7 tips for negotiating with tenants to delay rent payment
As a landlord, you may have tenants who delay paying rent due to financial difficulties or unable to pay rent at all for a long period of time. How you deal with this situation is a kind of judgment. You must balance your financial needs with the flexibility you can provide tenants. Here are some ideas to make your tenants catch up with rent.
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1. Send reminders.
Your first reaction to late payment of rent may be that your tenant is irresponsible or has financial problems, but this is not always the case. Sometimes, tenants are just overwhelmed by other requirements, or forget that the deadline has arrived. If they have a reminder app or automatic bill payment service, it may be a technical issue that caused the delay.
Just a simple phone call or email can get timely rent payment. If you do this before the end of the grace period, they will be happy that you saved them late fees.
2. Send notice of delayed rent.
A kind Late rent notice It is a more formal way of notifying tenants that they have missed rent payment. You want to send this notice after the deadline and grace period (if applicable). The notice should specify the amount owed and any late fees.
Notice of overdue rent is an important way to record unpaid rent by tenants. In jurisdictions that do not allow immediate eviction, this notice can help prove the pattern of default or late payment of rent when you appear in court.
The overdue rent notice also encourages tenants to open a conversation when communication is poor or trying to respond. Overdue rent payment agreement.
3. Ask the tenants why they are late.
Finding the reason why the tenant is late will help you decide what to do next. If they have unexpected car repairs, the delayed payment may be a one-off.If they are unemployed, you may want to know if they are looking for a new job and need to make Rent payment plan, Or if they prefer to terminate the lease.
If you are considering rent adjustments, you may need to provide documents proving that the tenant can meet the new obligations.
4. It is recommended that tenants apply for government subsidies.
If your tenants default on rent, let them know that they may be eligible for assistance such as the COVID-19 rent relief program or unemployment. You may want to be familiar with the plans available in your area so that you can direct tenants to the appropriate resources. This helps you and your tenants recover late rent.
5. Understand the laws regarding partial payments.
Know your city and state’s laws regarding partial rent payment. In some places, accepting partial payments may waive your right to seek eviction or other remedies, even if the subject matter has been resolved in the lease.
From a business perspective, it is usually better to get a partial payment than not to pay at all. However, you do not want to lose your rights by accepting partial payments.
6. Consider your relationship with the tenant.
Depending on whether you have long-term reliable tenants or tenants with long-term payment defaults or other problems, your approach may be different. Remember, no matter how many screenings you make, you can never be sure how reliable your next tenant is or how long they will stay in.
You also need to consider the time and cost of finding new tenants for your unit. The better your relationship with your current tenant, the more meaningful it will be to draft a payment plan or waive late fees.
7. Record everything.
Whether you are offering an extension, waiving late payment fees, or waiving part of the rent, you must submit your request in writing. This confirms your arrangement with the tenant and protects your right to collect the rent and late fees specified in the lease. A late payment agreement is one way to record this. If you offer a payment plan for several weeks or months, you may need to develop a rent payment plan.
To learn more about the pandemic resources available to landlords and tenants, please visit Rocket Lawyer COVID-19 Law Center. If you have general legal questions or need help with documents, Ask a lawyer.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm, nor is it a substitute for a lawyer or a law firm. The law is complex and changes frequently.For legal advice, please Ask a lawyer.