Skip to Content

What Should I Do When My Tenant’s Rent is Late?

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenIn your role as a property owner or landlord, there are lots of things you can do to push for on-time rent payments. Although, some tenants still make late payments or miss rent payments completely. It is essential to know the best way to manage them in these situations. Most landlords create a step-by-step process that the tenant can follow to make sure that their response is both timely and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the important things you can do as a De Beque property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on schedule. Regular communication and convenient online rental payment options are the best way to do this. Staying in contact with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and constant communication when things get tricky. Also, making paying rent easy and convenient may help push your tenant to keep those payments well-timed.

Check Payment Records

When faced with an overdue rent payment from a tenant, it’s essential to verify the information to ensure it’s genuinely late and not a written error. Double-checking your records and lease documents can help determine if the tenant is still within the agreed grace period for on-time payments. Dealtracker offers valuable tools and resources for landlords and property managers to stay organized and manage payment deadlines effectively, streamlining the rental management process and avoiding unnecessary complications related to late payments.

Send a Late Notice

If the grace period has passed and the tenant hasn’t paid rent yet, it is important to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. You may make this an official or a friendly reminder, but just be sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

When you’ve established regular, positive communication with your tenant, you need to continue that trend when handling late or missing rent payments. You can understand a lot about the situation and find out why the payment is late by simply giving your tenant a friendly phone call. Even though your tenant might not want to discuss the details of the situation, especially when they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a brief conversation might accomplish a lot. On the other hand, make sure not to call your tenant repeatedly or demand payment. This is considered harassment, which is illegal.

Send a Pay or Quit Notice

If you’ve tried many reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and other late payment terms, it might be time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This kind of notice is an official document that expresses your desire to pursue action against your tenant. Your notice must have the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in total, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. Make sure to follow state and local laws that govern when such notices can be sent and how they must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

If there are no options left, it might be time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is called the eviction process, which requires a court ruling in most places. In most areas, it’s illegal to forcibly remove a tenant or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. The proceedings could take months and can be costly for those involved. But for no delays or having the judge rule in your tenant’s favor, it’s necessary to follow the law and the evictions process to the letter.

Keep it Professional

Finally, as you work with your tenant, you need to keep a few things in mind. First, do not accept partial rent payments Take any amount of money and you will just restart the eviction process from the very beginning. And make sure to document everything, even the phone calls. Last, it is important to continue your professionalism and stick to the terms of your lease. You may not like to, but an important part of managing your rental property as a business is by enforcing your lease.


Dealing with late or missing rent payments can be a time-consuming headache. That is why many rental properties owners hire property managers like Real Property Management Now to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details