Whether you’re going through a first late rental payment or have had troubles with one of your tenants paying on time, you know that it is not cheap or easy to correct the matter. When a tenant doesn’t pay rent, it is easy to feel powerless, but there are still ways to get money from them. In the following section, we will detail several different ways you can go about getting your owed rent out of the way:
1. Check Your Lease Documents and Payment Records
Before you begin to take action, you should make sure you have documentation of the payment schedule between your tenants and yourself. A tenant who is delinquent with their rent payments may just need an extra reminder, and by reviewing your original payment schedule, it can be easier to resolve payment issues.
If you are certain that your tenant has fallen behind, it is a good idea to send them a certified letter stating that they are behind on their payments. Review your lease to determine if there are any late fees or other penalties you can attach to the late payments. If you find that there are penalties, you can discuss with the tenant how you would like to handle the situation, but keep in mind your lease agreement and enforce your legal rights if you must.
2. Make a Phone Call
There may be a reason why your tenant has fallen behind on their rent payments. Perhaps they are being transferred for work or moved out of the area. While you will want to take action, it is a good idea to start with a phone call or text message to speak with the tenant. In the conversation, you can let them know that you have not received their check, and you will wait a few days before enacting any type of legal action.
If your tenant does not contact you after a few days, it is important to take action as soon as possible. In addition to sending a certified letter to the tenant, it can be helpful to report your tenant as delinquent to a credit reporting agency. In many cases, this is enough to trigger the tenant’s concern and prompt them to pay.
3. Send a Pay or Quit Notice
If the problems with your tenant relate to a violation of the rental unit, you can send a pay or quit notice. A pay or quit notice is a special kind of notice that tells the tenant that they must fix the violation or get out of the rental. While your tenant may not have fixed the small violation related to the rental, you can use the notice to get them to pay the back rent.
4. Take Legal Action
If your tenant still refuses to pay you, you may have to seek legal advice and/or file suit to get the money you are owed. This is a process that can be expensive and time-consuming, so it should be the last resort. If you do file suit on a tenant who is behind on rental payments, you will want to be careful to make sure that you have all the necessary considerations in place. Find condominium lawyers in Montreal that can help you with the filing process.
Missing rent payments is bad for your finances, and more importantly, it is bad for your tenant relationships. Through clear documentation and communication, you can recover those back payments and move forward with both your business and your tenants. How you handle the late payments from tenants will go a long way in defining your professional reputation and building a successful business.