You followed our recommendations to discourage tenants from paying rent late, but alas, they still pay late. What should you do now? Whether you’re faced with a past-due payment for the first time or you have a tenant with a long history of paying late, it takes you time and costs you money to rectify the situation. Below you will find a simple 5 step process outlining the action you can (and should) take.

Even in the most frustrating of situations, going for a big guns and hiring a lawyer is going to be as expensive and time-consuming for you as it is for the unfortunate tenant, so the small steps before can be a saving grace. And if you follow the same steps every time, then you will prove yourself to be a serious and consistent landlord while following the letter of the law. There’s no better way to present yourself!

Step 1: Check Your Lease Documents and Payment Records

As silly as it may sound, double-check your records to make sure the tenant is truly late with his or her rent. Sometimes landlords keep better records on paper than they do in their heads and can be mistaken as to when something was– or was not– paid. While most states don’t legally specify a certain grace period in which the tenant can pay the rent, the majority of leases contain a clause allowing a 3 or 5-day period after it is due for it to be paid. If you’ve double-checked and found that yes, the tenant is indeed late, then you’re bound to the provisions agreed upon in the lease and by state and local statutes as to what sort of extra fees you can charge. Usually the lease will specify a late fee, but if it doesn’t, then you can’t retroactively change your mind and decide to charge one. And remember, no matter how you personally feel about any late-rent situation, it constitutes a violation of the lease that was signed by all parties, and this effectively makes it a breach of contract.

Step 2: The Late Rent Notice

The next step would be to serve the tenant a Late Rent Notice. This is a piece of paper reminding the tenant that the rent is past-due. It should include a list of all fees that are owed (including late fees) and a warning about further legal action you will need to take if the rent isn’t paid in full very soon. It can be served to the tenant in person, emailed, or taped to the door of the unit around the day after the rent was due. This notice will also help you later in court if you need to prove that there was a pattern of delinquent payments (so keep a copy for yourself!). This step is not required by law and is only recommended as interim action. Hopefully it will jog an honest but forgetful tenant’s memory, but its threat of legal action will make other tenants take it seriously.

You can use Rocket Lawyer’s late rent notice for free here.

Step 3: The Phone Call

A phone call to the tenant to find out what’s going on can be done before or after the Late Rent Notice is served. However, this only needs to be done once to avoid accusations of harassment (which is very illegal). The phone call serves many of the same purposes as a Late Rent Notice, but the added benefit is that you’ll be speaking to the tenant in person. For this reason, try not to substitute an email for the phone call.

Step 4: The Pay or Quit Notice

This is a more official document than the Late Rent Notice and is technically the first step in the eviction process. It shows the tenant you’re serious about pursuing action and is delivered in person to the tenant on the day 6 if the rent is still late. It needs to clearly convey your intent to evict, the amount of money you’re owed (including all late fees), and the date by which they need to pay it. If you have an eviction attorney, this is something he or she can draft. Post it on the door of the unit or deliver it to the tenant in person. You may also want to mail one to him or her as a back-up measure. After this, you will  have to wait a certain period of time until you can file eviction papers– depending on the state, it’s usually around 3-5 days, so check your local statutes.

Step 5: The Last Resort: Legal Action

If all else fails and the tenant still doesn’t pay, get an eviction lawyer. At the earliest possible opportunity (a.k.a. when the Pay or Quit waiting period ends), file a tenant-landlord complaint in court. In many places, it is illegal to evict a tenant until all court precedings are over, and this can take months. You’ll need to pay a fee and thoroughly complete all paperwork before you get a date for a hearing. When the day comes for you to head into court, know ahead of time what you’re going to say and have all your documented evidence prepared.

When dealing with a tenant who pays late or partial rent, some landlords will recommend inspecting the unit as soon as possible to make sure that your property isn’t being damaged. You can usually only enter the unit with the renter’s permission. After obtaining this, they recommend that you document and take pictures of deficiencies. Once you’ve identified these, fix those which are obligated to be taken care of by the landlord and ask that the tenants fix those which are their obligation. Schedule another inspection to make sure both parties have addressed the problems. Keep all documents in case you need them in court.

Remember, it is never acceptable or legal to lock someone out or shut off utilities before the eviction process is complete. Equally illegal are threats, humiliation, or physically attempting to remove the tenant. Not only can these be morally questionable, but an ex-tenant can easily turn around and sue you for unlawful eviction or harassment. As frustrating as it can be, let the courts do their job.

Important Points to Remember

  1. Act quickly and consistently. Enforcing the rules will let tenants know you’re serious and will help prevent late tenants from getting behind even further on their payments. You may have worked out a deal with them once or twice, but what if the payments spill over into next month? It’s better not to have to worry about continual bargaining for the money they promised to give you.

  2. Try not to accept partial rent payments and NEVER accept even one cent if you think the case may go to court. In many places, accepting partial payment will void any legal actions you have previously taken, including Pay or Quit notices, and it will start the process of eviction over again (if you have already started it).

  3. Document everything in writing. If you and the tenant reach an agreement, have them sign a document specifying the compromise and give them a copy.

  4. If there were any co-signors on the lease (like parents of students), they should be held responsible and named in all lawsuits and on all legal papers.

  5. Follow the exact rules of your state and city when going through the eviction process. Failure to do so could result in delays or end the eviction process entirely while the tenant continues to not pay you.

Q&A

Q: How do I handle bounced checks?

A: Your lease should also have a section specifying your reaction to this. Most landlords consider a bounced check to constitute late rent and charge late fees accordingly. Depending on the state, you may be able to charge an additional fee for the very fact it bounced. Notify the tenant immediately if their check bounces, and if they don’t rectify the situation right away, then start the steps above.

Q: What if the tenant decides to leave the unit for good without warning?

A: Unless there is a provision in the lease allowing them to break it (for example, if the tenant gives 30 days notice that he wants to move then he can get out of the lease), then they are still legally liable for any and all past-due payments and future rent payments until the landlord decides to rent to someone else. In this case, you’ll most definitely want to get an experienced lawyer on your side. You may also be able to sue for money to cover the costs of advertising for a new tenant and for cleaning/repairing the unit.

Q: Does landlord insurance help out in situations of eviction?

A: Some policies have add-on features like “rent guarantee” or will cover legal expenses should you take a tenant to court. Talk to your insurance agent to see if this is available.

How to Avoid These Tragedies

If you felt exhausted just from reading these steps, imagine how exhausting they would be in person! To help make collecting rent an easy and convenient task for all parties, it is highly recommended to use an online rent collection system, such as Rentalutions.  Doing so will also help immensely with communicating and documenting everything – with all the info online, there’s no need to sort through papers endlessly or worry about your computer crashing and losing all your records.

  • kasiamanolas

    Hi Ryan! Depending on the state you live in, deposit money should usually be withheld or returned within 45 days of the lease expiring. If your landlord told you that you were paid in full and then held onto security deposit money for unpaid rent, then I would discuss this with your landlord and try to come to an agreement of what happened. Please let us know if we can be of further assistance!

