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What to do when a tenant doesn’t pay rent

On Behalf of | Jun 16, 2023 | Landlord/Tenant Matters |

A tenant who made payments on time may start to delay or fail to pay due to financial difficulties or other issues. New York tenants have many rights that can make it harder for landlords to ask them to leave. Thus, to avoid getting into legal trouble, you should approach the situation carefully.

The following are four things to do when a tenant doesn’t pay rent.

Review the rental agreement

Of course, you understand the rental agreement’s terms, but it’s beneficial to review it when a tenant fails to pay rent. This allows you to act according to it, protecting you from a breach of contract. 

For instance, if you have a grace period, confirm if you can apply a late fee after the set days and how you can do this.

Send a reminder

You should send the tenant a written reminder of the late payment. Give them the benefit of the doubt that they may have forgotten to pay. Your notice should include: 

  • The tenant’s name and address
  • Current date, 
  • Purpose of the notice
  • Amount overdue
  • Rent due date, and other crucial details. 

You should keep a copy of the notice.

Call them 

If the tenant fails to respond to the notice after a reasonable time, you should call them to follow up. This call serves the same purpose as the previous notice– to remind them to pay rent.

Send a pay or quit notice

If the tenant does not respond after the call, you should deliver a pay or quit notice personally. This will inform them that if they don’t pay the amount overdue, they may be evicted.

If your tenant does not pay after the pay or quit notice, you should get legal help to learn more about your options.