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What Are The Next Steps When One is Unable to Pay Rent?

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Many tenants encounter trouble paying rent at some point during a lease. When and if that time comes, it can lead to an extremely stressful situation.

If one is unable to pay their rent, it can be a terrible ordeal to navigate. Luckily, there are options. Our knowledgeable Miami landlord-tenant attorneys are providing insight into the next steps a tenant should take if they find themselves unable to pay rent.

Negotiate a Late Payment

If a tenant is short on funds, but usually pays rent on time, most landlords will accept a late payment. One is more likely to avoid eviction when they are upfront with the landlord in regards to their situation and their request of an extension. Good tenants are hard to come by, and an eviction can be an expensive process for the landlord. When requesting an extension or paying a partial amount of rent, follow these steps:

  • Request an extension from your landlord in writing.
  • If the situation is temporary, explain that to the landlord.
  • Offer to pay a partial amount, if possible.
  • Be prepared to pay a late fee.
  • Provide the landlord with a written guarantee to pay the remainder of the rent by a certain date.

Do Not Disregard the Problem

Many tenants make the mistake of not taking any action in hopes the landlord will not notice. Most of the time, landlords are paying off a property’s mortgage every month, and count on the tenant’s monthly rent payment. Thus, ignoring the problem will not go unnoticed, and possibly sour the landlord-tenant relationship.

Never Send a Check That Will Bounce

Another common misstep tenants make is sending a check to the landlord that will bounce. Nothing infuriates a landlord more than a fraudulent check, and this will put the tenant in poor standing. When a rent check bounces, the landlord’s late fee will kick in, and the tenancy could even be terminated.

Once a check bounces, the landlord is legally obligated to charge a fee to the tenant, usually amounting to a few dollars more than the NSF charge for a returned check. There is almost always a clause in a lease or rental agreement in regards to a bounced check fee.

As mentioned above, it is difficult and expensive to impose an eviction and it is imperative to take the necessary steps in order to avoid an eviction lawsuit. In the event that a tenant cannot come to an agreement with their landlord, consult with an expert.

Talk to An Expert

When life happens and a tenant is unable to pay rent, it can quickly turn into a nightmare. It is deeply advised to speak to one of our skilled Miami landlord-tenant attorneys at Graham Legal, P.A. to find out the next steps available when one cannot pay rent on time. Contact us today for a free no-obligation consultation!

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