consequences. Enforce these late fees. You don’t want to keep extending the grace period, and you don’t want to waive late fees for some tenants but not for others. Be consistent and fair by treating every tenant the same, and enforce your lease.
Serve a Late Rent Notice
Serve your late rent notice, or a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit. Don’t wait too long to do this; we recommend serving the notice within a day or two after the grace period that is outlined in the lease if you haven’t yet received the rental payment. The notice needs to be sent by certified mail or posted on the door, and it has to be documented in case your eviction goes to court. If you post your notice on the door, be sure you’re following all proper guidelines or your case may be thrown out of court.
Evicting a Tenant
Be proactive with the eviction. You don’t want the nonpayment of rent to turn into a more significant issue. You’ll only lose more money and time.
For any questions about this topic or anything about San Antonio property management, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Liberty Management.