Late rent problems, let me know your strategy!

9 Replies

I'm having trouble every month it seems like with people being late on their rent. I've gotten strict with a notice on the 5th and 10th. And if they haven't paid by the 10th depending on the individual they face eviction if they aren't caught up by the end of the month. We then file to evict by the 5th of the next month. I've evicted several people so far and the people who would pay later in the month are starting to pay sooner but it's still a problem. I'm interested in hearing how other landlords combat this problem!

@Cody Furman having stiff late fees (being sure to follow what your state allows as far as late fees) can help you to combat late payments. Other than that, just continue evicting as necessary, and screen new tenants harder so that you find people who aren't as likely to pay late all the time. Good luck!

Easy answer: file for eviction first available opportunity, whatever state law and your lease says. When people know you're not playing around they'll get serious about paying the rent, or you'll evict them and find someone who is paying the rent. 

You've trained them that they have a whole month before you start doing anything about it. And that they can always be a month behind. 

Rent is due on the 1st.

My state requires a 3-day grace period so I hit them with a stiff penalty on the 5th. I don't call, I don't email, I don't knock on their door. The charge is added to their account and they know it.

Once the late fee is added, I only accept money orders or cashier's checks so I know the funds are good.

If they haven't paid in full by the 10th, I start the eviction process and I don't stop it until they pay everything in full or are out of the property.

The first time someone is late, I'll try to communicate with them and remind them. After that, they are expected to know their responsibilities so I don't communicate at all except as required by law (e.g. 3-day Notice to Pay or Quit).

Post notice as soon as you can legally.  Then follow through until they pay or are out.  

If they can't pay in a timely manner, you may want to just let them out of their lease on terms that are agreeable to you and move on.  That way you might be able to avoid an eviction, although it sounds like you're getting decent at it.  

I like @Brandon Turner 's response.  Charge a late fee and give that late fee to your significant other.  If you have enough reserves to cover the mortgage, this could be a way that you could look forward to them being late.  

Hit em hard on fees . If they are going to be late make it worth your while ! If they don’t pay up after a week it’s time to get the legal process in motion according to state laws of coarse

Originally posted by @Shaun Hunt :

I like @Brandon Turner 's response.  Charge a late fee and give that late fee to your significant other.  If you have enough reserves to cover the mortgage, this could be a way that you could look forward to them being late.  

 If you're looking forward to a late fee as "extra income" then you're doing it wrong. Late rent is a red flag. It's just a matter of time before the rent comes later or doesn't come at all. And habitually late tenants are habitually bad at following other rules like keeping the home clean, reporting maintenance in a timely manner, mowing the lawn, etc.

@Nathan G. I certainly agree with what you are saying. I have only collected two late payments out of 600, or so, rent collections.

Originally posted by @Cody Furman :
I'm having trouble every month it seems like with people being late on their rent. I've gotten strict with a notice on the 5th and 10th. And if they haven't paid by the 10th depending on the individual they face eviction if they aren't caught up by the end of the month. We then file to evict by the 5th of the next month. I've evicted several people so far and the people who would pay later in the month are starting to pay sooner but it's still a problem. I'm interested in hearing how other landlords combat this problem!

 We handle our portfolio as follows.

  • Rent is due on the 1st.
  • Late fee starts on the 2nd.
  • If not paid by the 5th we call all tenants 3x/day.
  • We start the eviction process for all past due tenants on or around the 15th of the month for all tenants. (Actual date varies slightly based on office being close due to weekends & holidays.)

Biggest thing is to have 1 policy & stick to it. Do not let any tenant slide for any reason whatsoever. Don't even waste your time listening to the reason as to why they haven't paid....It's totally irrelevant.

  • Tenant lost their job?.............Evict them.
  • Tenant got sick?.................Evict them.
  • Tenant's Grandma died?...........Evict them.
  • Tenant's kids are sick?..............Evict them.
  • Tenant's car broke down?.............Evict them.
  • It's Christmas?...............Evict them.
  • They've got nowhere to go?............Evict them.

It's gotta be black & white like that or you won't survive.

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