How to Serve Late Rent Notice (State Laws) – Free Templates

late rent notice

A Late Rent Notice is a letter written by a landlord to their tenant. It is meant to inform them about their overdue rent and that they need to pay their late rent without delay.

The late rent notice is considered informal compared to an eviction notice. Therefore, the late rent notice is considered a polite way of collecting owed rent. On the other hand, the landlord can use the late rent notice as the first step of the eviction procedure.

The landlord can send a late rent notice as soon as the tenant fails to pay the rent on time. The late rent notice gives the tenant the chance to pay the overdue rent to avoid eviction. In most cases, the landlord will give the tenant 3-5 days to clear up their overdue rent, failure to which the tenant will be forced to leave the rented place. However, the period given to the tenant to clear up the late rent varies from state to state.

It is required by the state housing laws that a tenant is supposed to pay his/her rent on time. Also, the landlord is required by the housing laws to give tenants a grace period of at least 3 days to clear up any unpaid rent. Failure to do this means the landlord has the right to proceed with the eviction process.

Depending on the state, the landlord can issue a minimum of 3 days and a maximum of 14 days eviction notice to the tenant whose rent is overdue.

Note: Whenever a tenant fails to pay rent on time, the landlord should send a late rent notice to remind the tenant to pay the rent especially if it is their first time delaying to pay their rent.
The landlord can use the late rent notice to inform the tenant of any extra fees charged for paying the rent late. If the tenant has failed to pay rent on time on several occasions, the landlord can send them a notice to pay rent or an eviction notice to terminate the lease agreement with the tenant.

Late rent notice can also be referred to as:

  • Failure to pay rent notice
  • Notice to cure
  • Notice to pay rent
  • Demand for past due rent
  • Demand for payment of rent
  • Notice to demand payment for failure to pay rent
  • Demand notice for non-payment of rent

Sending a Late Rent Notice

There are several reasons why a tenant might fail to pay rent on time. Whatever the case, it is necessary for the landlord to protect themselves and their property from financial losses by learning how to send a late rent notice.

Here is a guide that landlords can use to send a late rent notice:

Draft the late rent notice

The first step to sending a late rent notice is to prepare the late rent notice first. Drafting is done so as to ensure that the landlord includes all the information required in the notice before sending it. This step also ensures that the landlord uses simple and direct language that can be understood by their tenant.

While drafting the late rent notice, it is crucial to include some specific information such as the address and description of the property, the number of tenants currently living on the property, the total amount of rent owed by the tenant(s), the total owed by the tenant(s) in late fees (if applicable), the due date of rent payment and where to deposit the rent.

The landlord should also include their signature or the signature of any other authorized individual to act on behalf of the landlord, the purpose of the quit notice (in case it is also attached), for example, failing to pay rent on time, violation of the rental agreement, the landlord needs the property for their personal use, etc. and the impact the tenant has on the landlord if they fail to pay their rent on time and in full.

Document all payments owed

While drafting the late rent notice, the landlord must indicate all the payments the tenant owes. This should include any late payment fees, penalties, and the current late rent to be paid as agreed when the tenant was renting the place. Additionally, in case of attaching a Notice to Quit, it should clearly indicate the number of months the tenant failed to clear the rent.

Deliver the notice

Before delivering the late rent notice, it is necessary for the landlord or the property management to check out the local landlord laws and the lease agreement to ensure that they choose an appropriate delivery method.

The delivery methods differ from state to state and include:

  • Sending the notice by overnight courier service: The landlord is required to make payments to the appropriate state martial for the delivery to take place whenever he/she chooses to use an overnight courier service.
  • Delivering in-person: In some states, the landlord is required to deliver the late rent notice formally or in-person to ensure that the tenant is served
  • Sending through registered and licensed mail: Some states allow the late rent notice to be delivered via first-class mail or standard mail. In most cases, the mail is always posted on the property.

Provide appropriate time-frame for payment

Once the landlord has prepared the late rent notice by including all the crucial information, it is necessary to give the tenant time to try and pay the rent they owe. Each state has its own law that dictates the amount of time a tenant is given to clear the amount he owes to the landlord. The local law requires that the amount of time given should be indicated on the late rent notice.

