As a landlord, you probably know that finding the perfect renter is just half the battle. The other half is trying to make sure that perfect renter pays on time. So, what do you – the landlord – do when you stop receiving that rent check?
Below is a quick checklist you should review:
1. Do not wait until the rent balance becomes sizeable
Be aggressive with your approach and serve the tenant with the appropriate notice for nonpayment of rent. Depending on the terms of the lease, the notice will typically either be a 5 day notice or a 10 day notice. This is commonly referred to as a Landlord’s Five Day Notice and it should contain certain key information.
2. The notice must be specific
The header of the notice should contain the tenant’s name and address. The body of the notice should contain the balance owed, the property address, and an address of where the payment can be made.
3. The notice must be served upon the tenant
If there are multiple tenants, it only needs to be served upon one of the tenants to be deemed effectively served upon all. Note: If the tenant makes full payment of the amount demanded in the notice, the landlord must accept this payment and cannot refuse tender.
4. A forcible entry and detainer action
After the tenant has been served, and five days have passed and no payment has been made, the landlord has the right to file a forcible entry and detainer action. This type of lawsuit will allow the landlord to obtain a money judgment (if the tenant can be found and personally served) and an order for possession. It is imperative that the notice is properly prepared so you can file the lawsuit, if necessary.
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