  • FrustratedLandlord

    Our tenants moved out at the end of May and we had someone collecting the rent for us over the 4 years they lived there. Apparently he did not keep records and only deposited checks as they were mailed to him so did not notice they did not pay 5 months of rent which equals almost $8000. they have moved out and we even refunded their secuirity deposit not knowing this until today. Is there anything we can legally do to get our rent for those lost months?

    • kasiamanolas

      Hi, have you spoken to the tenant about the unpaid rent yet? If they say they paid it, then it’s possible your manager stole the money. If the tenant knows they didn’t pay rent, then perhaps there’s a way to settle the issue through mediation: https://www.rentalutions.com/education/articles/landlord-tenant-mediation-a-modern-approach-to-tenant-issues/
      If you’d like to take legal action, it’s best to talk to an attorney about next steps. Please reach out if you have any further questions!

      • FrustratedLandlord

        We have not spoken to the tenants yet. I just found this out last night and wanted to get all the details and options before deciding how to proceed. If we need to take court action I know I need their address and they won’t give that to me knowing that we plan to sue them. I would say I’m almost 100% confident the manager did not take the money, it is not that kind of situation. I did not know of hte Mediation option, thank you for that information. Perhaps we can try that first and if not proceed to legal action. How can I find out if there is time expiration date of when the rent was due? Am I not able to claim the money if it’s been a certain amount of time?

        • kasiamanolas

          Hi, I’m glad the advice to consider mediation was helpful. It can be a good way to solve the issue outside of court. If you’d like to find out if there is a time expiration for collecting rent, I would talk to a lawyer. It likely depends on the city and state that you live in. If you have any further questions, feel free to let us know.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Dan, you can talk to your tenant about why her check bounced and if she can pay. After serving the 5-day pay or quit, you can file an eviction if you still have not been paid. You should consult a lawyer to make sure you are following your state’s laws in regards to eviction. If you have further questions, please let us know.

  • dave

    I have a big problem. So I have signed a lease, my rent was due the first. But I just realized it’s more way convenient for me to stay in my college dorms. I kind of (perhaps) signned my parents name for them, because the lease people told me it would be more swift for me so they can run my mothers credit. Now I’m stuck because I don’t want my moms credit to mess up.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Dave, I’m sorry about this situation you’re in. It’s best to have a reasonable conversation with your landlord about the situation. You can also talk to them about subletting your lease. If you have any further questions, please let us know.

  • dave

    THANK YOU BTW!

    • Kasia Manolas

      You’re welcome, Dave! If you have any further questions, please let us know.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi, those are great questions. As the landlord, it’s ultimately up to you to decide how your late fee works. You can decide to be lenient on a case-by-case basis if you want to. If a tenant pays partial months rent, you can reduce the penalty until it is paid in full. If the payment is considered late after the 1st, then you should charge your $5/day late fee starting after the 1st. But if you prefer to say rent is officially late on the 5th (to be reasonable for forgetfulness) then you can start charging the $5/day on the 5th of the month. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • sha

    My tenants are supposed to be moving and owe me past 2 month rent. Tennant has been giving me loss of job issues etc. is there any document i can have them sign stating they owe me past due rent? and will have to pay back within certain date and legalize it. i dont want to deal with getting lawyers n running back and forth.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Sha, yes you can give them a pay notice. Similar to the “pay and quit notice” mentioned in the article, the pay notice would state how much rent is owed to you and when you expect it by. If they don’t follow through with the terms of the notice, you’ll have to start a legal process at a small claims court. Since they are moving soon, you don’t have to worry about the eviction process (unless they never move out), but you can still give them a notice saying they owe you rent money. Please let us know if you have any other questions!

  • Susy Kahne

    Hi I have a tenant who’s rent was due on the 3rd. It’s the 16th and they havent paid and their excuse was that they didnt receive their check (they have legal custody of 2 kids and get paid for them). The first week I said fine Ill wait and promised they would pay monday or friday. That was last week. I tried to contact them over the weekend with no success so I left a 3 day letter. Now this isn’t the first time theyre late, last month they were late because they were on vacation.

    Today they called with threats that they wont pay anytime soon or leave and threatened to go to court. Should this be enough to get them evicted? And that’s just the non payment. The place has been altered badly

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Susy, yes that is a situation where you could start the eviction process. Tenants need to pay rent on time consistently and not damage your property, otherwise you have the right to evict them. You’ll need to check what the laws are in your state for evictions. In most states, you are required to provide written notice to your tenants stating the intention to evict. This can be called a “notice to vacate” or an “eviction notice.” If you have more questions, please let us know.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Kasey, I’m so sorry about the unfortunate circumstances. If rent is due on the 15th and there is a 5 day grace period written in the lease, then you legally have until the 20th to pay rent. If you only have a verbal agreement with your landlord, then it will be his word against yours in court. The most important thing to prove in court would be what day you agreed to pay rent by. Technically, a landlord can start the eviction process if rent is past due. It’s a good idea to have a transcript of everything that has happened so far (similar to what you’ve written here). Keep track of how much you paid and when you paid it. Hold onto any receipts of transactions, too, if you have them. From your story, it sounds like your landlord unlawfully entered your unit. He didn’t provide any notice of his visit and he moved your nephew out of the way to enter. These are important details- your landlord can get in trouble for violating landlord-tenant laws in your state. Most states require the landlord provide 24 hours notice before entering the unit. The best way to avoid eviction or any legal trouble is to pay rent as soon as you can. If you have any further questions, please let us know.

  • Sandra Chavez

    Hi, I have a tenant that was late last month on her rent. The excuse was not enough hours at work, waiting on her check to come in the mail, her wallet got stolen etc.. well she paid only half the rent on July 24th. It was due the first with no grace period. Then we reached in agreement that she will use her security as her last month’s rent and move. She admitted she couldn’t afford the apartment. She also said as soon. As she got paid we will get the other half of the rent. It’s almost the end of the month and she hasn’t even been in her apartment. It’s like she has totally abandoned it. We finally were calling her and letting her know either if she had the rest of the rent. And we wouldn’t get a response. Finally I text her explaining that the month is going to end and if she is going to start moving. She finally replied and said she was and that she still doesn’t have the rest of her rent. And as soon as she gets paid from her new job she would pay is. I just have a feeling she is going to come move out and avoid paying. It’s seems kind of odd that she left for 30 days without let to g us know. But decide to come back just to move. Please let me know what should I do in this case… I have left late notice payments on her door. I didn’t do an eviction cause we agreed she will use her deposit as her last month’s rent. And I just put another notice the she abandon the apartment for 30 days. Technically that’s the last time she has been I there.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Sandra, if she moves out without paying back the rent she owes you, then you should consult a lawyer and possibly file a small court claim. The claim would state that she owes you rent money. It sounds like she plans to pay you back when she has the money. I understand your concern that she might move out and not pay you back. I would communicate to her a deadline. And after that deadline, you should move forward in the legal process to make sure you are paid what is owed. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Phalandria, I would consult a lawyer to be sure, but I doubt she can charge you court fees without having a court date yet. I recommend paying her as soon as you can. That way you can both avoid legal fees. Please let us know if you have further questions.

