How to Serve Tenants Who Pay Late

Here are 11 tips on how to proceed when your tenants are late on the rent payment:
1. Rent is due on the first, late on the second, and the tenant should be served with a Pay or Quit notice on the fourth.
2. All residents with any amount of rent due are served a three-day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit (NPRQ) form.
3. These forms must have the complete, legal name of each and every “ADULT” resident on it, and be accurately filled out. If the forms are not filled out properly, the court will have to start the process over again and this could amount to losing three months rent.
4. These forms must be personally handed to an adult, and must never be handed to a person who is 17 years or younger. They can be handed to anyone in the apartment as long as they are 18 years of age or older. It would be best however, to hand the NPRQ to one of the adults that are listed on the lease. In rare situations, for example when the resident is out of town, the three-day NPRG can be posted on door of the apartment.
5. When serving the three-day NPRQ, say that you are there to remind them that the rent has not yet been paid, and ask if they have it ready for you. In the event that they do not, have a three-day NPRQ completely filled out, to serve them with. If you have to serve them, just remind them that it is company policy to do so, since their rent is four days past due, and that if they have their rent paid within three days, it will be disregarded.
6. Give the tenant a copy of the three-day NPRQ, the original should be filed, as a court will not accept a copy.
7. Only accept payments in full once the three-day NPRQ is served. If partial payments are accepted, then the whole process will have to be started again.
8. On the fifth day, remind the tenant that if they do not pay, they will then be responsible for legal fees, in addition to the owed rent. Legal fees run at about $175 to bring the account current should they decide to pay before the case goes to court.
9. On the sixth day of the month, without fail and without any exceptions, the following data needs to be sent to the main office:

  • The original three-day Notice to pay rent or quit (NPRQ).
  • The original Declaration of Service (NPRQ and Proof of Service must have identical names and dates).
  • Copy of the application (completed at time of move in).
  • A signed copy of the Lease/Rent agreement.
  • Indicate any rent increases, if the rent is now higher than the rent stated on the lease/rent agreement. This can be done by including a copy of Rent Raise & Change of Terms.
  • Indicate any change of terms in the rental agreement (or include a copy of changes).

10. Once you have sent the above paper work to the home office, the tenant must pay all of the following in order to become current:
a. Rent
b. Legal fees
c. Late fees incurred
11. At this time, do not accept any partial payments, accept only payments in full! If a partial payment is accepted, the whole process must be started over, beginning with the three-day NPRQ. The rental agent is to contact the home office for approval of payment, as legal fees may have already been incurred.