15 Mar What to Do When Your Tampa Tenant Stops Paying Rent
Are you having trouble getting your Tampa, FL tenant to pay rent?
If so, this post is for you.
Rent collection is always one of the biggest responsibilities you’ll have as a landlord.
Hopefully, most of your tenants will pay on time. Unfortunately, it can happen that you find yourself with renters who are reluctant to pay their rent.
A late rent payment may not be that bad. The tenant could be going through temporary financial issues. Plus, you could have the right to ask for a late payment fee if a rate is specified in your rental agreement.
But if the tenant fails to pay their rent after many warnings, you may have to take some extra measures.
What can you do when your Tampa tenant stops paying rent?
In this post you’ll be able to find useful steps that you can take to resolve this problem as quickly as possible.
Smart Steps to Take When Your Tampa Tenant Stops Paying Rent
Before you opt for drastic measures, you must first try to establish the reason behind your tenant’s failure to pay rent.
Here is a step by step guide on how to handle this unfortunate situation:
Step 1: Assess the situation.
Before doing anything else, you have to first look at the tenant’s payment history.
Have they ever been late on rent payments? Is this the first time this is happening? If not, how did you resolve the issue last time?
Sometimes, the tenant may be experiencing temporary financial difficulties.
That’s why, if you notice that it’s their first time, a written reminder may be enough to resolve the issue.
In the note, you can remind them of late payment fees, as stipulated in your signed lease agreement.
Step 2: Talk with your tenant.
If a reminder fails to resolve the issue, the next step is to reach out to the renter.
That way they’ll fill you in on what’s going on and why they haven’t paid their rent. In most cases, a call or a face-to-face meeting will do.
Being understanding and sympathetic is a good way to build a stronger relationship with your tenant. But, you also need to let the renter know how their late payment is affecting you and your business.
That way they’ll understand why they need to pay their rent, or why you may have to evict them.
Basically, if they can’t pay, let them know they can’t stay.
However, if you are dealing with a longtime tenant who has a history of paying their rent on time, you can always make an exception.
But you have to make sure you come up with an agreement detailing the terms of the extension. Afterward, you should be ready to let them go if they fail to honor your agreement.
Step 3: Issue them a pay or quit notice.
If you still can’t get your Tampa renter to pay, you can issue them with a “Pay or Quit” notice.
This is a legal requirement in most states including Florida.
A Pay or Quit notice is a formal letter from you to the renter reminding them of their lateness in paying rent. Also, it offers a set number of days that the tenant has left to pay their rent or move out.
In most cases, tenants often get 3 to 5 days to respond to the notice by paying (plus penalties) or moving out.
Sometimes, the tenant may be forced to pay if they consider the costs and inconveniences of:
- Finding a new place
- Paying another rent and a security deposit
- Moving to a new place
However, if they ignore the notice by failing to do either of the options, you can terminate their lease.
And then you’ll have to initiate an eviction process.
Step 4: Start the eviction process.
Eviction processes can be quite expensive – not to mention time-consuming.
The State of Florida expects you to carry out an eviction within the confines of the law.
That means filing an eviction suit, waiting for the hearing date, going to court to prove your case, and then getting help from the local sheriff to physically evict the tenant.
Sounds tough, right? Well, it is.
And the sooner you get through it, the better. That way you can get back to earning from your rental property.
Unfortunately, as mentioned earlier, an eviction process can be expensive. It may end up costing you up to $10,000.
And that begs the question; is there a cheaper and faster way to evict a tenant?
Yes, there are a few ways. For example:
- You can pay the tenant to leave (Cash for Keys).
It may seem like a crazy idea. Why should you pay someone who owes you money to leave your rental property?
Well, think of it this way: paying your tenant $500 to $1,500 to leave is better than spending $5,000 on a legal eviction.
That’s because these companies often have strict policies and effective measures of ensuring that tenants pay on time. Additionally, they cannot be easily swayed by emotions or empathy.
In summary, it’s not unusual for a Tampa tenant to stop paying their rent. However, how you respond to such a situation will determine how much money you lose or save in the process.
The best way to minimize your loses is by acting quickly and firmly before the situation worsens.