  • Joanne Ward

    I have a month to month tenant and twice he has paid his rent late it’s due the first of each month but we agreed on the 5th cause he gets paid 2 times a month. Twice he has paid in middle of month. It’s excuses after excuses. What can I do? I’ve spoken to him the first time that this was unacceptable. Please help

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Joanne, it sounds like you’ve made it clear with your tenant that he needs to pay by the 5th every month. If he continues to pay late, you can give him notice that the month-to-month lease is over. In most states, landlords must provide 30 day notice. If he refuses to move out, then you’d having to start the eviction process. If you have any questions, please let us know.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Richard, you should consult a lawyer. It’s typically illegal to lock a tenant out during an eviction, but that may be different for commercial properties. Your products are your property. I recommend you speak with a lawyer. Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Brandon, I’m so sorry that your landlord isn’t being more helpful. It sounds like you’re on the same lease as the other tenants and you’re in the same unit. If that’s true, then technically every tenant is responsible for the full rent amount. Even if your roommates aren’t paying rent, the amount is still due. Your landlord can evict everyone for not paying rent. That being said, a professional landlord should be helpful in regards to this matter and speak with the tenant who is not paying rent. It sounds like your landlord is being very uncooperative. Your best bet is to talk to a lawyer. Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Sandra, I’m so sorry your tenant didn’t take care of your property. In the case of property abandonment, there are different steps you may be required to take depending on your state’s laws. Typically, landlords are required to hold onto the property in a storage unit and then provide the tenant a delivery notice if they have a tenant’s new address. Make sure you document every action, the date, and your reasoning. This will help in case your tenant comes back for his/her property and sees it is gone.

    As for the mold, that is property damage as a result of the tenant’s neglect to take care of the property. You can take your tenant to court for damages. Your tenant would owe you the amount it costs you to fix that damage. If you have a security deposit, you can withhold the amount for the damages.

    If you have further questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia

  • Ellie W

    Hi I have a tenant she just signed a 2 year lease contract 2 months ago. Recently she called me said she will move out because the school doesn’t provide school bus for his son who had a mental disability. She couldn’t quit her job and pick up her son everyday. We both agreed she can move by end of this month. Now it’s middle of this month and I haven’t got her rental payment yet. I called her and messaged her couple times and couldn’t get hold of her and she still didn’t pay. What should I do now? Please help. Thanks!

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Ellie, the next step is to give your tenant a Late Rent Notice. You can email it, deliver it in person, or tape it on the door. The notice tells a tenant what amount is owed (including late fees if you have them) and when the amount is due. This will show your tenant how serious the manner is. And hopefully, in the case of a forgetful tenant, it will jog her memory. I also recommend you call your tenant and have a conversation. It’s a good idea to find out what’s happening. If this doesn’t help, you’ll need to move onto legal action. Please let us know if you have further questions!
      Best,
      Kasia

      • Ellie W

        Thank you Kasia!

        • Kasia Manolas

          You’re welcome Ellie!

  • Kasia Manolas

    You’re welcome, Brandon!

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Michelle, it’s okay to issue a warning the first time, but it’s important to follow the rules in place. To sometimes issue a late fee and other times not is confusing. Consistently is important. Every time your tenant is late in the future, you should issue your late fee. This will communicate to your tenant that she needs to pay rent on time every month. If you have any other questions, please reach out. Best, Kasia

    • Michelle Pereira Cravo

      Thank you so much for your response. Because we never held her accountable in the past, I decided to issue the warning. In the letter I state exactly what you said…if going forward the rent is paid late, we will be enforcing the late fee. I also listed the dates of rent received since January 2016 through September to show when she’s been paying. I figure a registered letter is better than verbally or email or text.

      Thank you again for your help. It’s good to confirm what you mention is actually what we’re doing.

      Michelle

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi Michelle, I’m so glad the advice was helpful. If you have any questions in the future, please let us know.

  • taleib

    Hi, I have a tenant that had not been paying her rent until the 5th of the month because the lease says it’s due on the 1st of the month but not considered late until the 6th. I consulted a lawyer and he said if she doesn’t by midnight on the 1st to issue her with a 5 day pay or quit notice (there are multiple problems with the tenant and he said this is the only way to get her evicted is if she doesn’t pay her rent). I had her served with a 5 day pay or quit notice on the 2nd and gave her until the 7th to pay. She didn’t pay so I went to court and filed an Unlawful Detainer and have a court date for 30 Sep. She still hasn’t paid the rent but said she intends to pay on or around the 23rd. My question is what to do if she pays the rent in full before the court date as I still want to evict her.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi, I recommend consulting your lawyer if she does pay you before the court date. You may still have a case for eviction. Please let us know if you need further assistance.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jacqueline, your tenant still owes you rent even if he moved out. Since he’s not replying to you, I recommend filing a claim in a small court. You’ll be set up with a court date. You and your tenant will need to settle what he owes you and a date by which he must pay you. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out. We’re happy to help. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Sahira, I recommend talking to your tenant about the other 3 months of rent that he or she owes. Since he or she paid the 4th month’s rent, there’s a chance they’re just behind and will pay you soon. You can give them a pay notice telling them what they owe you and to pay you by the end of the month, since rent is far overdue. If they don’t pay you by the due date, you have grounds to start the eviction process. Please let us know if you have any questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi, it’s possible your tenant will pay before the court date. We recommend not accepting the payment unless she pays the full amount of everything she owes you. If the tenant pays the full amount, then technically you don’t have ground to evict her anymore. Unless there are other reasons why you need to evict her (breaking any lease terms, etc). Please let us know if you have any questions moving forward. Best, Kasia.

  • disqus_4QnjyXAIXy

    I have a tenant not paying rent (400) for months, and 2 tenants (400 each) have moved in extra people (owe balances also). Water bill usually $249. Last bill $900 new bill was $1740.00. Fixed an checked for leaks. I have decided not to pay it and requested tenants leave by November 1. Asked tenants to move for months. The water bill now exceeds total rents received. What can I do, legally?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi, you should serve your tenants an Eviction notice and begin the eviction process. The notice will say what day you expect them out by. If they don’t move out, you’ll need to seek legal action. Please let us know if you have questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Mony, the 5 days are a grace period, but rent is technically due the first. If you can make the payment by the first I recommend doing that. If you can’t pay on the first, I would talk to your landlord about your situation . He or she might be willing to adjust the rule for you if you need a few extra days to pay. Please let us know if you have any questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi, I’m glad the situation is moving along. It sounds like your tenant is not cooperating, but hopefully the eviction process will go smoothly and you’ll have a new tenant soon. Best of luck, Kasia.

