What is your “Late rent criteria”

What criteria do landlords have for rent being on time or late?

If it is due on the 1st do you have a grace period?

Do you accept a postmark for rent that is mailed?

When must you have the rent if the 1st falls on a Sunday or Holiday?

Do you have a drop box (hopefully not for cash! Checks & money orders only).

Is the box in view of your security camera DVR system?

When do you contact the tenant if it is not received and when do you give the 3 day notice?

Is your late fee the $15 or $20 per day or the old $10/day.

Do you have a discount disguised as a late fee or a late fee that is over the legal maximum?

Please reply with comments below


5 thoughts on “What is your “Late rent criteria””

  1. I am probably too nice, but we don’t start late charges until the 6th, but it does cut down on confrontation and conflict with the tenants. Eliminates the holiday issues and mailing. We have drop boxes at several locations and have not had a problem with anyone trying to break in or vandalize them. We charge $10 a day with a $60 cap.

    We send out our 3 day notices between the 6-8 of the month.

  2. I have it written into my leases that the monthly rent is due on the first of the month. There is no grace period in that I have a mortgage that has to paid on my duplex by then as well. I make sure to inform tenants of this before they sign a lease.

    If the first falls on a Sunday or holiday, I will often wait until the next day and see if it arrives. When it does, I look to see when it was postmarked. If the tenant tried to get their payment to me on time, then I will overlook it being a day late because of the circumstances (this is pretty rare, Monday being an example).

    I contact a tenant if the rent is late beyond a day and try to ask them in a non-accusatory tone if the rent is in the mail and if not, when they anticipate it will be. I have found that this works 90% of time.

    For the few cases that it hasn’t or they won’t return my call within a day, I send a 3 day letter through certified mail. I have never had to go as far as an eviction and only had to send a 3 day letter a couple of time. Of course, I only have a duplex so that helps keep the quantity of those things lower.

  3. Since I primarily accept rent via my PO Box, my policy has been that rent must be postmarked by the 5th business day of the month to be considered “on time”, but I recently changed my lease wording that rent must be received by the 5th business day. In my lease, business days exclude weekends and holidays.

    Sometimes letters do not get postmarked so it can be hard to enforce. A good example of this is bill pay payments.

  4. Rent is due on the 1st and late after the 5th. We have a $60 late fee. 3-day notices are posted between the 6th and 8th. Evictions are filed between the 10th and the 12th. We have a drop box for rent payments (check or MO only). If payment is mailed I look at the postmark date.

  5. I’m probably even nicer than Kim G. is. I RARELY charge late fees, and I start out with all my rents due the 1st of each month. But I sometimes let tenants pay half their rent on the first Friday (payday) of the month, and the other half 2 weeks later when they get paid again. Many of my Ts are low income, and so most of the time I’m just happy to get the main rent, let alone charging them late fees. I do give them a 2 day grace period past the 1st, and past each of those Fridays. I’m at the $12 late fee amount for all my rentals, even though I know I could charge the $20 above the $700 rent amounts. I know that doing business this way sometimes comes and bites me in the a$$, especially when it comes to evictions, but I still keep trudging along.

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