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What if Your Tenant Pays Late


Mario Gonzalez - Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Hey Mario Gonzalez here with Navy to Navy Homes with some more property management tips for you. A question we get all the time from DIY Landlords is, "how should I handle late payments?" This is not if your tenant has completely stopped paying, I just mean a normal late payment. So let's talk about that. If you would like to know more on this subject, if your tenant stops payment, you want to get him out of there, please see our blog on, "when a tenant stops paying all together" or "how to evict a tenant," we have information on that.

WAS THERE NOTICE?

So, the first thing if a tenant is late, the question should be, "did they notify you as landlord? Did they let you know of some extraordinary circumstances coming up? Hey, they're traveling, they're this or that, they had some unexpected expenses come up?" That type of thing.  If so, then you may want to communicate to your owner or if you are the owner, you may want to take exception to that to some degree, and I’ll explain how to do that right here at the end.

 

CONSULT THE LEASE

The second thing is what does your lease say? Do you have a written lease that tells them exactly what, what's going to happen when they're late, and what the circumstances are, are there late fees, etc. So if you have a written lease, then definitely stick by that. However, there is a time that you can really use this to build a relationship.

SPECIAL CASE SCENARIO

So let's use a special case. Let's say, it’s around the holidays. They had a child get sick, they had a car accident, they were hospitalized. We've heard them all, and we've seen them all. What I will say is, if you're going to take an exception for one time, say, "I’m going to allow you to pay rent this one time, late, but never again," then I would definitely say you need to follow up in writing, give them a one-time written late rent abatement form that says, "we've accepted it this time, and never again shall we do it." But, let them know that you understand, let them know you're people too and you understand their circumstances and most of the time, those people will pay the late rent. They will pay the late fees as well and they're very accepting to know that you are not going to end the lease, you're not going to give an eviction notice; you are open, willing and accepting of their circumstances. And this is a really rare case where you can build that relationship. Part of owning a rental home allows you to build a relationship with that tenant. Even though it may be, estranged a bit, or distance your property manager in between. But if you use those, all those connections to really build that relationship, say, "hey, I’m an owner and I hear and understand exactly what you're going through," then a late rent, so long as they pay and catch up, again, can be a fantastic way to say, "yes I understand" and actually build that relationship.

FINAL THOUGHTS

So again, we’re not talking about if a tenant stops paying all together. We're just talking if they're late, Just a sideways error. So if you have questions about evicting a tenant or a tenant stops paying all together, please see our other blogs, we're happy to give an information and at any time, feel free to call us here at Navy to Navy, we'll give you any property management advice you like. Thank you.


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