Guide to Writing a Late Rent Payment Letter

A late rent payment letter is one of the easiest demand letters that landlords or property managers can send out to a tenant. It isn't a notice to pay or quit because the next step isn't going to be to start the eviction process. If anything, this letter is like a collection letter. It's a demand that late rent be paid or the next steps in the legal process to get that money will be taken. Here are some things that you'll want to make sure are included with this letter.

1. This is a Formal Business Letter

You will need to have all of your pertinent contact information included on this letter. It should be in a standard business format and also include the tenant's pertinent contact information as well. Make sure the date is on the letter and that you have multiple copies of it on hand – including delivery confirmation.

2. Use Strong Language to Describe the Circumstances

The problem that many landlords have with the late rent payment letter is that they take the issue personally. This is a business situation and requires a business response. Strong language that declares how a tenant has violated the lease agreement is good enough. “This letter is a formal notice. You must make immediate payment of unpaid rent due under the terms of the lease agreement that was signed on X/X/XX.

3. Always Include the Physical Address of the Property

If you do not list the property where the rental payments are overdue, then many landlord/tenant laws would consider the letter to be an invalid legal notification. Even if you're sending the letter to the tenant at the address in question, always include the physical property description in the body of the letter.

4. Be Specific About the Violation

There must be no ambiguity in the words that you use. You are informing the tenant that they are late on their rent. “As of X/X/XX, you are 10 days past due on your rent. Rental payments are always due by X/X/XX according to the lease agreement. To become current, you must pay your past due and the agreed upon late charges that are in the lease.”

5. Include the Full Amount That Must be Paid in an Itemized Method

It only takes a couple seconds to create one line for the amount of the unpaid rent and a second line for the late charges. Make sure to add them up for the tenant as well so that there is zero room to maneuver if they should try to make a partial payment.

6. Have a Clear Deadline

Many landlord/tenant laws require a late letter to have a minimum amount of time for a tenant to respond. It's often 7 days, but could be much more. Make sure you put a clear deadline in place, mention that you will take further legal action to collect unpaid rent, and give the tenant specific methods of contacting you if they have any questions. These letters can be difficult to write and deliver, but they are sometimes necessary to collect past due rent. Use these examples as a guide today and the process will be a little easier to endure.

Posted on Dec 29, 2014


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