Even with quality background checks and tenant screening, the landlord still has to deal with tenants who do not pay their rent. There are many reasons as to why rent is not paid, including legitimate reasoning such as losing a job or having an unexpected medical emergency. Whatever the case may be, if you know the right steps to take, you will be able to solve the problem and move on in an efficient manner.
Step 1: Talking to the Tenant
The first step to take if a tenant is not willing to pay rent is to speak with them about the issue. Financial issues may be at play or a tenant may be holding rent payment for another reason such as a problem with the property like a leaky roof. Perhaps a roommate moved out and the renter is unable to make the full payment. Once you are given a reason, it is up to you to make a decision. If the problem is a repair need, show the tenant you will have the issue repaired and this should solve this form of rent withholding.
Step 2: Know State Laws
Every state in the US has different laws on how tenants can be handled when not paying rent. The more you understand such laws, the more prepared you will be when you approach a tenant who has not paid their rent. You will know what action you can take and be able to speak openly with the tenant about what will happen if they do not pay.
Step 3: Should You Take Legal Action?
Next, you must decide if you want to take legal action. If a resolution does not seem to be in the works, then you will need to decide if you want to take legal action. Contact your attorney to see what options you have and if legal action will provide a solution for the matter.
Step 4: Protection Plan
By completing background checks and tenant screening, you have a good idea as to the type of people you are renting to. However, issues can arise, and you may not receive rental payments as expected. It is a good idea to have a protection plan in place when you are facing this type of situation. Each situation will be different but knowing in advance how you will handle a situation based on laws and circumstances will allow you to act quickly and see an outcome in your favor.