    • taleib

      I won my judgement!

  • Lc

    Hi, I’m located in Kansas City, Missouri and have been renting a house for the past 2 years from a property owner who lives in California. The property manager is located here and I believe is in charge of the record keeping even though we pay rent by using out of state counter deposits to the property owner in CA.
    My roommates and I have been on month to month since the beginning of the year and are required to give 60 days notice when we decide to move. My roommates had to move out of state on short notice so we told the property manager at the end of July and they paid their 60 days worth of rent they owed as of the end of September. We talked to the property manager in August, it took her weeks to come by to discuss it, she mentioned that there might be past late fees and would get back to us once she spoke to the property owner. After no word for a month and a half, she emails a ledger that looks like it was written by a 14yr old. From what we can make of it, we owe nearly $700 in late fees dating back to May?
    My question is; is any of this legal? Are we accountable for late fees we knew nothing of until months after the fact? Every time we pay rent, we send in a photo of our receipt to the property manager and she says “thanks”. So why wouldn’t she mention it as the balance was growing? We had a few late fees in may and we thought we took care of them, she said she’d get back to us if there was a balance and never did so we assumed we were clear.
    Sorry for the novel, we’re at our wits end and are considering legal counsel.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi, I recommend legal counsel for what they are legally allowed to charge you. From the situation you’ve described, it doesn’t sound fair, as they never notified you of the fees as they were accruing. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • laron

    Can you be evicted after 5 days even though rent is due on the first and late fee after 3 days

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi, typically a tenant is evicted for consistently not paying rent or paying rent late. One late payment is typically not grounds for evicting a tenant, but I recommend you talk to your landlord about why rent was late. You can also consult an eviction lawyer if your landlord takes action against you. They will be able to give you legal counsel. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Best, Kasia.

      • Sean

        We have an apt the tenant didn’t pay for one month and ten days. Now we ask him to move out, he asked for another 30 days stay without pay. What should we do?

        • Kasia Manolas

          Hi Sean, it’s up to you how you want to move forward with your tenant. If he asked for another 30 days before paying, you can tell him that is not acceptable and he needs to pay by a certain date. We recommend setting a deadline and clarifying what he owes you. If he never pays you, you can begin the eviction process. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Tamara Cain

    Hi , I have previously rented an apartment in Kansas. I lived there for 10 years with no lease. I had given my 30 days notice to move on June 27th 2016. The condition of the apartment was fine except it was an upstairs unit, that once upon a time had a deck with stairs. Which has completely fallen off making it unable to move my stuff out. I of course let the landlord know. The landlord said he didn’t have the money to fix it . So when my 30 days notice was up I went to get my stuff ( couches , fridge ,etc) I had to carefully take the doors off the hinges and ALOT of work to get my stuff out. I had always paid for 10 years, I tried to pay for August rent as it was such a pain to try and get my stuff out . The time frame did carry into August. I sent the landlord my 400.00 rent in certified mail. He text me and refused to pick it up, saying I made it complicated by sending it certified mail. When it was delivered to his door and I told him when I was sending it. Now he is sending me text messages saying this is an attempt to collect a debt. Advice please . I have pictures and all of my documents to show I left the place in great condition. Except a lease beacuse there wasn’t one . What do I do ? I have since bought a house and this is getting out of hand .

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Tamera, I’m so sorry about your current situation. It’s good that you have pictures of the unit as you left it. I recommend discussing with your landlord what debt he is talking about. If you can prove to him you paid rent all 10 years and you sent the last 400 dollars as certified mail, then you should be fine. If he is asking for money that you feel you do not owe him, the next step might be going to court to settle the dispute. If you have questions, feel free to reach out. Best, Kasia.

  • Sean H

    hello friends,
    so my tenant is not paying the rent and says he can’t pay till january. he lost his job. they are not bad people but i can’t go without the rent for this long. our contract is on month to month bases for now so I’m thinking of probably selling the house (i was thinking of that anyway) and have him pay me the rent in some way rather than going through the eviction processes. i don’t know if this makes sense? please advice

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Sean, if you’re on a month-to-month lease with your tenant then you can give him 30-day notice to move out. You can decide with your tenant how and when he will pay you for the rent that he owes you. If you cannot go without rent that long then your best option is to find a new tenant who can make monthly rent payments. If you have any questions about how to move forward, please let us know. Best, Kasia.

  • Julia S.

    Hello, I have a tenant who owes one months rent. They always have excuses and are late when they do pay. Also the most concerning issue is that they are responsible for turning on their own utilities. However, they are illegally stealing water. And I have received the notice that any usage will be my responsibility. I have given them chances and tries talking to them. Can i evict them and will the issue with the utility be in my favor. I live in Texas

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Julia, you have grounds to evict your tenant if they are not obeying the rules in your rental agreement (by not paying rent and stealing water instead of turning on the correct utilities). I would work on that soon so you are not liable for renting to someone who is stealing water. If you have any questions, please feel free to reach out. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Dori, if you give your tenant the notice to pay or quit, then the next step is the tenant should pay or move out. If the tenant doesn’t move out, you’ll have to file a claim in court. You don’t need a lawyer to do this. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Anna

    Hello, I would like to to know, I’m tenant, and I could not afford to pay the rent and noticed the agency. I offered to use our deposit money for the month rent and move out from the house till the next rent. meaning as I could not pay the rent now and I know I won’t be able do this till next payment – this was my offer, but they still require money, because they say they can’t use the deposit money. Although they didn’t hear me when I needed things to be done in the house for example when washing machine broke, it took 4 weeks till they finally send someone to fix it, and over 2 months to fix the boiler… Do they have right to ‘throw me out’ before the date when the next rent should be payed? Thank you

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Anna, your landlord has to fix things in order to make the unit safe and habitable. I recommend talking to your landlord about the situation. You’ve already offered a good idea for the landlord to keep your deposit and you will move out. That sounds like a good agreement. What did you landlord say that he/she needed the deposit money for? Deposit money should only be kept by a landlord for damage to the property or missed rent. Let me know if you have more questions. Best, Kasia.

      • Anna

        Hello,
        sincerely thank you for your answer. I don’t have any contacts of the landlord, because agency didn’t give me any, although I have asked many times. They just ignored my asking. Agency doesn’t accept this and call me every day and even come to the house that I payed rent at least for a week or two and my saying that they should use the deposit is useless… Today the agent came to my house and said if I don’t have money I should ask social welfare to give me some and that the deposit is not for covering this situation and if not he will give two weeks notice to leave the house, although our month ends on the 21st. But when I said if I had money to pay and paid the rent would I get my deposit on the day I leave the house, this question was ignored… And they have already put the advertisement that the house is available on the 15th.Is that legal? Thank you.

