Rent is due on the 1st of the month. The lease allows for a grace period up to the 5th. The lease also states that after the 5th, there is a $25 late fee and after the 10th of the month, there is an additional $25 late fee imposed. The tenant has not paid as of today. It is their first time paying late but I do not want to set a certain level of tolerance for allowing anyone to pay rent late esp with a grace period in tact.
I now need to notify the tenant that rent is past due and there will be $25 fee imposed. What is the best way to notify the tenant of this? Do I have to do it via a certified letter? Are there certain guidelines since the property is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in sending out the notice? Is there certain verbiage that I should use in the letter to the tenant since I have never done this before (any sample letters would be a great help!)?
Long as the lease states everything you mentioned no need to send out an additional notice.
I would make an effort to call them first and formost and find out what is going on. If they have never been late maybe something serious is going on? Anyway I would reach out to them and when you speak to them remind them that as per signed lease the total outstanding balance is XXX(rent) plus a 25.00 late fee.
FIrst things first give them a call and speak to them.... If you are unsuccessful in reaching them and it gets to be past the 10th I would follow up with a registered letter informng that it is the 10th and you have not heard from them or received December rent so you have no choice but to file Judgement for possession based on non payment of rent. Not sure in PA what the actual filing is called but here in NJ it is called Judgement for possession.
Is this the same tenant you wrote about the other day that gave you 48 hours notice that she was leaving? Have you looked to see if she's actually still in the unit? If it is the same tenant, she said she was leaving by the 1st, perhaps she did leave?
If she's still in there and hasn't paid, start the eviction process.
@Chris Masons Thanks for the advice, Chris! I do plan on following up with her today.
@Troy S. Yep, it is the same "problem" tenant. She definitely did not leave--they are not exactly the most quiet people. I don't know if I can start the eviction process this early in the process, can I? I thought I remember reading somewhere in the Pennsylvania Landlord laws that you have to wait 30 days or something. Also, the lease does not explicitly say that I can evict the tenant if they are late past the 5th day. Remember, I adopted her lease from previous landlord...
In addition to the registered mail have someone hand deliver a copy of the letter that way they can do an affidavit stating it was delivered, do not do it yourself make sure you have a third party do this. Registered mail is only good if the person signs for the letter.
I lost once on an eviction because I used certified mail when my lease called for regular mail.. read your lease regarding how you are to notify for eviction... If its says certified do it that way if not use regular mail and post it.
My lease states email communication is the official and preferred notification. The tenants and I use email 99.9% of the time. I have streak attached to chrome which sends me a read receipt. Don't know if it will hold up in court, but hopefully I'll never find out.
Pa Landlord Tenant Act states the following:
Section 250.501. Notice to quit
(a) A landlord desirous of repossessing real property from a tenant except real
property which is a mobile home space as defined in the act of November 24, 1976 (P.L.
1176, No. 261)3, known as the “Mobile Home Park Rights Act,” may notify, in writing, the tenant to remove from the same at the expiration of the time specified in the notice under the following circumstances, namely, (1) Upon the termination of a term of the tenant, (2) or upon forfeiture of the lease for breach of its conditions, (3) or upon the failure of the tenant, upon demand, to satisfy any rent reserved and due.
(b) Except as provided for in subsection (c), in case of the expiration of a term
or of a forfeiture for breach of the conditions of the lease where the lease is for any term of one year or less or for an indeterminate time, the notice shall specify that the tenant shall remove within fifteen days from the date of service thereof, and when the lease is for more than one year, then within thirty days from the date of service thereof. In case of failure of the tenant, upon demand, to satisfy any rent reserved and due, the notice shall specify that the tenant shall remove within ten days from the date of the service thereof.
