Some of the latest data says that almost 10% of all renters are currently behind on their rent payments. For a landlord, rent collection can be a stressful time, especially if not everybody pays when they should. So, do you know how to engage with a tenant to try to claim what is yours?
The following are the steps you should take to prevent your tenants from taking advantage of your good nature. By following these steps, you can claim your rent legally and professionally. So don't ignore them, as they are the best bet to securing what you deserve.
Go Over Your Documentation
If you think someone is not paying rent, the first thing you should do is check your records. There is a non-zero chance that they have been and you did not get notified.
Another possibility is that they have paid you more up-front than you expect. They might already have given you that month's rent and you never noticed. If you go asking for it, and it already exists, it will be both a waste of your time as well as embarrassing for you.
On top of this, check your lease for things like a grace period, late fee, and other areas of the contract. They will be useful when going over the next steps.
Send a First Late Rent Notice
Once the grace period for rent has expired, send a late rent notice to the tenant. This is a letter that tells them that their rent is due.
You should inform them of if they have incurred late fees, as well as warn them of any legal action you may take next if you are not paid.
You can give this direct to the tenant, or you can mail or email it to them.
Contact the Tenant Directly
If the tenant is still missing rent, try to contact them person-to-person. This can be in person or via the phone.
The tenant might have extraneous circumstances but be too afraid to contact you personally. By starting that process, you can help them inform you of what their plan is moving forward.
Use a Pay or Quit Notice
If rent payments still do not appear, you will need to send a special kind of notice. This will inform the tenant that you intend to evict them should they not pay.
The notice needs to be clear about:
- The intent to evict on non-payment
- The full amount of money owed, including fees
- The deadline for payment
Engage With a Lawyer
If, after all this, no payment is forthcoming, contact a lawyer. They should be someone who specializes in rental properties and be able to advise you on your next steps.
Depending on the laws of Dallas and its surrounding area, you might find they have information that is specific to where you live.
Understanding Rent Collection
You should now have a much better understanding of the rent collection process in case you ever need to engage with it. There are easier ways, though, and they mostly include engaging with a property manager.
Such an organization can handle all issues you might have with a rental property, such as missing rent or attaining new tenants. Our people are ready to talk to you about what we can do in this regard, so don't be afraid to get in touch. All you need to do is pick up the phone.