What Should I Do If My Tenant Stopped Paying Rent?

rent, Wheaton real estate lawyersIf you own and lease out residential or commercial real estate, it is almost a certainty that you will be forced to deal with tenants who pay their rent late. You may offer a grace period to help your tenants, but sooner or later, someone will fail to pay on time. As a landlord, there are few things you might wish to consider—and some things you must do—before initiating formal eviction proceedings.

Communicate With Your Tenant

Communication is the key to preventing misunderstandings and solving small problems before they become major issues. If your tenant has missed the window for on-time payments, reach out to him or her to find out what is going on. Send a text message, make a phone call, or stop by, especially if this is the first time this tenant had a problem.

During your conversation, try to determine if the tenant’s financial situation has changed. If he or she is concerned about no longer being able to afford to meet the rental obligations, consider offering to let the tenant out of the lease. Be sure that the tenant knows that he or she will only have a few days during which your offer is valid—say five to seven days. You might be surprised by how quickly your tenant comes up with the money to pay.

Send or Post a Demand Notice

Before you can begin the process of evicting your tenant, he or she must be given the opportunity to get caught up on the rent. To provide this opportunity, you must notify the tenant in writing of the total amount due. You must also give him or her at least five days to pay in full before you can consider the lease to be terminated. Once the lease is terminated, you can begin eviction proceedings.

It is up to you if you are willing to accept partial payments or a payment arrangement, but the law in Illinois gives you the right to terminate the lease if full payment is not made. If you are not willing to accept partial payments or arrangements, your demand notice should state that only full payment will keep the lease in effect.

Speak With a Wheaton Real Estate Attorney

If your tenant has failed to pay his or her rent, you will need to take some kind of action to protect your rights and your real estate investment. An experienced DuPage County real estate lawyer can help you handle any type of landlord-tenant dispute, including the non-payment of rent. Call 630-665-2500 to schedule a confidential consultation at Stock, Carlson, Oldfield & McGrath LLC today.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/fulltext.asp?DocName=073500050K9-209