Today we are talking about rent, specifically late rent and the eviction process. There are different ideas about when exactly rent is late. Obviously, rent needs to be collected on a timely basis in order to ensure you have a profitable and enjoyable rental experience. Many landlords have a grace period for their tenants to pay rent, and I have never been a proponent of that practice. I think that rent is due when it’s due. When there is not a grace period, tenants know you have a consistent expectation of receiving rent on the first day of every month. A grace period will allow tenants to pay at the end of that period. Be consistent and consider rent to be late when it comes in after the first.
Most landlords do not want to treat their tenants like a necessary evil that is part of rental properties. We consider them to be customers, and we understand when things happen. There might be issues in their personal lives or a job change that makes it difficult to pay rent on time. Understanding these circumstances does not mean you have to change your process to accommodate someone else’s problems. Remember that you have to treat all of your tenants the same. So, if rent is late on the second of the month, you might give the tenant a late notice or a warning, perhaps on the fifth of that month if rent has not come in yet. You can do it again five days later, on the 10th of the month. With that notice, you might be a little more forceful and let them know you will be pursuing eviction.
If it gets to the point that rent is not paid at all, waiting until the end of the month to do anything about it is not a good idea. Have a method. Send the notices out on schedule, and then file the eviction. By staying consistent, tenants know you are serious. Otherwise, you risk having several months go by without getting paid. File your eviction at court, pay the fees which might be expensive, and then you will get a court date. Typically, the court date is about two weeks out. So, if you file mid-month, you could get a court date by the end of the month.
When the tenant shows up at court, the judge will more than likely give those tenants some time to move out. There will be a stay granted, and the tenants will have about a week to get out. After those seven days, if the tenant has not moved out, you will need to get a Writ of Restitution from the sheriff, who will post a 24 hour notice to vacate. If they still do not vacate, the sheriff will need to physically remove them from the property.
The process of eviction can get complicated. It might be a good idea to get professional help so you don’t have to worry about it. When you have a professional collecting rent and managing the notices and if necessary, the eviction, you will find it to be a lot easier.