When You’ve Done Everything and They Still Won’t Pay: The Next Steps

Being a landlord is no piece of cake, especially when you have renters who keep avoiding you at all costs. And you’ve tried everything. You’ve called, texted, and even stopped by their apartment to talk to them face-to-face. But no matter what you do, they won’t pay their rent. So what are your next steps?

It can be challenging to navigate this situation, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to try to get your money. Here are some steps you can follow to get paid by your renters:

Step 1: Try to figure out why they’re not paying

Before you take any further action, it’s important to understand why your renters aren’t paying their rent. There could be many reasons why they’re avoiding you, such as:

  • They’re going through a challenging financial situation and can’t afford to pay
  • They don’t have the money to pay
  • They’re trying to get back at you for something
  • They don’t think they should have to pay because of a problem with the apartment

Once you know why they’re not paying, you can better figure out how to approach it. If they’re not paying because they’re in a challenging financial situation, you may be able to work out a payment plan with them. This is the time to extend a helping hand and show them that you understand their current situation.

On the other hand, if they’re not paying because they’re trying to get back at you or simply avoiding you, you may need to take a different approach. This is where things can get tricky, so it’s essential to proceed with caution. After all, you’re still running a business.

Step 2: Send them a notice

If your renters haven’t paid their rent after you’ve tried to talk to them, it’s time to send them a notice. This should include the amount of rent they owe, the deadline for payment, and the repercussions of not paying, such as eviction.

It’s important to be clear, concise, and professional in your notice so your renters know that you’re serious about getting your money. Be sure to send this notice via a reliable process service so you have proof that they’ve received it, and you can move forward with the following steps if necessary.

Step 3: Give them a final warning

If your renters still haven’t paid their rent after you’ve sent them a notice, it’s time to give them a final warning. In this warning, you should let them know that you’ll be taking legal action if they don’t pay their rent by a specific date. This will usually be a date a few days after the notice was sent.

Although it may seem drastic, taking legal action is often the only way to get your money when your renters don’t pay. It’s essential to consult with an attorney before taking this step to know what to expect and better prepare yourself.

a businessman holding out an eviction notice document

Step 4: File for eviction

If your renters still haven’t paid their rent after you’ve given them a final warning, it’s time to file for eviction. This process can be long and complicated, so it’s essential to consult with an attorney to ensure everything is done correctly. Here are some possible grounds for eviction that you should know:

  • Non-payment of rent: This is the most common ground for eviction and usually the easiest to prove.
  • Violation of lease agreement: If your renters have violated their lease agreement in some way, such as by having unauthorized occupants or damaging the property, you may be able to evict them on these grounds.
  • Illegal activity: If your renters are engaged in unlawful activity on the property, such as drug use or prostitution, you may be able to evict them on these grounds.

Once you’ve filed for eviction, your renters will be given the notice to appear in court. If they don’t show up, you’ll likely be able to get an eviction order from the judge. But if they do show up, you’ll have to present your case, and the judge will decide whether they should be evicted.

Step 5: Enforce the eviction order

If the judge decides in your favor and orders your renters to be evicted, it’s time to enforce the eviction order. This process can be different in each state, so it’s important to consult with an attorney to ensure you’re following the correct procedures.

After you’ve enforced the eviction order, your renters will have to leave the property, and they’ll be responsible for any unpaid rent or damages. Be sure to document everything so you can use it as evidence if necessary.

The Bottom Line

It’s normal to be friendly with your tenants and know a thing or two about each other’s lives. However, when it comes to money, you need to be professional. After all, you’re running a business, not a charity. If your tenants avoid you or make excuses for not paying their rent, it’s time to take action.

While dealing with non-paying renters is never easy, these steps can help you get your money and move on. So, you should know when to put your foot down and take action. This is the only way your rental property business can thrive in today’s competitive housing market.

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