There are many different reasons why tenants quit paying or can’t afford rent
. Tenants who either postpone paying their rent for months or outright refuse to do so frequently put landlords in this situation. So what do you do if your tenant defaults on their rent obligations? Given that you must have your own financial obligations and expenses to take into account, it makes sense that you would feel frustrated. However, it might not be a good idea to argue with the tenant in this circumstance; instead, you should behave calmly but firmly. Remember that you must always follow the law when dealing with tenants who have stopped making rent payments to avoid future legal complications.
Respecting the law aids in settling the issue quickly and painlessly. Understanding the law is necessary in order to follow it, though. Landlords facing this sort of issue usually ponder over some options as mentioned below;
- Review the leasing contract and applicable California rent laws
- Consider notifying the tenant that the rent is past due
- Discuss with the tenant
- Send a pay-or-quit letter
- Approach eviction consultants or hire eviction attorneys/lawyers
- Start the eviction process.
Landlord's Legal Protections or Rights?
The rights and obligations of the landlord and tenant are governed by a unique set of laws in each state, for example the California rent laws, but it is a general principle that landlords can charge rent for their properties and collect rent payments in accordance with a predetermined schedule.
If the renters choose to vacate the property, they must give the landlord due notice of their intention to do so. The ability to withhold rent even when there is a disagreement between the landlord and renter does not exist anywhere else in the world, though. The Citizen's Advice Bureau emphasizes that tenants cannot lawfully cease paying their rent and run the risk of being evicted if they do. By law, landlords are also permitted to investigate the renting history, including the means of rent payment, of their tenants, both current and potential, so they can get appropriate eviction services
. Rent arrears and/or property damage that might be recorded in the tenant's name might be checked by landlords. The knowledge is crucial for enhancing landlord-tenant relations.
Steps to be taken if the tenant stops making rent payments;
To be able to spot problems early on, you must first keep monitoring your bank account frequently. If it is established that your tenant is not paying rent, the first step in resolving the situation would be to learn the reason(s) behind this. Start gently but swiftly asking questions because the issue might be too straightforward for you to handle.
It could be, for example, any of the following;
- Miscommunication amongst co-tenants.
- Short-term cash flow problems.
- The rent has not been transferred by the tenant.
- The couple's divorce or separation.
On the other hand, the cause could be overly complex, such as any of the following;
- Employment loss.
- A hard long-term financial, professional, or personal situation that the tenant is dealing with, such as job stress.
- Alternatively, it might just be the case that your tenant refuses to pay the rent. In order to ensure your own financial security and mental well-being, you must address the situation as soon as you can.
How then should you approach this predicament? Here are some actions to take;
Reaching out to the Surety/Guarantor;
On their lease, your tenant might also name a guarantor. If this is the situation and you can't get the overdue rent from your tenant, you might want to get in touch with the guarantor to sort things out. It is a good strategy for resolving the conflict amicably. To get the rent payments or evict the renter, however, you might need to go to court if none of these other options work. Before obtaining eviction services
or legal counsel from an eviction lawyer, It would be a good idea to get in touch with the guarantor if there is a third party acting as your tenant's guarantee, such as a relative or close friend, who has promised to make up any missed rent payments if the renter fails to pay them. Share the problem with the third party. When a third party is involved, the issue is typically resolved swiftly; if not, take the required steps to collect the rent from the guarantor.
Regain control/Custody of your property;
A letter stating that you will be reclaiming ownership of your property if payment is not made within a week or by a certain date may be sent to the tenant after 21 days have passed without payment of rent. According to the Housing Act of 1988, landlords have the right to evict tenants who repeatedly miss deadlines by pursuing a certain legal procedure.
File an appeal for assistance in the court;
If your tenant ceased paying rent and you want to evict them, you have the right to seek the court to rule against the tenant on two counts: the rent that is owed and the costs incurred by the landlord to collect it. However, you must consider all factors before getting an eviction service in California and approaching the court, such as if the debt's quantity justifies the time, money, and effort required.
