What to do when Tenants are late on Rent?

Written by admin on April 6th, 2011

When your tenants do not pay rent on time, it can be a really worrying problem. When you have certain monthly expenses based on such income, it becomes difficult when the income does not come on time, as it can delay a lot of things for you too.

The situation of being late on rent arises when there is an irregularity in making payments consistently, month after month. In such situations, you have to take strong action to set right the matter.

Steps to take for Handling Late Rent Payments

Handling late rent payment is not something that is easy to do. You have be cautious about taking the right action on this issue. Here is a look at what you can consider doing on this problem:

Prevent the Problem – Late rental payment arises, when you don’t make yourself out to be authoritative and strong in your rental agreement. A clear rental agreement is of utmost importance in avoiding late rental payments. So, when draft your rental agreement be sure to look into these points:

Date within which rental payment has to be made every month  Grace period when rent is not paid within stipulated time frame Late payment fees, that has to be paid when the tenant fails to make payment even during the grace period. This can be calculated as a percentage of the rent or on a daily basis from the date from which rent has been delayed.

While it is important to clearly state everything correctly in the rental agreement, it is also important that you do not violate any legal terms in your statements. You should look into the laws of your city and state in the case of late rental payments.

Send Reminders – If you have not been able to prevent the problem from happening, you have to deal with it. The first step to dealing with the problem is to send continuous reminders to the tenant to repay outstanding rental amount. You can escalate the seriousness of the reminders, with something that sound just plain to something that is strict. You can use any of the following methods to send a reminder:

Making Phone Calls Send Letter by Post Send Email  Go In Person and Speak To The Tenant

When constant reminders still have not got you the desired results, you need to report this matter to the credit bureau. This reduces the tenant’s credit rating and so they will most likely take the step to make the payment.

Send Notice – When you find that all other ways of getting the tenant to pay rent in time fails, the best that you can do is send a legal notice. The notice should inform the tenant that they have two choices – one is to pay the rent on time, else vacate the property. This brings out the seriousness of your intentions. You can drag the tenant to court on the matter, but this would involve many legal costs, so you have to be prepared on these points as well.


The kind of step you take to sort out late rent payment should be based on what is causing the problem to occur in the first place. Is the tenant deliberately not making payments on time or are there other factors that is causing this problem. You should find out the cause to determine what course of action you need to take on this.



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