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Late Rent Notice

What is a Late Rent Notice?
A notice to pay rent or quit is generated by the landlord and used to advise the tenant they are in violation of the rental agreement. The form provides the tenant to do one of two things, either pay the past due amount of rent by a specific date or vacate the premises and surrender possession of the rental.

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This form, sometimes referred to as a late rent payment notice, can be utilized for residential properties or a commercial building if a tenant has defaulted on their lease agreement. By informing your tenant in writing to pay or quit you are placing an ultimatum on their tenancy. AAOA"s non payment of rent notice informs the tenant they are required to pay rent for the premises or vacate and surrender possession. When a tenant receives the notice to pay rent or quit they make take it personal but the law provides the use of this form as a protection for landlords to recover lost rent or possession of property.

When filling out the pay or quit notice take your time to ensure you enter accurate details as this is an important process. If a mistake is made please start a new form so you don't encounter any issues with the tenant or court. This late rent notice PDF file makes it easy to generate a new one and start over.

Part of your responsibilities will be to provide the court with proof of service for non payment of rent should your case go to court. This non payment of rent notice includes three (3) options to state how notice was served:

  1. Personal Service, meaning someone personally delivered the notice to the tenant
  2. Substituted Service, meaning a copy of the notice was left with someone of suitable age at the tenant's residence or their usual place of business as well as having a copy mailed
  3. Post and Mail, meaning a copy of the notice was placed in a public location on the premises where the tenant would see it and mailed to the tenant

It is important you legally abide by any statutes as well as the rules of the court. You may find a tenant will take legal action against you to remain in the rental unit including, but not limited to, improper handling of repairs, claims of discrimination, and more. Prior to posting a notice to pay rent or quit check your state's landlord tenant law for additional information and consult with an attorney.

The notice to pay rent or quit form does not require information regarding any deposits held. However, depending on federal (or your specific states) landlord and tenant law, you may be required to itemize the security deposit during the eviction process. A judge will ask that you return any unused portion of the security in a reasonable period of time. Have an attorney help review the provisions in your lease agreement regarding security deposits and how you can apply those funds toward unpaid rent, damages and repairs, or even an outstanding utility bill.

In lieu of a deposit you may want to consider LeaseGuarantee. LeaseGuarantee is offered as a security deposit supplement and the LeaseGuarantee Analyzer is included with every tenant credit check ordered that includes credit and eviction data.

AAOA's landlord-tenant forms, tenant screening, resources, and website are to be used as a guide only. The services our office provides access to are meant to supplement your education surrounding property management.

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When to Send a Late Rent Notice

A past due rent notice, or late rent notice, is a document requesting that a tenant settle his or her financial obligations due to non payment of rent. The notice is usually the first one to be given out once a rental payment becomes even a day late. Because of this, a late rent payment letter is generally written in a gentle, friendlier tone compared to further demand letters.

Most local laws give tenants around 5 to 7 days after their due date to pay rent before penalties, and the landlord can legally apply late fees.

Once you have sent a late rent notice, the tenant is given ample time to try and resolve their due payments. Landlords also have the option of sending out multiple letters to the tenant for late rent, especially if they’re responsive.

However, if the tenant still can’t or refuses to pay rent, or is unresponsive, the landlord might switch to sending a pay or quit notice. This is a step up and more severe demand letter, which states that the landlord will take legal action if the tenant still doesn't wholly pay his or her account.

Landlord tenant law states a landlord cannot jump to a court eviction process without first sending a late rent and pay or quit notice.

There are many ways to create a late rent or pay or quit notice. You can find plenty of excellent sample eviction notices for nonpayment of rent online. But the more convenient option is creating an AAOA account to download the form listed above.

Consequences for Not Sending a Late Rent Notice

Late rent is a common problem most landlords face regularly. Fortunately, most of these situations resolve themselves quickly. Maybe the tenant was too busy and simply forgot about their rent payment. It’s also possible that they need an extra day or two to put the money together to settle their obligations.
A late rent notice helps remind the tenant of the obligations, without resorting to threats or demands. It’s fast, easy to create (especially with the late payment notice template available from AAOA), and helps maintain an amicable relationship between tenant and landlord.

The most significant consequence of not sending out a late rent notice is that you won't get paid. Going through an eviction process costs a lot in attorney and court fees. That’s less money you collect, had you just sent a simple late rent notice.

You also lose precious time in reminding a delinquent tenant or researching how to win an eviction case against them. But most of all, you get the mental stress of having to ask someone for money continually. Plus, it probably won't sit well with you that you're letting someone use your property for free, minimizing the chance to earn money from your investment.

What if a Tent Continues To Be Late on Rent?

If the tenant still doesn’t or can’t pay with your first late rent notice, you can consider sending out a more strongly worded notice. You can adopt a demand letter for unpaid rent and use it for your situation.

However, don't wait too long or spend too much time sending out late rent notices that don't register with your tenant. If they still don't respond, it's time to send out a pay or quit notice. This is a letter threatening legal action should rent still not be settled after a set number of days (usually 5).

Sometimes, tenants will compromise by offering partial rent payments. This could be better than nothing, but note that such an arrangement could lead to confusion. Also, some states will waive certain rights if you accept partial rent payments.

After the set number of days is up, you can now legally file an eviction lawsuit against the tenant with the local court. If you win and have the legal documents to prove it, the state can now forcefully remove the tenant from your property.

How to Handle Late Rent Around the Holidays

The holidays can be a time when everyone is busy or possibly out of town, or perhaps even burdened with an additional expenses. If your tenant missed his or her rental payment, it's prudent to give them the opportunity to explain and speak to them about their current financial situation. Maybe they have simply forgotten and have every intention to pay.

In this case, a late rent notice is more useful than ever. It’s a more compassionate way to gently ask for rental payment, without having to strain your relationship unnecessarily. Moreover, it will give you less mental stress by not having to ask for money directly so that you can enjoy the holidays yourself.

A membership with American Apartment Owners Association gives you access to late rent notice templates, tenant screening, tenant background checks, and rental documents to help you manage your business better. Sign up for your account today!