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Property Management Blog

What to Do if Your Tenant Does Not Pay Their Rent

The Beehive State is up for rent! Nearly 30% of Utah households rent their homes. The median monthly cost for renters is almost $1,100, so you may be able to make your income completely off of your tenants. 

Yet collecting rent is rarely easy. You should expect to have a tenant fail to pay the rent on time. But you can overcome that hurdle if you do your research. 

What should you do as soon as you discover tenant issues? How can you determine what the cause of the issues is? When should you go to court to evict your tenant? 

Answer these questions and you can create a smooth rental collection process. Here is your quick guide.

Get in Touch With Your Tenant

There are many reasons why a tenant is behind on rent. They may work paycheck to paycheck, and they may not have enough money to pay rent. They may not know when the rent payments are due. 

Knock on your tenant's door and ask them to have a conversation about the rent. If they forgot to pay the rent, you could ask them to pay that day.

If they don't have the money, you can create an arrangement with them. They can pay two months of rent next time, or they can pay you whenever they have the money. You can impose penalties, or you can give them a break this one time. 

Look at Your Rental Agreement

You may be making a mistake as well. Your tenant may have a grace period in their rental agreement, and they may be waiting a couple of days to pay rent. They may be using a payment method you're not examining, or their check may be in the mail. 

Get a copy of the rental agreement you signed with your tenant and see what is going on. You may find that your agreement does not explain why your tenant hasn't paid the rent. 

You should also review Utah landlord laws and rights. Never do anything that violates the law, including locking your tenant out of the apartment.

Find a Solution

You can file for eviction if your tenant makes a habit of failing to pay rent. But an eviction case can take weeks, and there is no guarantee that you will win your case. 

Another solution is to offer a cash-for-keys agreement. You can waive outstanding late fees and offer a little extra money in exchange for your tenant moving out. You can also offer them a positive tenant reference so they are more likely to get a new place to live. 

Fix Tenant Issues

When your tenant doesn't pay the rent, you shouldn't panic. You should connect with them and ask them what is going on. Most tenants simply forget to pay or don't have the money at that moment.

If you can't connect with them, you should look at your rental agreement. See if you're skipping steps or neglecting a payment process. Try a cash-for-keys agreement or modify your rental process before evicting your tenant. 

Getting rent can be tricky, but you don't have to do it by yourself. Wolfnest serves Salt Lake City landlords and property managers. Contact us today.

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