Property Management Blog

What Should You Do if Your Tenant Can't Pay Rent on Time?

What Should You Do if Your Tenant Can't Pay Rent on Time?

Being a landlord in Salt Lake City requires you to have a lot of patience and understanding.

As rental prices keep going up, we're seeing more and more tenants that have trouble paying rent on time. According to Bloomberg, more than 8 million renters can't keep up with rising rent prices.

For you as a property owner, it can be a tricky situation. You can be understanding that your tenant is under financial stress, but when that stress transfers over to you, it's difficult to let it slide.

If you've got a tenant that can't pay rent on time, you might be wondering what you should do. In this post, we're going to give you some advice on the first steps and when to take more serious action. Keep reading and we'll help you ensure that your investment continues to pay off.

Grace Periods for Tenants Who Can't Pay Rent

When you write your rental agreements, you should always include a grace period of 3-5 days. The truth of the matter is that you're going to have tenants that go through money problems. Giving them a monthly grace period demonstrates a level of understanding on your part.

It's when your tenants routinely go beyond the grace period that you need to start worrying about rent collection. Grace periods are there to help your tenants, not to be abused by them.

Reaching Out to Your Tenant

When you start to notice a pattern of behavior with a tenant, you should reach out to them to voice your concerns. Do this before you send any official notices, just so that they know you've noticed a string of late payments and you need things to change.

Either text them, send them an email, or call them to informally discuss the issue at hand. If they don't respond or keep giving you the same excuses, then you'll have to take the next steps.

Sending Official Notices

There's no denying that evicting a tenant can be awkward. Before you send your pay or quit notice, you have to make sure that you understand the eviction laws in Utah. At the height of the Covid pandemic, eviction protection laws were in place to protect tenants, but that's now ended.

A pay or quit notice is essentially the first step in the eviction process. It's a note posted on the rental unit giving the tenant a deadline to pay rent or vacate the premises. In Utah, the typical pay or quit timespan is 3 days.

Dealing With Evictions

So long as you have proof of a tenant's ongoing failure to pay rent on time (or at all), evictions are fairly straightforward. That doesn't mean that the process is simple or quick.

If your tenant ignores the pay or quit notice, you can go file the eviction papers with the court. A court date is then set and you have to present your case to a judge. Until a judge has ruled, you can't force the tenant to leave the rental.

Benefits of Property Management

A tenant who can't pay rent on time can make being a landlord more difficult than it needs to be. If you own multiple Salt Lake properties or your rental is side-income, you may not have time to deal with late rent or evictions. 

In these scenarios, it's always best to hire a property manager. A full-service property management company like Utah Property Solutions can help you handle everything from tenant screening to rent collection and evictions. Contact us today to find out how we can help you deal with your tenant problems.