Your tenant has been a fantastic tenant for the last several years. You recently had them ask you for an extension to pay, which you found unusual. You said it was okay and gave them an extra week without additional charges.
Now, this month, they’re asking for an extension again. You’re confused, because you already gave them an extension to catch up last month. On top of that, this is very out of the ordinary for this tenant.
What should you do to resolve a tenant’s new habit of paying late?
This is a situation that happens to many landlords, and it is one to consider carefully. There are many reasons why tenants could be late with rent, such as losing hours at work, losing their job, falling ill or others.
If your tenant has been an excellent tenant in the past and is paying on time with the extensions, it may be time to sit down with them to find out what’s going on. It may be that their pay now falls a few days after the rent’s due date, for example, and simply switching the due date and adding per diem charges for the additional days needed to make that adjustment may resolve the issue moving forward.
If they have lost their job but are actively searching for something new, you might decide that giving them a grace period for a week or two is better than spending the money on court, an eviction or finding a new tenant.
If your tenant is actively trying to catch up on their rent but you cannot wait, you can ask them to move out. If they will go willingly, that would be the best situation for everyone. On the other hand, if they will not, you may need to talk to an attorney about an eviction.
Life can sometimes have unexpected changes. As a landlord, you may want to consider what is going on in your tenant’s life before deciding how to move forward if they’ve missed rent, are paying later than usual or haven’t been paying in full.