Late-On-Rent Tenants: How to Deal with Them Appropriately

Late rent payments are the most frequent cause of conflict between landlords and tenants. Rent defaulters can cause various issues, including a reduction in your financial outlay and even legal troubles. Even if it happens accidentally, forgetting to pay rent is irresponsible and a breach of the lease.

Having a policy in place to deal with late-on-rent tenants can help you maintain the integrity of your property and mitigate these issues. It’s essential to make tenants aware of a late payment charge as soon as it’s incurred. While you’re unlikely to get a tenant to pay the late payment charge, you do have the right to sue them for it.

While you may have the right to be displeased with these, you would not want to cause any harm to the tenant. The reasons for rent defaulters to occur can be attributed to a range of issues, but what it all boils down to is taking responsibility for your actions.

Here are three appropriate ways to deal with tenants behind rent:

1. Be Calm and Respectful

You may be furious with the tenant, but they are still your customer. The rent is their primary concern, and if they are behind on the payment, they are a tenant at risk of eviction. Even if the tenant is a “rent defaulter,” don’t act like one. You don’t need to lose your temper, as it only worsens things.

If the tenant is genuinely having problems with the payment, then work with them to devise a solution. Remember, rent defaulters can be your most significant source of income. You may want to work with them to find another option, such as paying higher rent in advance to cover the late payment.

2. Talk to Them

Talking to the tenant is a better solution than taking legal action, which may negatively impact your relationship with them. Don’t cut them short, but try to get to the problem’s bottom.

What is causing them to be behind on the rent? Are there any mitigating factors that could explain the late payment?

When the tenant is behind on rent, they are vulnerable. If you act rashly, you may cause them to fall behind on the rent again in the future.

If they have not been able to pay their rent on time for no valid reason, this could be an opportunity to discuss late fees. You can show your tenants that you take rent payments seriously and that they cannot “bully” you into being lenient.

3. Send Them a Notice to Pay or Leave

If there is no progress and you still haven’t received a payment, you may be left with no choice but to evict them. It’s not right to take legal action as soon as the tenant is late on rent, but this should be your final resort.

You may want to offer them the chance to pay to extend their stay until they find somewhere to move. If they refuse and continue to be a rent defaulter, you can ask them to leave your rental property.

Landlords should use a formal letter to inform tenants that they must pay their rent within a set time or vacate the property. If they fail to do so, you can begin the eviction process.


Late-on-rent tenants can be a nightmare, but you can avoid the problems that may arise by working with them rather than against them. Even if you don’t want to pursue legal action, you should use the opportunity to talk to the tenant about any problems that are occurring that may cause them to be late on rent. This will allow you to try and resolve the matter privately.

If you’ve had a bad experience trying to rent your house on your own, it’s time to think about hiring a residential property management company. Quest Real Estate will handle difficult tenants and assist you in avoiding pitfalls so you can enjoy the benefits of owning a rental property. Contact us now!