There are 8 million independent landlords across the country. Being a landlord can be a rewarding job. However, like any other job, it comes with its challenges.
One common challenge is with a tenant not paying rent and won’t leave. When this situation arises, you must know what steps to follow to ensure that you don’t lose money.
Do you want to learn what to do if a tenant doesn’t pay rent? Keep reading this article for what steps to take and to know what laws will protect you in these situations.
Consider the Tenant’s History
Before you jump to any conclusions or take legal action toward your renters, you must consider the tenant’s history. If they have never missed a rent payment before, there may be another underlying issue for your tenants not paying rent
For example, there may have been an error at the bank which caused the missing rent payment. Maybe your renter had a personal emergency that caused them to forget to pay rent.
In these situations, you may feel inclined to offer your tenants a grace period or allow them to pay rent at a later date for a small fee. Just make sure they know that this is not something that you will regularly allow.
Know Your Jurisdiction and Laws
If you reach out to the tenant and they do not provide a reason for not paying their rent, the situation may require legal help. Before you take any action, you must find a lawyer that offers landlord services.
Your lawyer will give you important information about your jurisdiction and landlord laws in your state. This way, you will be able to resolve your issues with the law on your side and will keep you from being held liable.
Give a Legal Notice and Demand for Payment
Before you start the eviction process, you need to give a legal demand notice. This will document that you demanded the tenant to pay rent or proceed with the eviction process.
After this notice is sent, your tenants will have a few days to pay rent before you can proceed with the eviction. This legal demand notice will differ depending on what state you live in, so make sure you know what notices you need to provide, how to document the process, and how to deliver it to your tenant.
Send a Formal Eviction Notice to the Tenant
Next, you need to send your tenant a formal eviction notice. Have a written notice that is hand-delivered or posted on your tenant’s front door. This eviction notice will tell your tenant that they have to vacate your property by a certain deadline.
Some states will not allow you to demand your tenant to move out. Instead, you may be required to allow your tenant to pay rent and amend the issues at hand. Before you send your formal eviction notice, you should have your lawyer review the notice to make sure you are within the laws of your state.
They can help you with commercial tenant evictions and can even help you craft your eviction notice.
File Your Eviction in Court
If your tenant still refuses to vacate your property or doesn’t correct the problem at hand, you will need to file your eviction in court. You will have to pay a fee to file this notice and you will set a court date for your hearing.
Once you file this, the court will take care of the next steps. They will notify your tenant of the eviction hearing and will allow you to prepare for your heating.
To make sure the court sides with you, you need to make a clear case for the eviction. Your lawyer can help you gather legal documents and evidence that prove that your tenant was at fault. This evidence may include your lease agreement, proof that your tenant violated the agreement, financial documents showing that they did not pay rent, and more.
Remove the Tenant From Your Property
When the judge sides in your favor, you need to remove the tenant from your property. However, you may still need to give them time to vacate. Once this time has passed and your tenant still has not left your property, you should get help from a law enforcement officer to escort the tenant from your property.
If you try to remove the tenant yourself, this can cause future legal problems. Instead, use the proper legal channels so you have the law on your side.
Collect Your Rent
Finally, you can collect your missing rent once the tenant has left your property. Sometimes, the security deposit from your past tenant will cover the unpaid rent. However, if it doesn’t, you may need to file a civil lawsuit.
When you win this case, your tenant will be forced to pay you or may have their wages garnished until the rent is paid in full.
If your past tenant has an outstanding balance, your attorney can help you collect unpaid rent.
Learn More About What To Do if a Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent
Unreliable tenants that do not pay rent can be a significant stressor for landlords and property managers. If your tenant refuses to pay rent, you must follow each of these steps to stay legally compliant.
To get your issues resolved and are compensated for the missing rent, you can hire Litigation Advocates. We help with commercial tenant evictions, lease enforcement, collections, and more.
Contact our team today to learn more about what to do if a tenant doesn’t pay rent and to request a quote.