landlord lawyer landlords lawyer

What to do when a tenant is not paying rent

Tenant Not Paying

Whether you have a tenant with a history of making a late payment or experiencing a past-due fee for the first time, it will require a lot of time and money to rectify the situation. However, if your tenant is not paying rent, follow the information here;

What to Do If the Tenant Fails to Pay Rent?

As a landlord or leasing agent, if the tenant has rent arrears, the first thing to do is solve the case with the tenant. Ensure you do this after checking the lease documents and payment records to ensure that the tenant is truly late in making payment. If both don’t agree or weeks elapse without the tenant making any payment, the landlord has to engage a specialist lawyer as soon as possible.

Initially, a prior agreement has to be filed addressing the tenant to resolve the conflict friendly. If reaching an agreement is futile, there is no option but to undergo a thorough judicial process.

Taking Legal Action Against A Tenant Who Is Not Paying

After trying all possible scenarios with no returns, consider getting an eviction lawyer immediately after the waiting period. Go to court and file a tenant-landlord complaint. However, the process will take months, and, in most cases, it’s illegal to evict a tenant until the entire court proceedings are over.

The specialist lawyer will assist the owner in filing two legal procedures. One will claim unpaid incomes, and the second procedure will seek to evict not paying tenant.

Complete all paperwork and make fee payments to acquire a hearing date. Finally, when the hearing day comes, ensure you prepare thoroughly ahead of time. Also, carry all the evidence and information you will give in court.

When the tenant makes a partial or late payment, it is advisable to inspect the unit as soon as possible to ensure your property is in good condition. But you should get permission to enter the house from the tenant.

When you obtain permission to access the unit, it’s advisable your document and take pictures of damages and wear and tear. After identifying these, repair the damages and ask the tenant to fix the ones he is responsible for. Arrange another inspection to ensure both parties have rectified the issues. Remember to keep all documents; you might require them in court.

What Should A Landlord Not Do If the Tenant Is Not Paying Rent?

Forcing the lock

Threatening the tenant

Cutting house utilities

In case the judicial process is ongoing, don’t receive money from the tenant.

Avoid going to the police to report a crime that is a breach of contract instead.

Remember, it’s never legal or acceptable to lock or move the tenant’s personal belongings before the eviction process is over. Equally illegal are humiliation and attempts to evict the tenant physically. All these are not only morally questionable but can cause an ex-tenant to turn around and sue you for harassment and unlawful eviction. Even though it might be frustrating, allow the court to carry out its legal mandate.