Rent Collection: What to Do If Your Tenant Doesn't Pay

Rent Collection: What to Do If Your Tenant Doesn't Pay

The only way you're going to recoup money on your real estate investment is if you have tenants that pay rent on time.

Over the past 2 years, Covid has made it difficult for tenants to pay rent on time. As we get back to normal, however, there's less and less excuse for this to happen. If you're having issues with rent collection, you need to know what actions to take.

Today, we're going to guide you in dealing with late or missed rent payments. Collecting rent can be uncomfortable, especially when it's late, but keep reading and you'll have some clarity on how to move forward.

Grace Periods

When you're writing out a rental agreement, try to include a grace period of a few days for your tenants. There are going to be times when money is tight for some of your renters. Building a grace period into the agreement gives them a bit of wiggle room at the start of every month.

It also gives you the chance to be a bit sterner if they go beyond the grace period. Having one shows that you're lenient, but you don't want to be taken advantage of.

Send a Notice

When late rent happens once or twice, you might be able to overlook it. When it's a monthly occurrence, it's in your best interest to send the tenant a written notice.

On the notice, let them know that you're becoming concerned with the frequency of their late rent payments. You should also include a list of the fees that are owed to you, as well as the actions that you may take if they continue to be late with their payments.

Reaching Out

As a last-ditch effort, you can choose to reach out by phone or text to try and get through to the tenant. This can sometimes be more effective than a late rent notice, but you don't want to call more than once, as it could be viewed as harassment. 

Eviction Notice

If none of the previous steps have worked, you need to deliver a pay or quit notice to the tenant - effectively, an eviction notice. One of these includes all of the fees that you're owed and a deadline to pay it. 

Should they ignore this, you can file your eviction papers. Serving a pay or quit notice has different requirements based on where you live. In Pennsylvania, you have to wait 10 days after giving your notice to file the eviction papers.

Get Rent Collection Help From a Property Manager

Evicting a tenant because of late rent payments can be an overwhelming and lengthy experience. If your tenant has missed rent and you've gone through the above steps, it should be an open and shut case, but a disgruntled tenant can draw the process out.

The best way to avoid having to go through this is to hire a qualified property manager. At Home River Group, we help Harrisburg property owners deal with rent collection, late payments, and evictions. What's more, we have a thorough tenant screening process that drastically lowers the likelihood of having a tenant that refuses to pay rent on time.

If you're interested in our services, contact us today to learn more.

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