One of the questions that landlords often mind most terrifying is: what happens if the tenant doesn’t pay rent? First, I advise that you do something that might be a bit uncomfortable, and that is – go and talk to the tenant. Go to their door, knock on it and see if you can find out what is going on. Take a 3 Day Notice to Pay or Quit with you.
Once you finally get the opportunity to talk to your tenants, don’t be afraid to ask how they plan to become current with their rent. We have had situations where plants or companies do a layoff for one week, and there might be a reason that affects the tenants’ capacity to pay. If there is a reasonable plan to get caught up with what is owed in rent, it might benefit you to work with them. Perhaps they can pay half of what they owe right now, and then get you the other half in a week, when they get paid. If there is a simple way to get them back on schedule, do it.
Try not to force a vacancy if you don’t have to. With a vacancy, you’ll lose rent that you can never recover. Serve the 3 Day Notice just in case. Even if you and your tenants come up with a plan that everyone agrees to, give them the notice just in case. Tell them it’s nothing to worry about, but explain that you have to serve it to protect yourself and ensure the rent does get paid in full. This way, if the tenants do not stick with the payment deal, you have already started the clock on the eviction process. You don’t want to wait and start it all over again in three or four weeks.
If you do need to move forward with an eviction, make sure you use a competent attorney who does evictions and concentrates on landlord tenant law as a specialty. You don’t’ want to go to the family will attorney for help in removing tenants who aren’t paying rent. Typically, the lawyers who specialize in landlord tenant law are the most reasonably priced. They also have the process nailed down, and they will be able to provide the best service to you. When you go to court and the judge recognizes your attorney, you know you’ve got a good one.
Please contact us at Aborn Properties if you have any questions about how to avoid or proceed with an eviction when your tenants do not pay rent.