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Late Rent Notice

This Agreement is entered by and between Jonas Adam, individually or collectively as the "Signee" and Jane Smith, as the "Signer", together referred to as the "Parties".
The Contract is dated [the date both parties sign].

1. Agreement terms

The Parties agree that the following agreement is dependent on the terms presented as follow:

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Late Rent Notice

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Being a landlord can be a rewarding yet difficult experience. On the one hand, you are able to generate income and own property at the same time. On the other, you will need to trust and be responsible for the tenants who live in or on that property.

One of the most common situations encountered by landlords, as unfortunate as it is, is the failure of a tenant to pay their rent by the agreed upon date. When this happens, many are confused about the best way in which to proceed.

In the United States, the simplest and most legal way to move forward once a tenant misses a payment is to create a binding late rent notice.


What is a Late Rent Notice?

A late rent notice is a basic document created by a landlord or property owner to inform a resident of a missed payment and potential legal consequences of the situation. Some crucial information is included in this document such as the date rent was meant to be paid, how late the current rent payment is, and any late charges a tenant might have incurred as a result of missing a payment.

For many landlords and property owners, issuing a late rent notice is the first step in initiating eviction proceedings against a tenant who habitually misses their payments. 

Red and Black Concrete High-rise Building
Most landlords rent apartments for a fixed period of time and have an agreed upon lease with the tenant (Source)

When do You Need a Late Rent Notice?

As mentioned earlier, you will need to make a late rent notice if you have a tenant who is not paying the agreed upon amount for rent at the specified time in a legally binding contract. Depending on your situation, you might need to create this document as soon as a tenant is late with their payment. This creates a legal precedent and record of the notification, as well as of the tenant’s tardy account. 

However, a late rent notice does not need to be threatening. For most individuals, it is simply a warning payment has not been received and potential legal action could follow. It is important to include relevant information such as the rent agreement, the agreed upon date, and the amount due. 

If you do intend to begin the process of eviction against a tenant, this notice will be your first step. The best way to send it is by certified mail so there is a record of submission and reception. 

Is a Late Rent Notice Legally Binding?

A late rent notice is not a legally binding document. It does not require either you (the landlord) or the tenant to perform an action. It is simply a warning that includes the potential for future consequences should the situation not be remedied. 


Do I Need to Issue a Late Rent Notice?

Whether or not a landlord or property owner needs to create and issue a late rent notice depends on the law of the state in which both parties live. Unfortunately, the legal code is not consistent across the entire United States. 

In fact, there are no current laws which state a landlord needs to use a late rent notice to notify their tenant about the situation. However, it is a helpful interim step before beginning the process of legal eviction, and it gives the tenant warning of the situation so it can be resolved without entering the courts. 

If you are unsure about whether a late rent notice will be beneficial in your situation, consider the type of tenant you are working with. If this is not their first instance of being late with payment, then having multiple notices can set a recognized precedent of non-payment and non-adherence to original leasing contract. 

How Do You Make a Late Rent Notice?

The process of making a late rent notice is simple and straightforward, but you want to ensure all of your facts are correct and you are ready to proceed with the process. You can either make a document from scratch or use a variety of online templates. Follow these steps to ensure the process is done smoothly and with all of the legal aspects taken care of.

1. Check Your Records

The first step will always be to check your lease documents, payment records, and contracts with a tenet to ensure there has been a breach or violation. While not all states require a 3-5 day grace period during which the tenant can make their payment, some do. You should not send out a notice if you are still in the grace period.

Pile of Folders
Always check your records before submitting any type of notice to your tenants (Source)

2. Determine Late Fees

You cannot arbitrarily create late fees. Instead, this will be the agreed upon amount in the original lease agreement which the tenant is responsible for since they did not pay rent when it was due. Double check this amount so you do not incorporate the wrong information in your document.

3. Create the Document

Your late rent notice should be simple and straightforward. You should include the following information on a single sheet of paper:

  • Date
  • The Rental Property Address
  • The Name(s) of the Tenant(s)
  • The Date in which Fees will be Incurred
  • Acceptable Forms of Payment
  • Your Signature

Alongside this information should be clear language explaining this is a late rent notice and that the payment and fees need to be paid by a specific date or else specific consequences will occur. For many, these consequences will be the beginning of the eviction process.