(c) In case of the expiration of a term or of a forfeiture for breach of the
conditions of the lease involving a tenant of a mobile home park as defined in the “Mobile Home Park Rights Act,” where the lease is for any term of less than one year or for an indeterminate time, the notice shall specify that the tenant shall remove within thirty days from the date of service thereof, and when the lease is for one year or more, then within three months from the date of service thereof. In case of failure of the tenant, upon demand, to satisfy any rent reserved and due, the notice, if given on or after April first and before September first, shall specify that the tenant shall remove within fifteen days from the date of the service thereof, and if given on or after September first and before April first, then within thirty days from the date of the service thereof.
(c.1) The owner of a mobile home park shall not be entitled to recovery of the
mobile home space upon the termination of a lease with a resident regardless of the term of the lease if the resident:
(1) is complying with the rules of the mobile home park; and
(2) is paying the rent due; and
(3) desires to continue living in the mobile home park.
(c.2) The only basis for the recovery of a mobile home space by an owner of a
mobile home park shall be:
(1) When a resident is legally evicted as provided under section 3 of the “Mobile
Home Park Rights Act.”
(2) When the owner and resident mutually agree in writing to the termination of
(3) At the expiration of a lease, if the resident determines that he no longer
desires to reside in the park and so notifies the owner in writing.
(d) In case of termination due to the provisions of section 505-A4, the notice
shall specify that the tenant shall remove within ten days from the date of service thereof.
(e) The notice above provided for may be for a lesser time or may be waived by
the tenant if the lease so provides.
(f) The notice provided for in this section may be served personally on the
tenant, or by leaving the same at the principal building upon the premises, or by posting the same conspicuously on the leased premises.
Section 250.502. Summons and service
(a) Upon the filing of the complaint, the justice of the peace shall issue a
summons which reflects substantially the complaint, is directed to any writ server, constable or the sheriff of the county and commands that writ server, constable or sheriff to summon the tenant to appear before the justice of the peace to answer the complaint on a date not less than seven nor more than ten days from the date of the summons.
(b) The summons may be served personally on the tenant, by mail or by posting
the summons conspicuously on the leased premises.
I don't know for sure but I would guess that the City of Philly has its own set of rules protecting the tenant.
Hope this helps.
The only the I noticed missing was as to giving notice, that personal notice my include any resident of legal age which is common, but just nail the thing to the door, notice served, LOL
Actually, some LLs attach a clip on an exterior door, handy to post notices or notes, reminders for tenants. Your lease contains the late fee provision, late fees are not going to generally require additional notice to be given, but you could as soon as they become due. Evictions are another matter and are described above. :)
Please read this next link; if you think it is TL;DR then jump to the part that starts with "Tenant Is Justified in Not Paying Rent Because the Rental Unit Is Uninhabitable" :
And Philadelphia has some other specifics, some of which I have already communicated via PM.
A sample of the form you requested:
@Joseph Catalano I usually do send it via certified mail. The tenant does live downstairs from me (it's a duplex) so I happen to know that someone is usually always home to sign for it.
@Jay Hinrichs Unfortunately, the lease does not really give any instructions regarding the eviction process. The only mention they make is regarding how to proceed once a lease is up. With a certified mail, you can track the delivery of the letter--something that you cannot do if you send via regular mail. I adopted this lease and tenant when I purchased this home three months ago.
@Bryan N. Thanks Steve-I have truly appreciated all of your help and advice! The sample that you sent seems to be a termination of rent letter and it appears that there can be "pay or quit" notice sent to the tenant first. The document you linked to does not offer them the opportunity to correct this by allowing them to remit rent and late fees. If they refuse to do so, then they would have 15 days to get out of the unit. So, my other question(s) are: (a) would I be allowed to keep the entire security deposit if they left on the notice to quit?; (b) Would I be able to recover any of the back due rent that was never paid and the applicable late fees?; (c) do I need to have an active landlord or rental housing license just to evict someone (haven't acquired it yet but am working on it)?; (d) Lastly, what if they do not leave after the specified 10 o 15 days that they are required to leave?
there ya go I just got fubared once in court because I figured registered was better.. but the lease said regular mail and the judge made me start over with regular mail..
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