        • Kasia Manolas

          Hi Anna, your deposit can be used to cover a missed rent payment. And if your lease ends on the 21st, then they shouldn’t be listing the property for the 15th. I recommend talking to the agency about the listing making the property available on the 15th. If you have any questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Mishana, the first day that rent is late, you should provide a late rent payment notice. In this situation, the tenant typically has 5 days to pay or move. If the tenant repeatedly pays in this 5-day period, then I recommend talking to him or her about the situation. Perhaps they are waiting for a paycheck before they can pay rent. If you’re looking to evict the tenant, then I recommend consulting with a lawyer in SC who can advise you. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Chas, your landlord shouldn’t be applying late fees to August and September if rent was paid on time. In terms of accepting partial payments, that is typically something the landlord and tenant discuss. Your landlord can decide whether he or she will allow it. It sounds like your landlord was accepting your partial payment in July, but not in October. I recommend asking your landlord for a breakdown of the amount that you owe. If it’s different every month, then you should know exactly what they are charging you for. The rent price is on your lease and cannot change each month without proper notice. It sounds like your landlord is now avoiding your calls and applying more late fees. If the situation continues, you can speak to a lawyer and try to break your lease early on the grounds that your landlord may not be complying with the lease. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Natali, it sounds like a good idea to talk to the owner about the parking situation. In terms of rent being late, it sounds like you’re paying rent in 2 payments because you are paid every 2 weeks. If you speak with the landlord/owner about this, they may be willing to change the rent due date, or accept 2 partial payments for rent each month. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

    • Natali Cuevas

      Now my manager came and told me she could kick me out if I pay my rent late one more time cause she has the right to do it…

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi Natali, have you tried talking with your landlord about why you’re paying late? If you explain that you are being paid twice a month and would like to pay rent twice a month, your landlord may understand. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi David, yes it’s a good idea to sign a new lease with her boyfriend since he is now living there. That way, when he misses rent payments you would have grounds to evict him. I recommend speaking to a lawyer about the situation since he is not on the lease currently. You can give him a “pay or quit” notice which tells him how much he owes you and by what day it needs to be paid. If he doesn’t pay, you might have grounds to evict him. Best, Kasia.

    • Tamar Komla

      This reads as if David has now decided against renting to the boyfriend. Sound like s smart decision to me. I’m interested in the answer: how might he navigate the situation where the guy resides there but not under a lease? And the lease is no longer the best option. ?

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi Tamar, the landlord can evict a tenant who is living in the unit but is not on the lease. If you have any questions, let us know. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jacqueline, I recommend communicating to your landlord that your pay day is the 23rd and you’ll be able to pay him or her then. They may be willing to push back the deadline from the 21st to the 23rd for you. It sounds like your landlord has already started the eviction process if he or she is asking you to pay an eviction filing fee. I recommend talking to them to see if you are able to pay late and still finish your lease until March. Let us know if you have questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Cassie, there are typically laws that limit how much a landlord can charge you in late fees and whether you are legally responsible to cover court fees. You are typically only responsible for court fees if you go to court with your landlord and you lost. I recommend researching your state and local laws about these fees. You can also ask for a lawyer’s advice. I recommend talking to your landlord to find out the charge details on why you owe an additional 7052.40 more than you believe you owe. If you feel your landlord is unfairly charging you, then it might be in your best interest to find a new rental property while you figure out what you owe your current landlord (and if it’s fair). Please let me know if you have any additional questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi, I recommend bringing your tenant to court and settling the issue there. If your tenant didn’t give you proper notice of 90 days before leaving, then he or she violated the terms of your lease. If another landlord ever contacts you about being a reference for this tenant, you could warn him or her then. There are also sites online dedicated to reviewing tenants. You could review the tenant online to help warn other landlords. Please let me know if you have any further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jennifer, I recommend talking to the landlord. You may need to settle this issue in court. There are often limits to how much a landlord can fairly charge in late fees. You can research your state and local landlord-tenant laws online. Please let me know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Lynn, I would check with a lawyer about whether your landlord violated a law by talking to other tenants about your situation. And I recommend talking to your landlord to clarify when you intended to pay (due to your husband switching jobs). Perhaps something was lost in communication.I also recommend finding out what you owe and when you need to pay it by. If you have questions, let us know! Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Michele, if the tenant is consistently not paying on time then he or she is breaking the rules in your lease, which gives you grounds to evict him or her. To read more about grounds for eviction and how to go about the process, check out our article:
    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/
    If you have any other questions, feel free to reach out. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jermaine, I’m so sorry about the fire. Since your landlord is refusing to let you leave the lease, I recommend setting up a court date to settle the matter. It seems there is debate over who is responsible for the fire. Keep in mind, the landlord is required to provide a safe and habitable environment for you. If you have further questions please let me know. Best of luck, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi, yes you can start the eviction process since she is breaking the lease by not paying on time. Check out this article for more information on the eviction process:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/

    If you have questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia.

  • Joe

    Hi – I have a weird situation. Chase sends my rent checks, and my check went out on December 16 for my Jan 1 rent. My landlord left me a note last night at 9 PM after the management office closed saying that if I did not pay by 8:30 AM the next morning at 8:30, I would be charged a late fee of $75 (and by the way, it also goes on the ledger, so future landlords will see it if I apply – that I paid late, when I apply to live elsewhere).

    So, I printed out my Chase confirmation that it was paid (and debited) from my account. I left this in the management mailbox. I work from 6 am to noon, so I couldn’t see them until 1 PM, and they said – nope – sorry – we never got the check & now you owe us the rent and you will be charged the $75 late fee and it will go on the ledger. This is a major management company with dozens of buildings. What they are doing is ABSURD. I asked, can’t you just waive it in this case – I mean, I proved I had the check sent. And, she said “if I did that for you I’d have to do that for everyone”. (Am I in second grade?)

    If I take them to small claims court, they will have to file an appearance fee for $200+ which is what I want to do, because they are completely wrong and unethical for doing this. However, I am not 100% sure I will win. Do they have a duty to inform me they didn’t receive the check? Shouldn’t it be more than 1 minute before it is due (the office was closed)? Chase absolutely sent the check FAR in advance and this is confirmed. They’ve been on vacation until Jan 3, which is another reason for them being so far behind…yet I have to pay the price for it.