It is a known fact that dealing with a tenant who has failed to pay the rent can be incredibly stressful for landlords, whether they are novices or seasoned pros. You will eventually learn how to manage such obstinate tenants, though. Understanding the law will also be useful in finding a swift and peaceful solution to the problem. When the renter fails to pay the rent for the first time or begins to delay payments, you must pay attention to the situation and treat it seriously. Talk to your tenant right away if he can’t afford rent
or give clear warnings about going to an eviction attorney in order to put a stop to this conduct before it develops into a habit and you have to wait longer and longer to get your rent.
As a last resort you have to always foresee getting an eviction attorney or lawyer in the future, hence keeping track of all payments and contact between you and your tenant is essential to finding a solution. Start by giving the tenant a direct phone call to discuss the problem. Sending a written letter and keeping a copy of it on hand would also be a good option. If you ever find yourself in legal trouble, this will be useful. If the landlord and tenant reach a resolution and the tenant agrees to make up any missed payments, make sure to maintain a written copy of the settlement agreement and mail it to the tenant. Don't forget to emphasize the repercussions of breaking the agreement. You won't ever run into a problem with a tenant who stopped paying rent if you are prudent and stringent in financial things, particularly rent payment.
Look For Technical Errors;
If a tenant hasn't paid rent, you should first check to be sure that neither your bank nor theirs made a mistake. If you accuse them of missing their payment deadline just to find out it was a technical error, it might ruin your relationship. In the event that this is not the case, get in touch with your tenants and discuss the situation civilly. Again, this will aid in keeping your relationship positive. It's possible that you can remedy the issue that caused the missing payment by setting up a new due date for the rent.
If that doesn't work, you should gather all payment records and other documentation that attests to the agreed-upon rental revenue so your tenant can't contest it. This strengthens your argument in your favor. Your goal should be to compromise even after you have gathered these information. It's possible that your tenant has lost their job or had their hours cut. In the present-day environment, this is extremely important. If so, you might want to think about temporarily lowering the rent until they can afford it again.
When should you get an eviction lawyer?
You may think about evicting your tenant if they don't communicate with you. This process could be challenging. You must give a Section 8 notice if this circumstance arises while your contract's set term is still in effect. The grounds for your attempt to regain control of your property must be specified in a Section 8 notification. You will need to give a Section 21 notice if the set period of your lease agreement has ended (often after six months). Since this is not a fault-based situation, you do not need to explain why you want to reclaim ownership of your property from the tenant. Additionally, by delivering a Section 21 notice, you waive any remaining rights to unpaid rent.
Obtaining legal counsel and going to court;
It is best to avoid taking your tenant to court as it is an expensive and drawn-out process. Eviction Consultants charge a lot if you need eviction services in California
. However, there are some things you should be prepared for if you wind up having to pursue legal action. To start with, you must confirm that you have followed the law up to this point; otherwise, your case can be rejected. The court may force your renter to vacate the premises, grant them permission to do so as long as they pay back unpaid rent, or mandate that they make a certain financial contribution to you. The court could also rule that the tenants must vacate your property and pay a certain sum of money, which could or might not include your court costs and attorney fees.
It's a common adage in life that prevention is preferable to treatment. You must carefully choose and reference-check your tenant when it comes to renting out your property so you can mitigate the risk and expense of obtaining eviction services in California
. A thorough study of California rent laws
and eviction regulations is essential. You must know, as a landlord, when and how to get an eviction attorney or eviction consultant. You must look into their history of payments as well as their employment history. To ensure that the money is taken out on the day it is due, attempt to keep your tenant on a direct debit system as much as you can. If the tenant decides to make the payment, you're much more likely to have them go into arrears. Hopefully, non-payment of rent won't result in eviction. You can avoid situations like these in the future by having open lines of communication with your tenant and conducting thorough background checks on every applicant. Like always, EZ Eviction LLC. is here to help. For any further info or assistance in eviction services please feel free to contact us at EZ Eviction LLC
. where you can get the best California eviction attorney
for your dilemma.