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Denver Property Management Blog


Rent Collection: What to Do if a Tenant Doesn't Pay

Rent Collection: What to Do if a Tenant Doesn't Pay

Make money off of the Mile High City! The median rent of a one-bedroom apartment in Denver is nearly $1,800. If you have 10 tenants and you get rent from them every month, you will make more than $200,000 a year. 

However, rent collection is harder than it looks. Many tenants fail to provide the rent on time. Yet you shouldn't panic. 

What should you do once your tenant fails to provide the rent? What documents do you need to write? When should you evict a tenant? 

Answer these questions and you can collect rent and deal with troublesome tenants without getting a headache. Here is your quick guide.

Sit Down With Your Tenant

You are not required to talk to your tenant about missing rent. But having a discussion with them can resolve the situation before you start the eviction process. Get in touch with your tenant and find a time when you can meet with them face-to-face. 

Your tenant may acknowledge that their rent is late, but they may be encountering job or personal problems. If this is their first late rent, you should cut them a break. Ask them to pay you back the next time they pay rent.

Send Them a Formal Notice

If your tenant makes a habit of missing the rent, you should take more forceful measures. Send them a late-rent notice letting them know that the rent is late. Tell them how much money is due, if there are any late fees, and what rent collection methods you are using. 

Deliver the notice yourself so they know from you what is going on. If you haven't heard back from them, you can give them a call or send them an email with the notice attached.

Consider a Cash-For-Keys Agreement

You have one more option if your tenant still does not pay their rent. You can contact them and offer them a cash-for-keys agreement.

In exchange for vacating, you will pay your tenant a small amount of money. You can also waive the rent payments they have missed or cover a portion of their moving fees. 

An agreement can be cheaper than the eviction process, and it will save you more time. Offering a deal also shows that you were engaging in good faith with your tenant. 

Initiate the Eviction Process

After all of your measures have failed, you can start eviction proceedings. Follow the guidelines from Denver's residential landlord-tenant guide. Give your tenant a Three-Day Demand and file a petition in your nearest housing court.

Schedule a hearing with a judge and attend that hearing. Bring copies of your late-rent notice as well as bank records. You can go without a lawyer, but a housing attorney can help you draft documents and stay within legal parameters. 

Do not lock the doors to keep your tenant out. You can only remove them if you receive a notice from a judge allowing you to do so.

Figure Rent Collection Out

Don't worry if your rent collection is not going well. Talk with your tenant and figure out what is going on. Come to an agreement about paying this month's rent next month. 

Write your tenant a notice that they must pay the rent. You can also offer them a deal to move out in exchange for money. After your negotiations fail, you can start the eviction process, but hire a lawyer so you don't violate your tenant's rights. 

You should also work with a property manager on collecting rent. Laureate serves landlords in the Denver area. Contact us today.