What Can You Do When Your Tenant Suddenly Refuses to Pay Rent?
You’d think that if you’re a landlord, all you have to do is to accept the payments and deposit the check to your account. But what happens when the tenant refuses to pay rent? What if the tenant becomes so delinquent in the payment of rent that your income is suffering? In the beginning, you might want to consider your tenants’ excuses. But before too long, you realize that they are six months’ behind in payments and some of them suddenly stop paying altogether.
You can seek a bailiff company after a court hands down the verdict on your case. That is if you decide to bring the matter to court. The bailiff can take care of making sure that the tenants pay their dues to you. But that’s only one way of getting your money. There are many other things you should know about the landlord-tenant relationship when it comes to payments.
Draft an Iron-clad Contract
First thing’s first. Make sure that you have an iron-clad contract that specifies the payment schedule, deposits, advance payments, and other fees. You need this contract to prove that your tenants are liable. The contract will protect your rights as a landlord and their rights as tenants.
Talk to Your Tenants
If this is the first time the tenants are missing out on the payment, talk to them first. They may be going through something. If the tenants have always been good payors in the past, you can try to understand their situation for just this one time. But if it becomes a habit, you should talk to them about adjusting the payment schedule to make it more comfortable for them.
Send a Notice
When the tenants refuse to pay their dues, sent a “pay or quit” notice to their address. This is a formal letter or email reminding them that if they don’t pay their fees immediately, you will be forced to evict them from the place. In some states, the period for this notice is short. It can be between three and five days. In other states, the period is longer. If they still refuse to pay, then you can file an action before the court.
Pay Them Off
You can make a deal with the tenants. It may sound crazy to offer them money when they owe you money but listen first. You’re stressed. You want them out of your building. There’s a new possible tenant who wants to rent the place. Every second you lose arguing with your present tenants is time wasted. Why not pay them off? Start small until you reach your maximum. You can pay them $250 or $500. As long as they leave the premises, you’ll feel better about it in the morning.
Evictions generally take longer because you have to wait for the court to hear your case. That’s why you need to find a way first by yourself to deal with tenants who cannot pay the rent. If you find a solution, you won’t need to go through the ordeal of filing a case in court and waiting for the court to hand down a resolution.