Legal Actions to Take when Tenants are Late with Rent

Written by admin on April 20th, 2011

It is good to engage in rental business. However, it is hard to run one if tenants are irresponsible. If you rely heavily on your rental income, you would have to suffer in case your tenants do not pay on time. In business, there is no room for being irresponsible. Therefore, you need to take action and make it clear to your tenants how accountable they are with their rents.

How to make things legal

When tenants are late with their payments, you might be thinking of certain actions to enforce payment. Sadky, you cannot just impose rules right there and then. Whatever you have in mind that could protect you as the landlord should be done in writing.

Rental agreement is a document that states all rules to be abided by both parties (tenant and landlord) in going through about the renting. Therefore, to have a legal basis for collecting rent certain things should be stated in specifics. The following are:             

The price of rent (monthly) Accepted forms of payment (in cash or check) Where it can be paid Day of payment Application of late fees Amount of security deposits and its purpose Rules for late payment, including eviction process


What you can do as the Landlord

Enough is enough. When you have grown tired of your tenant’s constant late payments, make things easy for you. Make a stand and let them know you mean business. Here are five simple things you can do:

Enforce your late fee charges- What good is your late fee clause if you do not use it. If it is clearly stated and your tenant agreed to it, enforce it. Let them pay for it because it is an accepted practice. Besides, they cannot dispute this because they signed for it.


Promissory notes- When rent is due, it is in within your legal right to ask for the payment. Your rental agreement speaks for it. However, you can always bend your rules if the tenant has been always good. Try asking them the reason for late payment and ask them when they could possibly pay the rent. Then let them sign a promissory note.


Remind them the possibility of eviction. Don’t you just hate tenants that keep avoiding you when you try to collect? Here is a quick solution, keep on sending them a notice and stress the possibility of eviction if they do not pay their dues. This is also one of the stipulations included on your rental agreement. Therefore, you can legally start eviction if the tenant is too stubborn and heartless.


Make use of Credit Reporting Systems- Most credit bureaus have online services that allows landlords to report their tenant’s performance in paying rent. The good thing about this is it comes for free. You can actually use this against your tenants so that they will know how accountable they are for their rent. Thus, it should be enough to avoid repeated incidence of late payments.

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