15 Jan What Should You Do When Tenants Aren’t Paying Rent?
For many landlords, their properties are their livelihood. That’s why it can be stressful when tenants don’t pay their rent. Some may simply forget or have problems with mail systems or online payment methods. However, if a tenant has avoided or refused to pay rent for an extended period, you may be wondering what your rights are as a landlord. Luckily, a landlord tenant attorney can help. Here are a few steps you can take.
Review the Lease
According to DoorLoop, when a tenancy surpasses 12 months in New Jersey, the local landlord-tenant law requires the landlord to draft a written lease. Be sure you’re familiar with the lease your tenant signed. It’s often best to draft leases with the help of a landlord tenant attorney to ensure the contract is clear and valid and protects you in cases such as tenants not paying rent. The tenant may have a grace period before rent is officially considered late. If it’s clear the tenant has missed their rent payment, move to the next step.
Next, you should notify the tenant that their rent is late. This should inform them of how much money they owe, possible late fees, and the date the payment is due. Even if sending notice isn’t required, it will protect you in case legal action becomes necessary. It will be considered proof the tenant was notified before legal action was taken.
Contact a Lawyer
New Jersey, in particular, has many laws landlords need to adhere to. Violating even one of them can lead to thousands of dollars in fines. In order to avoid this, be sure to work with a landlord tenant attorney. They will inform you of any necessary legal steps that need to be taken during this process and let you know what rights you have as a landlord.
Begin Eviction Proceedings
If you’ve taken all the above steps and your tenant still isn’t paying rent, it’s time to start eviction proceedings. You will once again need a landlord tenant attorney on your side. They will tell you what steps to take, such as writing an eviction notice, and they will aid with preparing documents and filing court proceedings. They are an invaluable resource when going through this process.
While many landlords hope it never reaches the point of eviction, you need to know what to do when a tenant doesn’t pay their rent. If you’re struggling with one of your tenants and need the help of a landlord tenant attorney, look no further than our team. Contact Greenblatt, Lieberman, Richards, & Weishoff, LLC today for assistance.