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What Should I Do When My Tenant’s Rent is Late?

Late Rent Notice Paper with a PenAs a property owner or landlord, there are lots of things you can do to push for on-time rent payments. But there will be times a tenant will still make late payments or miss rent payments altogether. In these kinds of situations, it is best to know how to manage them. For multiple landlords, establishing a step-by-step procedure is a way to make certain that their response is both well-timed and consistent.

Encourage Paying On Time

One of the first and most important things you can do as a Rolling Meadows property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Great ways to do this are through regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Being in touch with your tenant – even if things are going fine – encourages better and more frequent communication when things get rough. In addition, making paying rent easy and convenient can help encourage your tenant to keep those payments well-timed.

Check Payment Records

If your tenant’s rent payment is still behind schedule, the next thing to do is to double-check your records and confirm that it’s late and not just a recording error. Also, be sure to double-check your lease documents to check whether your tenant is still in the stated grace period for on-time payments. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It is essential to have your facts in line before you move on to the next step.

Send a Late Notice

When the grace period has passed and you still did not receive the rent payment yet, you need to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. This can be an official or a friendly reminder, just make sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.

Call Your Tenant

When you’ve established regular, positive communication with your tenant, you need to continue that trend when handling late or missing rent payments. Giving your tenant a friendly phone call would do a lot to help you understand the situation more and figure out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to talk about the details of the circumstances, especially if they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a quick conversation could accomplish a lot. Besides, be careful not to call your tenant repeatedly or demand payment. This is considered harassment, which is illegal.

Send a Pay or Quit Notice

If you have tried sending reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and multiple late payment terms, it is time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that expresses your purpose to pursue action against the tenant. Your notice must have the amount of cash the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in total, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not met. Make sure to stick to state and local laws that govern when such notices can be sent and how they must be delivered to the tenant.

Start the Eviction Process

If everything else fails, it might be time to pursue legal action against your tenant. This is the eviction process, which needs a court ruling in most areas. In lots of places, it’s illegal to forcibly evict a tenant or even change the locks until the court proceedings are finished. These proceedings can take months and can be very costly for everyone involved. It is important to follow the law and the evictions process to avoid delays or having the judge rule in the tenant’s favor.

Keep it Professional

Lastly, it’s important to keep a few things in mind while you work with your tenant. First, avoid accepting partial rent payments Taking any amount of cash will just restart the eviction process from the beginning. Just be sure to document everything, including the phone calls. At last, it is most crucial to maintain your professionalism and adhere to the terms of your lease. You might not want to, but enforcing your lease is an important part of operating your rental property as a business.


Dealing with late or missing rent payments can be a time-consuming headache. That is why many rental properties owners hire property managers like Real Property Management Northwest Chicago Suburbs to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.

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