This Is What to Do if a Tenant Can’t Pay Rent on Time

Are you a landlord or property manager who’s having trouble with tenants not paying rent on time? Many people are having trouble keeping up with their bills, but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t communicate about it.

Managing properties is hard enough, and talking about rent is awkward, so we want to help. Keep reading to learn about what to do when your tenant can’t pay rent on time. 

Plan Ahead

It’s always a good idea to go into this situation with a plan in mind, preferably before it comes up at all. If you’re reading this and you haven’t yet encountered the problem, you’re on the right track. 

Plan out how long you’re going to allow rent to be overdue. Many people include this in lease agreements, but if times are tough it’s a good idea to have some wiggle room. 

Then consider your plan of action. 

Talk to Them

The first thing that you should do is communicate. It’s possible that your tenant isn’t aware that they missed rent this month. If they have a lot going on and they don’t have automatic payments, it’s normal.

If they are aware, having a conversation and being empathetic can go a long way. You need to see your tenants as people. Many tenant issues can be solved through communication. 

Explaining the situation, that you also need to pay for the property and associated maintenance and bills, will help them understand why rent is so important. 


While you’re communicating, try negotiating with your tenant. You can give them options to help them pay their rent.

One option, if you’re up for it, is giving them a temporary discount. Many people are out of work, so taking off a small portion of their rent can help them pay on time. 

If not, try setting up a payment plan. Let them pay small amounts throughout the month so it’s easier to manage than one large payment at the end. 

Giving your tenant options can help both of you. You get the money that you need and they get enough relief to pay. 

Send a Notice

If your tenant still doesn’t pay rent in the allotted time, it might be time to send an official notice. This should be a formal letter, and it’s a good idea to put it both in an email and on paper. This way you have a paper trail and you can prove that your tenant received the notice.

Sometimes all it takes to get a tenant to take things seriously is an official warning letter that lets them know what will happen if they continue to not pay. 

When Your Tenant Can’t Pay Rent, Try These Tips

Every property manager or landlord will experience this problem at least once. Remember, talking to your tenant may be all you need to get your rent. Even the best tenants fall on hard times or let bills slip their minds. When a tenant can’t pay rent, start by being understanding and go from there.

Are you looking to get new tenants for your home? We want to help. Contact us to learn about how we can take communication out of your hands and find the perfect tenant.