When you place a tenant and sign a lease agreement, you expect that everyone will follow the terms of that agreement and meet the expectations that are explained. Hopefully, your tenant screening process has resulted in a well-qualified tenant who will contribute to a great rental experience. But, if your tenant doesn’t pay rent on time, you’ll need to decide how to proceed. Chasing down late rent every month can cost you a lot of time, money, and peace of mind.
Establish a rental collection process that you enforce consistently. Before your tenant moves in, have an open and honest conversation about your expectations and your tenant’s responsibilities. If rent begins coming in late, you should follow these steps.
Serve a Legal Notice
When rent is owed and has not been paid, you may serve your tenants with a Notice to End Your Tenancy Early for Nonpayment of Rent. This formally explains to the tenant that rent is due and has not been paid, and they need to catch up or prepare to end the tenancy and leave the property. Tenants who have a lease agreement where rent is paid monthly can only cancel this notice if they pay the rent in full within 14 days. If your tenants pay rent weekly, they have seven days to catch up.
Appeal to the Landlord and Tenant Board
When your tenants ignore the notice or do not comply with the requirement that rent is paid, your next step is to apply to the Landlord and Tenant Board for an eviction. Make sure you take this important legal step. You cannot take matters into your own hands and change the locks or confront the tenants or discontinue the utilities.
When rent is consistently paid late, you’ll have the option to end the tenancy when the lease period expires. You are not required to offer a lease renewal to tenants who have not paid on time as expected and required. There’s a notice you’ll serve to let the tenants know they have to move out when the lease term ends.
Document Your Rent Collection Process
Communicating well with your tenant is important, even if you’re having trouble collecting the rent. Make sure your tenants understand the importance of on-time rental payments. Talk to them about when rent is due and how it must be paid. We have found that tenants rarely have to be evicted for nonpayment of rent when there’s a good relationship in place with the landlord or property manager.
It’s also important to document everything. When rent is late, make sure you can demonstrate that with accounting records and statements. Save copies of any notices or other correspondence between you and your tenants.
Avoid late rental payments by screening your tenants well and establishing a good relationship. Professional Hamilton property management is an excellent way to avoid late rental payments. Working with a property manager will ensure rent is paid on time and tenants are responsive and accountable to their lease agreements. For more information, please contact us at Spotted Properties.