Do you send tenants reminders when they are late on rent?

14 Replies

Tenant was late this month and texted me that he could pay on the 7th, if i dont hear from him today should i text him a friendly reminder this afternoon that rent is past due? Also, how long do you landlords usually wait to evict?

They would have to pay a late fee as per the lease which erentpayment bills automatically. 

I would call them on the 8th and talk with the tenant about your expectations on rent paid on time and serve them a 3 day notice to pay or quit.  

If our tenants don't pay by the 5th, they get a Notice to Pay or Quit on the 6th, regardless of whether or not they let us know they'll be paying late.  Delaying serving that notice only delays when you can start the eviction process.  Serving the notice doesn't mean you have to evict them, but it gets the ball rolling on that tedious process in case they flake out and don't end up paying.

The mistake that new landlords make is not sending that Notice to Quit the very FIRST DAY RENT IS LATE.  

A NOTICE TO QUIT, is just that.  A NOTICE.  It doesn't go against their credit report.  It doesn't go against them in any way shape or form, UNLESS, they DON'T pay their rent.

My rents are due on the first of every month, even if I have to pro-rate their rent to get it to be due on the 1st of the month.  (I don't want to have to go to court for evictions every single day of the month just because I have different rental due dates.  Therefore I make every ones rent due on the 1st of the month)

If rent is not received in my office on or before the 1st of the month then rent is late.  

My late fees are charged to the tenants on the 5th of the month if not in my office on or before then.    It is not a grace period!  Never!  It is on the 5th that I charge them a $25 late fee.  (this gives them 5 days to get their rent into my office.   If they pay on or before the 5th I tear up the Notice to Quit, and that is the end of that)

If they don't pay their rent on or before the 11th of the month, then on the 12th of the month I file for eviction.  That's when the Notice to Quit now becomes a DEMAND FOR POSSESSION e.g. EVICTION.  In Michigan we cannot count the day our Notice to Quit is sent.  Plus we have to allow 2 full days for mailing.  So on a 7 Day Notice to Quit, we can't even count the days we have to file it in court until the 4th of the month if rent is due on the 1st. So I can't legally file the 7 Day Notice to Quit in a court of law, until the 11th of the month because the have until 11:59 pm. on the 10th to pay it )

You cannot even start the eviction process UNTIL that notice is sent.  The longer you wait to send that notice, the longer your eviction takes.  The longer you get no money.  The longer the tenant gets to stay in your home free.

A NOTICE TO QUIT once again is not an EVICTION, it is a NOTICE to the tenant that you will be starting an eviction per the days allowed per your state Law if rent is not paid. 

I've talked about this before on here in another post, that when you file for eviction on anyone, you should add these words AND ALL OCCUPANTS.   Because note the wording on the Notice to Quit.  It is called a DEMAND FOR POSSESSION.

So what you are really doing when you evict someone is evicting everyone that lives in the house, has possession of the house.  A lot of times we don't how many people are living in the house, e.g., having possession of the house, so you need to add these words so you can evict everyone in POSSESSION of the house, (including the dog)

I tell my tenants at the signing of the lease not to be offended should they receive a Notice to Quit, that it is just a notice letting them know I have not receive their rent yet.  And when you put it that way, they don't seem to get insulted.  

Once again, you can't even begin the eviction process UNTIL THAT NOTICE HAS BEEN SENT.  AND IT HAS TO BE SENT ACCORDING TO YOUR STATE LAWS  REGARDING HOW MANY DAYS IT HAS TO BE SENT!

Nancy Neville

Originally posted by @Kimberly T. :

If our tenants don't pay by the 5th, they get a Notice to Pay or Quit on the 6th, regardless of whether or not they let us know they'll be paying late.  Delaying serving that notice only delays when you can start the eviction process.  Serving the notice doesn't mean you have to evict them, but it gets the ball rolling on that tedious process in case they flake out and don't end up paying.

 Exactly. 

It's not your job to baby the tenant. Your lease should outline when rent is due - you don't need to go out of your way to send "friendly reminder texts".

If you don't get rent by the due date - then charge a late fee and serve the pay or quit notice.

Tenants will soon learn that you stick to the terms of the lease and there is no negotiation room when it comes to rent collection.