    What do you recommend I do here? Thank you.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Joe, that does sound unfair. If you want to fight them on it, you’ll likely need to go to a small claims court. It sounds like you’ve talked to the management company and provided proof and they didn’t budge. It sounds like you would win in court as you did indeed pay rent early (and not late) and you have proof. However, I’m not a lawyer and I can’t say for certain. I hope this helps. If you have any questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Joe,
      I recommend you talk to them about the situation. If they still won’t budge you can take the issue to a small claims court on the basis that you should not be charged a late fee for 75 dollars. It’s good that you printed out the chase confirmation with the date you paid on it. If you have any questions, please reach out to us. Best of luck, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Michele, yes you are right. The first step would be providing the notice and then you can file eviction papers. The notice should say that you will pursue an eviction if rent is not paid. You should state the amount owed and when you expect it paid by. Here’s an article that provides information about evictions:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/

    If you have further questions, please let us know! Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Sheila, yes you have a right to pursue an eviction if your tenants are not paying rent. You should provide them a notice that says how much they owe you and when you expect them to pay by. If they don’t pay you back (with late fees) by the expected date, then you can move forward with filing for an eviction. This article provides more information about what steps to take and how to word the notice:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/

    Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

    • Sheila H

      Thank you Kasia for the reaponse, it was very helpful. Do you know if I do end up filing for eviction through court, are the tenants responsible for paying rent during that time?

      • Kasia Manolas

        You’re welcome Sheila. I’m not positive if your tenant is responsible for rent at that time, but my assumption is yes. Let us know if you have any further questions!

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jason, after providing a notice to pay or quit, the next step is filing for an eviction at your local courthouse. They’ll provide you a court date and will typically notify your tenants. The article below provides more in-depth information on how to pursue an eviction:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/

    Please let us know if you have further questions.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Debbie Belcher

    I was told that if late fees are included in the 5 day notice it becomes void, that late feees etc should be in a damaging hearing

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Debbie,
      Thanks for the input. It’s possible this rule differs among states.
      Let us know if you have any questions.
      Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Duncan,

    He should not be threatening to damage the property when you are not home. Also, if he is unlawfully requiring you pay the owed rent in 7 days, then you can take the matter to court. The court will be the best mediator and let everyone know how they should move forward (they’ll let you know much you owe and by when).

    Please let us know if you have any questions.

    Best,

    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    You’re welcome, Joe!

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Vicki,

    We’ve recently written an article on lease-to-own agreements that you may find helpful:
    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/articles/lease-to-own-agreements-can-benefit-landlords-and-tenants/

    If you’ve given him a pay or quit notice and he leaves, then he wouldn’t be responsible for the rest of the rent payments for the lease date. As for the down payment, I’m not sure. It would depend on how your agreement is written. It’s probably best to consult a lawyer to find out exactly what he owes you.

    Please let us know if you have further questions.
    Best,
    Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Katherine,

    Yes, you are correct. Every tenant is responsible for the full rent payment. And you can evict everyone who is on the lease, not just the tenant who is not paying. You can send a notice written out to all three tenants stating that the full rent amount is owed and if it’s not paid by a certain date that you will pursue an eviction. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Joe,

    Tenants can still owe you rent even once they moved out. You can consult a lawyer to find out if what you’re asking your tenant to pay you is accurate and fair.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions!

    Best,

    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jennifer,
    If you consult with a lawyer, he or she will be able to tell you if there is more you can do to appeal the court requirements. Please let us know if you have further questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    Those are all great questions.
    1. Yes, it is possible to not renew the lease and have them move out. Any time your lease ends, it’s up to you as the landlord to determine if you want to offer a renewal or not. If you don’t offer a renewal then the tenants will have to move out when the lease ends.
    2. You only have to provide notice of moving out if you’re on a month-to-month lease that rolls over each month. If your lease has a fixed end date, say Feb 28th, then the tenants are expected to move out by that date.
    3. Your tenant should pay rent while he or she lives there.
    4. You do not need to pay them any sort of money to move out. They should move out because the lease has ended.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Danny,
    One option is to sign a new lease document and add her sister to the lease so she is responsible for all terms on the lease (including paying rent). Or you can start the eviction process. The first step would be providing an eviction notice. We discuss how to evict a tenant in this article below.
    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/
    If you have any questions, please let us know.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Shanell,
    If your landlord has falsified information saying you haven’t paid rent when you have then you should take him or her to court. And provide proof of paying the full amount. If you have any questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Tracy,
    We’re glad you found it helpful. I recommend either driving the two hours to talk to them in person or consider evicting them. You don’t want to rent/sell to them if they’re not following the lease terms (paying the full 700 dollars) and not being communicative. If you want to have them move out, you should follow the steps in this article where you see “Next Steps for Eviction.” The first step would be providing a formal Notice of Eviction. If you have questions, please reach out. Best, Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Aditya,
    I recommend talking to your landlord and moving out as soon as you can (since you were supposed to be out February 1st). If you mention the complications of the holiday weekend and the fact that most of your stuff is out of the property, then your landlord may be willing to refund your deposit. You can always take the matter to court and fight to get the 2-month deposit back on the grounds that you moved out when you could, given the holiday. Please let us know if you have more questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Kisha,
    I’m not positive I understand your question. If you gave them an eviction notice last February, then yes you can go ahead and follow through on the eviction. If the clause you mentioned gives them 90 days to pay and you only recently gave them the Eviction Notice, then you would need to give them a certain amount of time to pay. I hope this answers your question. Feel free to reach out if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jade, I recommend having your friend who is managing the property talk to the tenant. If the owner can agree to a payment plan, then he or she could move forward without legal action. They could also give the tenant a Pay or Quit notice, which tells the tenant he needs to either pay by a certain date or move out. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    As long as the landlord tried communicating with the tenants and providing notice of entry, then it’s probably okay for him to enter the house now. Especially because he hasn’t heard from the tenants and he put an eviction notice on their door. Please let us know if you have further questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Linda, technically you can deduct from the security deposit for unpaid rent or property damage. It sounds like you are taking the right steps and coming to a compromise that will get your tenant out of the unit on time. If your tenant doesn’t leave by February 25th, then you can start the eviction process. The eviction process differs depending on the laws in your area. Typically, you’ll start by going to court and filing the claim. Make sure you document communication with your tenant in writing and hold onto it, just in case. Please let us know if you have any further questions. Best, Kasia

  • Ada Torres

    Hello I have tenants who are constantly late on rent and have caused so much damage inside the apartment. I’ve also had to call the cops on them because of a physical fight they had. I proceeded with the eviction process so they haven’t paid me rent and have seen no sign of them leaving soon. Things such as clogged sinks and blown fuses have happened. Am I legally required to fix those issues even tho they haven’t paid me rent?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Ada,
      I recommend continuing the eviction process. If/when you win, the court will order them to leave the property and to pay what they owe you. You are legally required to fix necessary repairs, but considering they are in the process of being evicted, then I’m not positive if you are still obligated to fix these right away. I recommend consulting a lawyer to find out for sure. If you have any questions, please let us know. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Beth,
    Yes, you can ask them to make one payment instead of sending two checks. Let me know if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    Yes, you can request they pay with one check and then they can work out the money between the two of them. Let us know if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Carmen,
    Yes, you can provide an eviction notice and let him know you plan to rent to other tenants. Be sure to give him a clear move-out date with enough notice (typically 30 days is the rule). Let us know if you have questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Mel,
    I recommend talking to your landlord. Is the insufficiency of funds a temporary situation for him or her? If you find out more, you may be able to determine how to best forward. If it doesn’t seem like your tenant is able to make payments it may be best to evict due to lack of payment. Let us know if you have any questions. Best, Kasia.

