What is your greatest fear as a landlord?
It might be that your tenant will stop paying rent.
When you screen carefully and enforce your lease terms and rent collection policies, you won’t run into this problem very often. But, bad financial things can happen to good tenants, and you may find yourself trying to collect overdue rent from a tenant.
You need a plan.
Establish Strong Rent Collection Policies
Most Lakewood leases require that rent is paid on the first of the month, and there’s usually a grace period. Your lease must indicate when rent is to be paid, and when it’s considered late. At Assured Management, rent is late if it isn’t paid on the fifth of the month. Our tenants know that the eviction process then starts on the sixth.
Post a Three Day Notice to Pay or Quit
The eviction process starts with a proper notice. You’ll need to serve or post a Three day Notice. We do this on the sixth of the month, as soon as rent is officially late. Tenants will usually pay their rent in full by the end of those three days because they don’t want to incur extra costs, and they don’t want the eviction to go any further.
Work with a Legal Expert
If rent is not paid after the three day period has passed, we strongly recommend that you turn the case over to an attorney who understands landlord and tenant law and has handled evictions before. It’s very easy to make a mistake when you’re beginning the court process, and those mistakes will be expensive and time consuming.
Even after your attorney files the eviction in court, your tenant can still pay what is owed and stop the eviction. We allow this when the tenant pays the late rent, the late fee, and any attorney and court fees.
Proceeding with Eviction
When you don’t hear anything from the tenant, you’ll need to follow through with the eviction. A tenant who isn’t paying rent isn’t following the terms of the rental agreement, so you have the legal right to vacate that lease and remove the tenant from your property.
But, you have to do it legally. You cannot change the locks or cut off the power. Let your attorney go to court with the necessary documentation. Once you have your eviction, meet the sheriff at the property so you can remove the tenant’s belongings, and you’ll get your property back.