As a landlord, you understand that sometimes your tenants can't pay rent. It's not an ideal situation for anyone involved. A tenant doesn't want to lose their home, and a landlord doesn't want to make anyone homeless.
However, sometimes you'll have to act against a tenant with too many late payments. Here's what you should do if you're dealing with a tenant in San Diego who can't pay their rent on time.
Double Check the Rental Contract
Before taking any direct action, double-check the lease to decide what date your tenant's rent is due. If your tenant has consistently paid their rent early, you may think it's late if they haven't paid it by a regular date. By checking the lease, you can see if the rent is late or later than usual.
This is an essential first step before any rent collection processes begin. You'll avoid unnecessary confrontation with a tenant if you're confident their rent is late before going to them.
Make Contact With the Tenant
Once you know the rent is overdue, contact your tenant by phone, post, or in person. If your tenant has always been reliable for payment, a quick text to remind them their rent is due might be appreciated. Busy San Diego life can cause anyone to forget their rent is due once or twice accidentally!
Offer a Payment Plan
If you would prefer not to lose a tenant who has been good aside from late rent, a payment plan can help. It allows you and the tenant to feel more in control about paying and receiving rent. A tenant who is having money problems will appreciate this option a lot.
For example, if there have been several late payments, allow the tenant to pay a little back each month on top of their monthly rent. This helps to spread the cost of missed rent payments and will ensure you and your tenant stay on good terms.
Use a Pay-or-Quit Notice
If you've tried everything and still haven't received the rent on time, a pay-or-quit notice is one of the first steps in the formal eviction process. When your tenant is served with a pay-or-quit notice, they must pay their late rent or face being evicted from the property.
The notice will describe in detail what payments are late and if they have any late fees associated with them. As a legal document, getting advice from a property management team before serving a pay-to-quit notice is often a good idea.
Begin the Eviction Process
If you decide eviction is your only option, you should inform your tenant by sending them a notice. Give them a chance to respond to this notice before taking further steps. It may allow them time to agree with you regarding paying back any rent they owe.
You can start the eviction process in San Diego by contacting the Sherrif. They will send a notice to vacate to the tenant, who has five days to move out. If they fail to do this, a sheriff can forcefully remove them and have the locks changed.
Understand What to Do if Your Tenants Can't Pay Rent
If your tenants can't pay rent or consistently do so late, it's time to take action. Always show compassion; some people may forget or be short during certain months. If they are a tenant you don't want to lose, then compromise with them so that you both feel satisfied with the solution.
To get advice from expert property managers, you can contact us right here.