What to Include in a Late Rent Notice

For a late rent notice to have all the clear information from the landlord to the tenant, there are some details that the landlord must include in the notice before sending it.

Below are some of the most important details that you can include in your late rent notice:

Premises details

While writing the late rent notice, it is necessary for the landlord to include all the important details about their rented property. Here, the landlord can include the address, location, and their name or the property manager’s name. The landlord should always specify their property by providing clear premises details.

Names of all tenants

The landlord should also provide the names of all the tenants that are renting out your property. Providing the names of all the tenants will help the landlord note the tenant(s) whose rent is due. Also, indicating the name of the tenant ensures that the late rent notice is delivered to the right tenant and at the right time.

Date of notice

It is crucial for the landlord to include the date the late rent notice was issued to the tenant. This allows the landlord to keep track of when it is appropriate to take other measures in case the rent is still not paid within the given amount of time.

Rent amount due

The landlord should be clear enough to ensure that they indicate the total amount of rent the tenant owes them correctly. This is to help them keep track of the tenants who have paid their overdue rent. Also, they will not face any financial losses.

Pending late fees

The landlord should indicate impending late fees that the tenant should pay on top of the overdue rent. This will allow the tenant to know the total amount to be paid. Also, you as the landlord will be able to get the total amount payable for such cases.

Deadline for payment of rent due

The landlord should clearly indicate the period in which the tenant should have cleared the unpaid rent. By doing this, the landlord can be certain that the payment will be made. In addition, the notice will warn in future to take stricter measures if the deadline is reached and passed with no payment made.

Effective date for payment of new rent

It is necessary for the landlord to indicate when he/she will be expecting the tenant to pay the next rent. This will help the landlord enforce the need for the tenant to provide their rent with no delays.

Acceptable forms of payment

The landlord should also provide all the payment platforms and methods the tenant can use to clear any unpaid rent and charges. This way, you as the landlord can receive all the payments safely.

Repercussions for failing to pay

On the late rent notice, the landlord should lay down all the possible consequences of failing to pay rent on time. The repercussions of failing to pay might include eviction, penalties, or increased late fees.

Landlord’s signature

The landlord’s signature at the end of the late rent notice is important. It validates the notice to show that it is legal and that it came directly from the landlord or the authorized management.

Free Templates

Following are some free downloadable templates for you:

By states

General templates

Late-Rent-Notice-Sample-01

Late-Rent-Notice-Sample-02

    Consequences of Not Using Late Rent Notice

    It is crucial for a landlord always to use a late rent notice to remind the tenants to pay their rent whenever they are late. However, failure to notify the tenants to pay their rent might cause the landlord to experience several avoidable consequences.

    Losing time

    This happens when the landlord has to follow up with the tenant and ensure that they pay what they owe. Also, the landlord will waste their time by looking for ways to evict the tenant whose rent is overdue. Therefore, it is recommended for a landlord to issue a late rent notice to clearly indicate the repercussions of overdue rent so as to avoid any inconveniences.

    Losing money

    If the tenant fails to pay their rent completely, the landlord may have to hire qualified attorneys who will start the eviction process. This means that the landlord will face financial loss to pay any court charges that are required when filing for eviction. The landlord will lose not only the late rent but also the extra attorney fees.

    Experiencing emotional distress

    The thought of a tenant living in your property and failing to pay rent is mentally and emotionally frustrating. Therefore, failing to remind your tenant to pay rent may cause you to suffer from emotional distress. Constantly reminding the tenant to clear the rent can be annoying and mentally tiring. That is why; issuing a late rent notice is crucial and better.

    State Laws

    A late rent notice is the most effective and efficient way a landlord can ask their tenants to pay their overdue rent. Several states share laws when it comes to renting properties.

    Below are some of the laws that play a significant role in the amount of rent or penalties a tenant has to pay for delaying to clear their rent:

    Notice period to pay or quit

    A landlord will issue a late rent notice to a tenant whose rent is overdue. The landlord expects the tenant to pay their late rent together with any extra charges that may have accumulated because of delayed rent payment. Each state has different penalties and periods allowed to make the payment.