4. Call Your Tenant Once

When you send out a late rent notice, it is recommended you call the tenant once to notify them of the situation and ensure they receive the document. You should NOT call more than once as this can be considered harassment and has severe legal ramifications and repercussions. 


What Comes After a Late Rent Notice?

Your next step depends on your tenant’s actions. If they made their payment in full including the late fees, then you can continue on like normal. If they do not pay within the required period, it might be time to create a Pay or Quit Notice.

A Pay or Quit Notice is similar to the Late Rent Notice but is technically the first step in the process of a legal eviction. This is a document which expresses your serious intent in pursuing legal action against the tenant because of their failure to adhere to the original lease. 

This notice does not need to follow a strict legal format, but needs to include all of the information mentioned above. It also must have clear language which mentions your intent to evict, the full amount of money you are owed (including the late fees incurred by the tenants), and the deadline by which all of the money must be paid in full.

Depending on your situation, this document can be drafted by an eviction attorney to avoid ambiguous language. You should be clear about your intent to pursue further action.

If your tenant is unable to meet the expectations set forth by the Late Rent Notice and the Pay or Quit Notice, then the eviction proceedings need to move to a legal court to ensure the process is carried out properly. It is important that landlords and property owners not move forward without a lawyer, as doing so can be detrimental to the process.


Conclusion

At landlords and property owners, it is expected that a tenant will occasionally be late when it comes to paying rent. However, it is still recommended that your send out late rent notices to tardy tenants to create a record of the lateness of payment, give the tenant a chance to pay you the proper amount in full, and keep yourself legally clear of harassment and wrongdoing. If you are still confused about the proper way to create and submit a late rent notice, consider a consultation with an eviction attorney. 

Sublease Agreements and Late Rent Notices 

There are times where a person renting an apartment will want a roommate in order to reduce costs. Getting this in writing is important as is getting the approval of the landlord. A sublease agreement is a binding piece of paperwork that rents out a portion of a space or an entire rental from the person that originally rented the space. These are commonly done in college towns due to students returning home for the summer. 

As with any type of lease paperwork, there are particular details that the agreement should contain that are below:

  • The rental fees monthly are important to put into the sublease. Late rent penalties should also be outlined as many landlords include these in the original lease. 
  • What part of the property being sublet needs to be included.
  • If a commercial property is being sublet the names of owners and the company should be included. This is common when a company has rented a workspace and needs to downsize but are stuck in a long-term lease agreement. 

Subleasing a space month to month is common with terms being a bit more flexible. Do not under any circumstance sublease a space without the right agreement in place. 


Employee Warning Letters

Enforcement of policies and rules at a company varies depending on the organization. Documenting the behavior or poor performance of an employee should be done via an employee warning letter. These letters are important if it comes time to terminate an employee. Proof of consistent warnings or being written up constantly can help ward off a wrongful termination lawsuit.

An employee warning letter should contain the following:

  • The policy that has been violated or goals that have not been met needs to be detailed thoroughly. 
  • The manager writing the letter should have their name, the name of the employee, and the company’s name listed in the letter.
  • Actionable remedies to the problem need to be presented. If an employee is not told what they need to improve it can cause confusion.
  • The consequences of a repeat offense should also be in the letter. This should be written in a clear and concise way. 

Employee warning letters can provide the push that an unmotivated employee might need. 

Lease Renewal Agreements and Late Rent Notices

A renter that has had multiple issues with late rent might not be offered the ability to renew their lease. A lease renewal agreement is entered into when both the renter and landlord are happy with the arrangement. The extension of a lease might come with a few changes like that of monthly rent increasing or decreasing. The following should be in the terms of the lease renewal agreement: 

  • Names and contact information of the landlord and renters are to be listed. 
  • The duration of the renewal is to be specified. 
  • Other changes from the original lease need to be listed.
  • Roommates if present will also need to sign this updated document. 

Renewing a lease and extending it for a period provides comfort for a renter. The process of finding another rental combined with a great landlord can be difficult and extremely stressful.

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