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Rent Late? Don't Jump to Conclusions
As a landlord, you are financially dependent on your tenants. When a tenant fails to turn in their rent payment on time, you have to worry about making your own mortgage, rent and utility payments. Being put in this situation is frustrating and sometimes angering, but before you take legal action, evaluate the situation. Perhaps your tenant is going through some hard times. Don't want to jump to conclusions, offend the tenant and then needlessly lose their tenancy. It's important that you understand why the rent is late.
Imagine this scenario: You've been trying to contact your tenant for a week. You've gone to the apartment at all times of the day, phoned, left notes on the door, and still have heard nothing back. You decide your tenant is a loser. You want his rent payment or you want him out! At the end of the week, you finally find your tenant at the mail boxes, and you angrily approach him. Frustrated and tired, you confront him about the situation, and rashly demand that he pay the overdue rent. Then he starts to cry. Through tears, he apologizes to you... says he hadn't even thought about it being rent week. It turns out his father just passed away and he was out of town for a funeral.
DO NOT let this happen to you. You will need to meet with the tenant to discuss the situation, but if you are having trouble contacting him or her, try not to become angry. True, not getting a rent payment can be frustrating, and it sometimes may cause you to evict the tenant... but before you take legal action, you need to evaluate the situation.
More than likely, the tenant will have a valid reason for not turning in the rent payment. Nevertheless, you still need your money. To take care of the late payment, you'll need to meet with your tenant. You won't be able to solve any problems if you don't open the lines of communication. Some possible reasons for a late payment include:
The bottom line: Most tenants will make a good faith effort to pay their rent. If the rent is unpaid, the first step is to listen to tenants and then work with them to arrange full payment.
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