    AL (§ 35-9A-421)MT (§ 70-24-422)
    AK (§ 34.03.220)NE (§ 76-1431(2))
    AZ (§ 33-1368(b))NV (NRS 40.2512)
    AR (§ 18-17-701)NH (§ 540:3(II))
    CA (§ 1161(2))**NJ  (§ 2A:18-61.2)
    CO (§ 13-40-104(1)(d))NM (§ 47-8-33)
    CT (§ 47a-23(d))NY (§ 711(2))
    DE (§ 5502)NC (§ 42-3)
    FL (§ 83.56(3))ND (§ 47-32-01)
    GA (§ 44-7-50)OH (§ 1923.02)
    HI (§ 521-68)OK (§ 131)
    ID (§ 6-303(2))OR (§ 90.394(2))
    IL (735 ILCS 5/9-209)PA (§ 250.501(b))
    IN (IC 32-31-1-6)RI (§ 34-18-35)
    IA (§ 562A.27(2))SC (§ 27-40-710(B))
    *KS (§ 58-2507)SD (§ 21-16-1-(4))
    KY (§ 383.660(2))***TN  (§ 66-28-505)
    LA (§ CCP 4701)TX ( § 24.005)
    ME (§ 6002)UT (§ 78B-6-802)
    MD (§ 8-401)VT (§ 4467)
    MA (MGL c.186 § 12)VA (§ 55.1-1245(F))
    MI (§ 554.134(2))WA (SB 5600)
    MN (§ 504B.135)WV (§ 55-3A-1)
    MS (§ 89-7-27)WI (§ 704.17(2))
    MO (§ 535.010)WY (§ 1-21-1003)

    Late rent grace period

    Several circumstances may cause a tenant to delay paying their rent. As a result, in some states, tenants are given extra days to clear their unpaid rent without any extra charges or penalties. This is mainly referred to as the grace period.

    AR (§ 18-17-701(b))NC (§ 42-46(a)(1))
    CT (§ 47a-15a)OR (§ 90.260(1)(a))
    DE (§ 25-5501(d))RI (§ 34-18-35(a))
    IL (770 ILCS 95/7.10(a))TN (§ 66-28-201(d))
    ME (§ 6028)TX (§ 92.019(a)(3))
    MA (§ 15B(1)(c))VA (§ 55.1-1204(C)(5))
    NJ (§ 2A:42-6.1)NC (§ 42-46(a)(1))

    Maximum late rent fees

    There are several states where the landlord has the freedom to charge their tenant any amount of penalty for late rent payment as they see fit. These states don’t have active or existing laws governing the amount a landlord can charge as penalties. Most of these states have a “No Statue” policy in place. Therefore, it is important for the landlord to specify the late rent penalty rates in the tenant’s lease agreement form, according to the state laws.

    These states are as follows:

    AZ (§ 33-1368(2)(B))MN (§ 504B.177(a))
    CA (§ 1671(b))NV  (§ 118A.200(g))
    DE (§ 5501(d))NM (§ 47-8-15(D))
    FL (§ 83.808(3))NC (§ 42-46(a)(1))
    IA  (§ 562A.9(4))OR (§ 90.260(2)(b))
    ME (§ 6028)TN  (§ 66-28-201(d))
    MD (§ 8-208)TX  (§ 92.019(a)(2))

    Frequently Asked Questions

    How should you send a late rent notice?

    Depending on your state, there are several methods that a landlord can use to deliver a late rent notice to the tenant. For example, the landlord can use mail, go in person, or overnight courier service to deliver the notice.

    What if a tenant continues to be late on rent?

    In this case, the landlord has the right to send the tenant(s) a pay or quit notice and commence the eviction process. However, it is necessary for the landlord to check with the local laws before evicting the tenant.

    What is a pay or quit notice?

    A pay-or-quit notice is an official letter from the landlord notifying the tenant to pay their unpaid rent or leave the property. In most cases, the pay or quit notice can be used to start the eviction procedure. The eviction process is usually carried out according to the local laws. However, with the pay or quit notice, the landlord has the right to remove a tenant from their property.

    Should you accept partial rent payments?

    Partial payments may sound like a workable solution for rent payment, but it is not highly advocated. It is easy for landlords to get confused about how much the tenant has paid and how much they owe in total. Additionally, accepting partial payments may be against the local laws in some states. Therefore, it is recommended that a landlord should only accept full payment to avoid any unnecessary financial miscalculations.