A Late Rent Notice or Notice to Pay Rent is a written letter from the Landlord to the Tenant informing the Tenant that their rent is past due, and requesting the Tenant to pay the overdue rent immediately. This notice is more informal than an Eviction Notice and can be a courteous first step to collecting rent before beginning the eviction process.
As a reference, a Late Rent Notice is also called the following names.
- Notice to Pay Rent
- Failure to Pay Rent Notice
- Demand Notice for Nonpayment of Rent
- Demand for Payment of Rent
- Demand for Past Due Rent
- Notice to Cure
- Notice to Demand Payment for Failure to Pay Rent
- Notice to Pay Rent
When Do I Need a Late Rent Notice?
The Landlord should send a Notice whenever the Tenant has failed to pay rent. If this is the first time the Tenant is late, the Landlord can send a Late Rent Notice reminding the Tenant to pay and informing them of any late fees. If the Tenant continues to be delinquent or is late on multiple occasions, the Landlord may send a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit or Eviction Notice to end the lease agreement. The Landlord should keep a clear paper trail of all communications mailed to the Tenant, and check state and local housing laws to figure out how many days the Tenant has to pay or leave.
Most state housing laws provide a grace period for a tenant to pay their late rent, check the laws in your state before filing a formal eviction.
When should you send a late rent notice?
The Landlord should send a Late Rent Notice as soon as the rent payment is past due, giving the Tenant a chance to cure the breach and pay. In order to begin eviction proceedings, the Landlord must give the Tenant 3 to 5 days to pay late rent or leave, but confirm with your state and local housing laws.
Most state housing laws agree that Tenants should pay their rent on time. More than a third of the states require Landlords to give a minimum 3-day eviction notice when rent is late or overdue, while almost a quarter of the states require a minimum 5-day eviction notice, and only six states require a 7-day eviction notice.
Three states require a 10-day eviction notice for late rent (Indiana, North Carolina, Pennsylvania), while another three states require a minimum 14-day eviction notice (Massachusetts, Tennessee, Vermont).
The District of Columbia (D.C.) provides the most generous amount of time to Tenants and requires a minimum 30-day eviction notice.
Of note, six states empower Landlords and Tenants to decide on the notice requirements and refer Landlords back to the original lease or rental agreement.
Check your Lease or local laws for when you should send them a Notice to Pay Rent or Quit, but a 3-day or 5-day notice is typical.
How should you send a late rent notice?
The Lease Agreement may describe how notices should be sent. The free Lease Agreement, for example, says that Notices must be in writing and should be either:
- delivered in person
- sent by overnight courier service
- sent via certified or registered mail
Why You Should Use a Late Rent Notice
A simple letter reminding the Tenant to pay past due rent may be all the Landlord needs to get paid. Perhaps the Tenant simply forgot to send a check that month, and doesn’t need to be threatened with an eviction notice. This Notice is fast and easy, and can maintain good relationship between the parties
Without this Notice, the Landlord may suffer the following preventable consequences:
|1. Lost money|
|to pay attorneys to start the eviction process|
|to pay for court fees to file an eviction lawsuit|
|2. Lost time|
|to pursue a delinquent Tenant|
|to research how to remove a Tenant|
|3. Mental anguish|
|of having someone live in your property for free|
|of continually asking for money owed|
The Most Common Late Rent Notice Situations
Perhaps the Tenant was traveling, became ill, or lost their job? The Landlord wants to give the Tenant a chance to rectify the situation quickly and peacefully, while still maintaining a record of their communications. At some point, however, the Landlord and Tenant must face the facts — the Landlord is running a business and there are consequences for not paying your rent.
What Should be Included in a Late Rent Notice?
A simple Late Rent Notice should generally identify:
- Where the rental property is located
- What amount of rent is currently overdue
- When the Tenant should pay the late rent or leave
- Who the Landlord and Tenant are and their contact information
Additionally, a simple Notice of Late Rent letter will identify the following basic elements:
- Premises: address and location of rental property
- Overdue Rent: the amount of money the Tenant currently owes the Landlord
- Late Fee: the late fee, if any, due in addition to the rent
- Effective Date: when the Tenant must start paying the new rent amount
- Tenant: name of the person currently renting the Premises
- Landlord: name of the person who owns the Premises
Late Rent Notice Sample
The sample late rent notice below is a record of a notification given by landlord, ‘Howard J Dismuke’, and the tenant, ‘Myrtie H Cisneros.’ Howard J Dismuke wishes to let Myrtie H Cisneros know that the lease has been terminated because of rent past due and that she needs to leave the premises.