What wording do you use on your Late Payment Notice? I have a family that has only been in the unit for 3 months and has been late by a day for 2 of those months. Lease contract states due on the 1st and late if paid after the 3rd.
I think I need to reinforce the payment due date with them and was wondering what everyone uses.
I use a discount if rent is received by me on or before the first, and a daily penalty if paid after the 5th.
It might be best to talk to other landlords in your area to see what will "fly" with the judges there...
FWIW, I advertised my property without the "discount", and after vetting the tenant, explained that my wife (the accountant), would kick my behind if she has to write a mortgage check on the first, and we haven't received a rent check yet.
Then, I offered the "discount" for early payment... the tenant then (gratefully) offered a stack of post-dated checks to ensure she gets the "discount"...
It's working for me so far...
I would be careful not to word it too harshly, having a tenant that pays consistently, even if one day late, is better than no tenant or one that doesn't pay at all. Try talking to them and asking if there is a reason for the late payments, that may be enough to get them to pay on time.
Yeah, it's too late for the discount. Lease is already signed. But I do like the idea of the discount. It can be encouragement to pay up. I will likely do that on my next lease.
Kyle, I'm not wanting to word it harshly at all. That's why I'm wondering what others are using. I don't want to scare them off. They have been pretty good so far (if not the best house keepers).
You can still do the discount. Just tell them you'll knock $20 off the rent (maybe $10 if we're talking about $500 in rent) if they pay on of before the first. Its worked wonders for me.
Just tell them there is a late fee if they pay even one day late. Presumably that's in your lease. Stick to your guns and insist on it being paid. My lease says I apply money to late fees or other charges first, then rent. So, if they refuse to pay the late fee, but do pay the next months rent, apply it to the late fee first, then rent. Now the rent is short and you can post a pay or quit. I understand being gentle at first, and have worked with tenants that had a problem. But the late fees are big motivators.
You should ask, however, if there is something that forces them to be a few days late. If so, I move back the due date a couple of days, but increase the late fee. If they really need to pay on, say, the 10th, have them pay 10 days rent and shift the rental period back to the 10th through the 10th instead of 1st to 1st.
heres what i use. got it online somewhere:
Notice of Late Fee Assessment
Date of notice: August 5, 2011
Property: 1234 property Avenue
propville, Ca. 92345
Dear jon smit,
Rental payment for the above property has not been received as of the date of this notice. As a result and according to your lease, a late charge has been added to your total balance. Your current balance is now $1,550.00 plus an additional fee of $5.00 per day for every day thereafter until rent is paid. This entire balance must be paid immediately. Your urgent attention is required. Failure to act promptly may lead to eviction proceedings. If eviction is sought, you may be responsible for additional charges, such as court and attorney fees, and your credit rating could be affected.
Please disregard this notice if you have already mailed your payment.
bigbad landlord :)
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