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Rent Collection: What to Do If Your Tenants Don't Pay

Leslie Kazen - Tuesday, April 25, 2023
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Evictions in Fort Worth are returning to pre-pandemic levels. If your usual rent collection isn't working, you can take action. You may be able to avoid expensive and time-consuming evictions.

Learn more about how to handle unpaid rent and what to do when eviction is the only option.

Verify that the Rent is Actually Late

Before you start trying to collect unpaid rent, you should verify that the rent is actually late. The first step is double-checking your records.

You should also consider factors like the due date falling on a weekend or holiday. In these cases, the due date typically moves to the next business day.

Delays may result from payment processing. For example, rent payments by ACH transfer often don't appear in your account until the next business day.

Grace Periods

Most leases have a clause that gives tenants a grace period before the rent is considered late. Texas law allows landlords to start charging late fees if the rent is unpaid more than two days after the due date. If the lease allows a longer grace period, you must follow the terms of the lease.

Send a Late Rent Notice

Texas law allows you to start the eviction process as soon as the rent is late. However, you may be able to avoid the hassle and expense of an eviction by sending a late rent notice.

A late rent notice reminds the tenant about missed payments. It should include a list of all rent and fees the tenant owes. The notice can also warn the tenant about the possibility of eviction if the rent remains unpaid.

You can deliver the notice of late rent in person or by mail. You can tape it to the door of the unit. Keeping a copy of this notice provides proof that the tenant has a record of missed payments.

You can also use the notice as evidence that you tried to resolve the situation before starting the eviction process.

Use the Eviction Process

The eviction process has several steps. Following the proper procedures is very important to ensure the best outcome.

Send a Notice to Vacate

The eviction process starts with a notice to vacate. Texas law specifies what you must include in this notice. You must give the tenant at least three days to move out unless the lease has a longer time period.

File the Eviction Suit

If the tenant doesn't move out, you can file an eviction suit. The hearing will take place at least 10 days after you file the petition.

Judgment and Appeal

The court will then issue a judgment. Any further action must wait for at least five days. Either party may file an appeal.

Writ of Possession

After the court issues a final judgment, you can ask for a writ of possession. The constable will post a 24-hour notice and then remove the tenant's property. This completes the eviction process.

Simplify Rent Collection with the Right Property Management Company

Unpaid rent happens more than you would like. When the rent is late, you may avoid the need to evict tenants if you act quickly. A late rent notice may prompt the tenant to pay.

If a reminder doesn't work, you can start the eviction process.

A property management company can simplify your rent collection. You can trust 1st Choice Property Management to manage and care for your properties.

With our eviction protection program, we'll cover and pay all eviction-related expenses. You pay only a low per-unit monthly rate.

Contact 1st Choice Property Management today and let us take the stress out of your rent collection.