It’s important to have a consistent rent collection policy in place so tenants know what to expect from you if rent is late. If a tenant is late on rent, you need to act immediately. Today, we’re sharing our process for how to collect rent and, if necessary, evict a nonpaying tenant.
Establish a Rent Collection Process
Rent is due on the first of the month for our tenants. We try to create normal processes that help us collect from those who are late. We have a zero tolerance for rent arrears. So, after the first of the month, once we get past our grace period, we start delivering notices to tenants who have not paid. It starts with a text message. Our software allows us to text our tenants, so we send them a simple text letting them know there’s a balance due.
Serve a Legal Notice
When tenants don’t respond to the text, we have a legal notice that is posted on the door of the house or handed to the tenants in person. We make sure it’s a consistent process, and we deliver our notices at the same time every month. The notice is a Three-Day Notice to Pay or Quit. After that three-day period, we continue to text and follow up to see when payment can be expected.
Prepare for Eviction
As we get further into the month and rent still isn’t paid, we need to put together an action plan which includes filing for eviction. That’s hard to do for many landlords, but you don’t have to do it yet. File the eviction so the tenants get the legal notice. We allow our tenants to pay all the way up to the court date, which usually falls in the same month. We will continue communicating with them so we can stay on top of their rent situation. Our ultimate goal is not to evict, but to collect rent for our owners.
If the eviction gets to court, the tenants will have three days to get out of the property after the eviction. If three days go by and the tenants haven’t left, you’ll need to call the sheriff. However, most tenants leave when they are ordered to, and all you have to do is change the locks and get the home rent ready.