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Marie,
    I’m not sure what your chances are of receiving that money. We recommend asking a landlord-tenant lawyer to find out more. Let us know if you have questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jared,
    The money that was due from the last month is definitely past due. The money from the current month’s rent may or may not be past due, depending on whether or not you have a grace period. If rent is due on the first and you do not have a grace period, then it is already past due. If you have a grace period then no, your current rent is not past due yet and the notice would not be completely accurate. I recommend talking to your landlord about the payments and when you will pay. Let us know if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

    • Jared Fishman

      A UDR was filed based on the notice. I understand since my rent is due by the 5th, it was not late. Is the notice valid? Also the UDR was filed and my lease is with a business and the owner is the named plaintiff not the business. I do not have a contract with the owner. Are these valid defenses? Also never received a certified mailing and isn’t the mailing supposed to be certified?

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi Jared,
        If rent is not late, then it’s possible it’s not valid. I’m not sure what is a valid defense in your case, I recommend following up with a landlord-tenant lawyer for specific advice. Let us know if you need further assistance.
        Best,
        Kasia

  • Monica

    Hi my name is Monica. My husband and I have a house in Iowa. We are renting it out to a family. For the past three months the tenant has not payed full rent. She says she will deposit one day and does not end up depositing until a week later. Whenever rent is due she aleays says that there is something needed to be fixed in the house. We signed a 6 month contract that is over May 2017 she still owes $850.00 and I have not been able to communicate with her because she does not answer phone calls or text. The family wants to move out April instead of May. What do I do and how can I get my money? Ty in advance.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Monica,
      I recommend letting them out of the lease in April since they are not paying on time and they owe you money. Make sure to document how much the tenants owe you and if they don’t pay you, you can take them to court to collect the amount owed. Let us know if you have any questions.
      Best,
      Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Irene,
    I believe you can, but I recommend checking with a landlord-tenant lawyer first.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Heather,
    I believe landlords can also use collection agencies, rather than going to court. Let us know if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Eric,
    I recommend talking with her when you can. It sounds like her office was closed the last time you went to speak with her about it. As a last resort, yes you could get a lawyer and resolve it that way. Depending on your location and the eviction laws there, she may be right to be able to evict you for paying rent late even once. Since you paid for the month, you may be able to talk to her and stay in your lease.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jared,
    It’s possible that the would be a good defense. However, I recommend talking to a lawyer about that.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jared,
    I recommend talking to a lawyer about this. The laws are rather technical and a lawyer in your area will be able to answer this more definitively for you.
    Let us know if there’s anything we can do to help you further.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Lindsay,
    Landlords should only apply one late fee per late payment. The landlord should keep a list of what is owed (if rent and late fees are continuously unpaid). If rent is two months late, then there would be one late fee for the first missed payment, and a second late fee for the second late payment. There should not be a double penalty for being late, if that makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Momo,
    I recommend continuing to reach out to your tenant and hopefully he or she replies soon. You can mail a late rent notice to the property, as well as to their residence if you have their personal address. If the tenant doesn’t pay rent you can choose to evict him or her. This article below further outlines how to handle late rent payments.

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rent-collection/how-to-handle-late-rent-payments/

    Please let me know if you have further questions.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    I recommend communicating with the landlord about your money situation. In some cases, landlords will be understanding, especially if you’ll have the money by the end of the week. Your lease is a legal contract that says you’ll pay rent every month, so technically your landlord has the right to evict you if you pay late or skip a payment. However, it sounds like you’re on top of the situation and will be able to pay soon. It was also a rare situation to be out of work due to the fires. Let us know if you have any further questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    I’m sorry to hear about your mother’s passing. Do you have a lease with this tenant? It’s best to have a written lease where you agree to the terms (rent price, late fees, etc.) with the tenant. Your lease should also say how much notice you’ll provide if you want to end the lease. Are you providing 5-day notice for the tenant to leave? Providing 30 days’ notice is more reasonable so he can find a new place to live and arrange movers if necessary. Although I understand the need to get him out since he is not paying rent. You can always go to court and get in writing how much money he owes you and that way he will eventually need to pay you back. Please let us know if you have further questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Shantia,
    She can’t take you to court if you pay her everything that is owed, unless she is taking you to court for a different reason. I recommend paying everything that is owed and moving (as you are planning to). If you have any questions, please let us know.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Howard,
    Have you asked her to pay? If she’s refusing to pay, you can file a claim at court saying she owes you money. If you file a claim, you increase the chances of her paying you back. If future landlords run a credit and background check on her, they will see that she owes money. If you have any questions, please let us know.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Peter Jones

    Hi! So i’m asking for a colleague of mine who is going through a rough phase. He manages many different properties (all of which are his own) in the college town of Radford. None of the houses are very “liveable” per say but college students need a place to live for cheap so they inhabit them. My buddy J wants to hold on to his properties that are in key locations near campus just long enough til he gets a good enough offer from one of the real estate moguls in that area.
    Now here is the problem:
    He has had problems this past year collecting rent from some of his renters. They claim that he didn’t make any repairs nor in time (in all honesty he has been too busy with his kids and his day time job to manage several properties) so they said they will not pay him anymore. However they signed the lease agreements…. The tenants have also threatened to call the health inspector as they feel the house is too trashed and they see many fire hazards and they said there is mold in the house. Can my friend take these kids to court or should he let it go and not risk the health dept getting involved and just sell the property to a huge realty company?

    THOUGHTS??????

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Peter,
      Your colleague should consult with a lawyer to see whether taking his tenants to court is the best way to go. It sounds like he needs to make sure the properties are in better condition, as his tenants are withholding rent in order to get him to take action. In some cases, that is a legal course of action for tenants to take.
      Best,
      Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Oshai,
    I recommend speaking to a landlord-tenant lawyer in your location. You’ve been paying for maintenance which is typically the landlord’s responsibility. Similarly, it sounds like the landlord is neglecting keeping the unit in a good condition. If you have any other questions, please let us know.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Ashley,
    I recommend finding out what they believe you owe $4,000 for. Once you know why they’re charging you, you can likely fight them on it and prove why you do not owe that money if that’s the case.
    Please let us know if you have any other questions.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,
    I recommend telling your landlord that you mailed the payment on time and it’s not your fault it was lost in the mail. If she is willing to waive the late fee and in the future maybe you can drop it off at your landlord’s office. You can mention that you’ve been very accommodating and willing to pay through whatever method your landlord recommends and you’ve been paying on time.
    You and your landlord would benefit from online rent payments through our system. That way, everyone can see when you’ve scheduled payments and when the payment will be deposited:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/tenants/online-rent-payments

    Please let us know if you have any further questions.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Amanda,

    I’m so sorry that the tenant is not paying rent or following rules. Since she isn’t leaving, I recommend filing for an eviction at court. You can read about this in the article below. Please scroll to “next steps for eviction.”