You should not have to remind the tenants... Right? We do it because we want to know when we will be paid and so we can make sure a receipt is issued (always use receipts of some kind). Be sure to check state and local laws regarding imposing late fees; in Oregon they technically have until the 4th before a late fee can be imposed, and only when the dates and fee amounts called out in the lease/rental agreement.

Give them the notice - you're their landlord, not their friend. They'll get the picture.

Be a human being. Text them that you will be starting the eviction process if the rent is not paid as agreed. Then tell them this is their last chance. They may show up with cash. Many variables. Just keep an eye on this tenant.

I do not send reminder text or emails that rent is late. I do text and email along with notice that I'll be entering a property or be over to make a repair. But I do not need to remind anyone that their rent is late. after the grace period pay or quit notice is issued. Delaying the proccess is only going to cost you in the end.

I agree with @Rob Beland .  Until I am as good as @Nancy Neville in handling the potential frustration, I don't realistically send them the Notice to Quite the very day the rent is overdue.  Usually I let my property manager to talk to the tenant first, give a couple days, before escalating it.  Renter's history matter a lot too.  A couple days of lost rent (due to late filing with court) is well worth compared to the potential damage of the landlord-tenant relationship.

For example, would you send a Notice to Quit to your tenant if he/she slightly late but has been on time for several years?

This is something I stress and when going over a lease with a new tenant, I really slow down to review this part. I also have them initial each part I review. I don't bother to remind someone to pay. Simply put rent is due on 1st by 5 p.m. if you can't pay by the 1st I need a 48 hour notice before rent is due. By the second day of non payment you have already been assessed a late fee and a letter is sent for cease or pay by 5. If rents not in my hand by the 7th day paper work is filed for eviction.  

I believe that the rent should be payed on 1st of the month. I do include a 5 day grave period but on the 6th day it's $100 late fee, each day after that it's a $25/day late fee. One of my tenants pays late each month and I receive extra each month. I don't send a Notice to Quit but that doesn't mean I shouldn't. I just give ample time because that's more money in the bank. The 21st day is when I would send a Notice to Quit and begin the eviction process. I have money in reserves so I don't stress about my expenses. Hope this can give a different approach to think about.

Originally posted by @Amy Fowler :

I believe that the rent should be payed on 1st of the month. I do include a 5 day grave period but on the 6th day it's $100 late fee, each day after that it's a $25/day late fee. One of my tenants pays late each month and I receive extra each month. I don't send a Notice to Quit but that doesn't mean I shouldn't. I just give ample time because that's more money in the bank. The 21st day is when I would send a Notice to Quit and begin the eviction process. I have money in reserves so I don't stress about my expenses. Hope this can give a different approach to think about.

 not sure if there are any laws that limit the late fee, but this seems crazy high to me.

we have some tenants that have a grace period until the 5th. our newest ones have no grace period. this month, we changed 2 of them $50 late fee. 

the ones with grace period get a text saying we have not received it and it's after the 1st. we are thinking of stopping that so that we can make more money with the late fees. we;ll see

I had a bunch of law students and they always had money to pay, but were so exhausted that they'd forget to give me a check.  Dealing with extra deposits, etc., just created more work for me.  So, I did decide it was easier for me to send out reminder texts.

My tenants had 5 days grace, so rent was late on the 6th.  Anyone who hadn't paid me by the 4th, I'd include them in a mass text that said "Rent is due tomorrow to avoid late fees. Thanks, Sue."

In your case, I don't like that your tenant seems to be telling you when they'll pay the rent.  That's different than having the check sitting on the dresser and they just forget to put it in the rent drop box.

So, in your case, I'd tell them that you'll accept it on the 7th this time, but if you don't have it on the 7th, you'll have to start eviction.  And in the future, rent not received by the grace period, means a pay or quit notice will be sent out.  And they'll be flirting with a bad reference from you.

I am going through my first eviction case ( court tomorrow) and I certainly hope the last.  of course I will send the other tenants a reminder - in the form of a Notice To Quit - they ( every properties Notice To Quit) have all been printed and other then dated, they are ready to go - I will never wait again no matted what the reason - get the clock ticking immediately - regardless - for me it will be 30 days from the Notice to Quit before the bailiff puts them out - I could hafve started this 12 days sooner - that delay will never happen again.  I can only hope they leave on their own.  I can only hope.

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