What to Do When a Tenant is Not Paying Rent Punctually

When a tenant is not paying rent punctually, you may be stuck in a sticky situation. Follow these steps to resolve the problem without having to issue an eviction notice right away.

Step 1: Talk to the Tenant

When a tenant is not paying rent punctually or doesn’t pay at all, you should immediately address this issue. The first step to resolving any problem is to talk to your tenant about your concern. It is unlikely that the tenant could have genuinely forgotten, but it is possible. You may also discover that the tenant is having financial difficulties. Talking to the tenant allows you to come to a mutual agreement quickly.

Step 2: Send a Pay or Quit Notice

A Pay or Quit Notice essentially tells the tenant that he or she has 3-5 days to pay the rent or the lease will be terminated, and the tenant will have to move out. It acts as a friendly reminder, as well as evidence that you requested payment by issuing a notice. A Pay or Quit Notice can help substantiate your claims in court if you need to get an eviction.

Step 3: Eviction Notice

An Eviction Notice is the next step in the removal process if the tenant doesn’t respond favorably to the Pay or Quit Notice. It demonstrates the landlord’s intent to pursue a legal eviction if the tenant fails to comply with the terms of the lease. The landlord usually gives 15 days for the tenant to remedy the situation, or the landlord will obtain a formal eviction from the court. You can save time by filling out this Eviction Notice Template.

Step 4: Formal Eviction

The court can only grant a formal eviction. It is a court order for the tenant to vacate the property. Usually, a legal eviction gives the tenant 30 days to move out and find another place to live. If the tenant refuses to leave, then the police may remove the tenant, and the tenant could face criminal prosecution.