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/

    If you win the eviction, then your tenant will receive a “Writ of Possession” which gives them about 8 days to leave the property. If she still doesn’t leave, the police will get involved.

    Please let us know if you have questions.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Nayana,

    Did you sign a formal lease with this tenant? Did you come to an agreement about how long she would stay and when she would pay? I recommend doing this in the future if you haven’t already. As for evicting her, that will be easiest if you have a written agreement that she is violating. You would go to court and file an eviction.

    You can read more about next steps in this article:

    https://www.rentalutions.com/education/guides/complete-guide-to-rental-leases/breaking-a-rental-lease-and-grounds-for-eviction/

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Perry,

    Typically, tenants can have guests on the property. If she is just staying the night, then that is okay. However, if she’s trying to continue living there while not on a lease, then that is probably not okay. I recommend following up with a landlord-tenant lawyer in your area. They’ll be able to help you further, given the laws in your location.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Jennifer,

    Since your lease is up, you do have to leave the property. It sounds like you’re in the process of getting a new place which is great. I recommend telling your current landlord about your plans to move out soon. You can assure them you’ll make up for all rent payments. It might be helpful if you discuss a payment plan (how much per week you will pay back). I recommend keeping track of everything you’re paying. You can ask your landlord for a payment receipt as well. That will help ensure that everything is kept track of.

    Please let us know if you have any further questions.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,

    Since she is not on a lease, you have every right to make her leave. You’re not in a legally binding agreement with her. You can go to court and file an eviction on the basis that she is living there without any right to live there. She is not paying rent. If you have any questions, please let us know.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi,

    Your landlord can evict you if you violated the lease agreement. Paying rent late is technically a violation of the lease. But if your landlord agreed to that situation, and received your check recently, then it seems odd he would follow through with an eviction. Have you asked him yet for the reason? Did you ever sign anything that showed your landlord agreeing to the late payment(s)?

    Please let us know if there’s anything else I can help you with.

    Best,
    Kasia

    • Alankeiser Keiser

      It was a verbal agreement with 2 witnesses, on the “notice to quit” it states for the reason is “seek possession”, and that’s all

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi,

        In the future, I recommend getting agreements in writing. The notice to quit may be valid if you haven’t paid back that late rent yet. Please follow up with your landlord to see what next steps are.

        Best,
        Kasia

    • Alankeiser Keiser

      My landlord also has my post dated checks ,has yet to return them, if he deposits one would that be consider as accepting rent and would that void the “notice to quit”?

      • Kasia Manolas

        Hi,

        I see, so you landlord received those payments from you but didn’t cash them? He should have provided receipts for you every time you paid rent. I recommend showing him anything that can prove you sent those checks. You can always bring this matter to court and argue you sent him the rent payments.

        At this point, it might be best to move out if the landlord is leaving things on such bad terms.

        Kasia

  • Katherine Valadez Smith

    I have a couple that is renting a room from me and I have a lease that states $5/day that it is late. Their rent is due on the 21st of the month. She has given me $150 of the $400. She states that I can no longer continue to charge her a late fee if she has paid towards the rent. Can anyone help? She was supposed to pay $400+$160 for the remaining deposit.

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Katherine,

      I want to make sure I’m understanding your question- if your tenant has paid rent in full then you should stop charging the late fee. If you are waiting for the remainder of a deposit, then I recommend communicating this to your tenant. Hopefully, your tenant will pay promptly. The late fees are compounding by the day, which might be stressing your tenant out, especially if he or she is having trouble with money which it sounds like that might be the case. One thing we recommend for late fees is charging a flat late fee if the tenant is more than 5 days late. Those fees are usually only $30-50.

      State and local laws may limit how much you can charge for the late fee. $400 is very high for a late fee.

      Please let us know if there’s anything else we can do for you.

      Best,
      Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Rebecca,

    Your landlord may be trying to intimidate you. You won’t go to jail for these late payments. But your landlord can evict you. Your landlord can still take your payments after the lease is up. I recommend paying her back (as much as you can) and discuss a payment plan with her. You are making the effort to get this money to her, so hopefully, she can work with you on this.

    Best,
    Kasia

  • Pixi Rai

    We moved to our new apartment on 2017 march. May first week I paid my rent $790. I didn’t checked the receipt as the lady on the front desk counted the money and verbally told me $790. June 1st week I paid my rent $790 I did the same thing. June 19th I got a call from leasing office that I owe them $70 from last month. I was shocked momentarily I checked the receipt and saw that it was written $720. I went to leasing office and told her that I paid her full amount however she denied. I realized my fault for not checking receipt and paid her $70. After 1 week I received a letter from District court “failure to pay rent”. They even didn’t send me the late rent notice. I am so mad.. The court schedule my trial at the same date of my driving test. What should I do now? I am so stressed. Do leasing office have camera inside their office?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Pixi,
      The leasing office may have cameras. I recommend talking to the manager at the leasing office about the situation. With cash, it’s hard to prove how much you paid. I recommend paying via check next time or pay online. You should get a physical receipt with the correct amount. You can also reschedule the court date or your driving test.
      Please let us know if you have other questions.
      Best,
      Kasia

  • Wanda Wang

    If the tenant disappeared for over a month and left his belongings behind. Does not respond to emails or phone calls, can the landlord assume he’s gone and enter the property?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Wanda,
      You can likely enter the property if the tenant hasn’t responded in a long time. You’ve tried to give proper notice, but it sounds like the tenant may have left. Please let us know if you have other questions.
      Best,
      Kasia

  • Ashley

    Hi I’m asking a question on behalf of someone. They were 2 months behind on rent and was served a 5 day notice and a court hearing, they paid the rent before the court date so the case stopped. But unfortunately their payment was kicked back and the landlord said she will do a lockout the next day. Can she do this herself or do they have to go through the process all over again ?

    • Kasia Manolas

      Hi Ashley,
      Landlords aren’t allowed to lock tenants out of the property. The landlord would need to go through the court process if she wishes to evict her tenant. Please let us know if you have other questions.
      Best,
      Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi La Quita,
    Landlords usually stop accepting payments in order for that eviction filing to work. I recommend checking how the eviction works. If your landlord wants to file an eviction, then he or she usually pays the eviction filing fee. You shouldn’t have to pay for that, especially if the landlord hasn’t filed yet.
    Best,
    Kasia

  • Kasia Manolas

    Hi Rashell,
    I recommend asking a landlord-tenant lawyer in your area to find out more. You might be able to get it back, but it’s not a guarantee.
    Best,
    Kasia