Skip to Content

What Should I Do When My Tenant’s Rent is Late?

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenIn your role as a property owner or landlord, there are lots of things you can do to push for on-time rent payments. Although, some tenants still make late payments or miss rent payments completely. In these circumstances, it is crucial to know the best way to handle them. Most landlords create a step-by-step process that the tenant can follow to make sure that their response is both timely and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

As a Kendall property manager, it is important to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Great ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Be in contact with your tenant – even when things are going smoothly- as it encourages better and constant communication when things get hard. Also, making paying rent easy and convenient may help push your tenant to keep those payments on time.

Check Payment Records

When a tenant’s rent payment is still overdue, the next thing to do is to double-check your information and make sure that it’s late and not just a written error. In addition, determine whether your tenant is still inside the stated grace period for on-time payments by double-checking your lease documents. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It is important to have your facts in line before you advance to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

If the grace period has passed and the tenant hasn’t paid rent yet, it is important to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. You may make this an official or a friendly reminder, but just be sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

If you have established regular, positive communication with the tenant, it is essential to continue that trend when managing a late or missing rent payment. By simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call, you can understand the situation more and find out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to talk about the details of the circumstances, especially if they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a quick conversation could accomplish a lot. Besides, be aware not to call your tenant repeatedly or demand payment. This is considered harassment, which is illegal.

Send a Pay or Quit Notice

If you have tried reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and multiple late payment terms, it may be time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that clearly expresses your purpose to pursue action against the tenant. Your notice must have the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in total, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. But be sure to follow state and local laws that dictate when such notices can be sent and how they must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

If everything else fails, it might be time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is called the eviction process, which requires a court ruling in most places. In most areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. Those proceedings could take months and can be costly for all of those involved. But for no delays or having the judge rule in your tenant’s favor, it’s necessary to follow the law and the evictions process to the letter.

Keep it Professional

Last, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, avoid accepting partial rent payments Take any amount of money and you will just restart the eviction process from the very beginning. And be sure to document everything, even phone calls. At last, it is most crucial to maintain your professionalism and adhere to the terms of your lease. You may not like to, but an important part of managing your rental property as a business is by enforcing your lease.


Dealing with late or missing rent payments can be a time-consuming headache. That is why many rental properties owners hire property managers like Real Property Management Dade to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details