Best Tips for Handling Delinquent Rent Payments – Advice for Landlords in Kirkland, WA


We have a series of steps that landlords in the Kirkland Redmond area can take when they’re handling delinquent rent payments. It starts with tenant communication and ends with eviction, but a lot of things can happen in between. If your tenant is late paying rent, follow these tips.

Tenant Communication

Contact your tenant on the very first day rent is delinquent. We like to call and email. Sometimes they don’t answer phone, especially if they are hiding from us, so email also gets your point across. If your tenants do answer the phone, tell them you are calling because rent has not been received and you’d like to know when you can expect it. Also, let the tenants know that if you don’t receive the rent, you will need to deliver a Three Day Pay or Vacate notice. Inform the tenant that serving that notice will be a cost to them, and if you don’t receive the rent after that, you’ll need to start the eviction process.

It’s important to have this conversation. It tells the tenants that you will be calling every time rent is late, and hopefully you will make them uncomfortable with the delinquency. You also want them to understand that you have steps and procedures in place and you will use them to enforce the lease.

Pay or Vacate Notice

If three days go by and you still don’t receive the rent, deliver the Pay or Vacate notice. Knock on the door and hand the notice to the tenant. This can be uncomfortable, but it’s important to follow your procedure. Remember that’s it’s not so bad to make the tenants uncomfortable because you want them to think twice before paying the rent late.

Washington Landlord and Tenant law requires us to give one notice per tenant. So if there’s a husband and wife living in your property, that means you have two tenants. You’ll need two pieces of paper. It’s not necessary to deliver each notice to the individual tenants; you can deliver both notices to the tenant who opens the door.

Right to Evict

After three days, if there is still no rent, you can begin the eviction process. The first step is to petition the courts for the right to evict. This can take up to 30 days, so start right away. If the tenant shows up and pays rent during the process and you are comfortable that the tenants will be good going forward, you can stop the process. If you accept a partial payment, the eviction timeline stops. You’ll have to start over if you want to continue with the eviction.

Treat your tenants with respect and communicate as much as possible. Remember that you’ll need cooperation whether the tenants are moving out willingly, paying rent and fees to catch up or if you end up Best Tips for Handling Delinquent Rent Payments – Advice for Landlords in Kirkland, WAevicting them. Hopefully, the security deposit will cover fees and any late rent. But you also want the tenants to clean up and not damage the property out of anger.

If you have any questions about collecting late rent, please contact us at Windermere Gregory Property Management in Kirkland, WA.

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