How to Collect Rent and What to Do If Your Tenant Doesn’t Pay Rent in Southern Jersey - Article Banner

Landlords often face significant delays in receiving rental payments. Despite undertaking a thorough screening process and all reasonable precautions, tenants may frequently default on their payments. Many New Jersey landlords approach us when the tenants falter on rents, and they are forced to contemplate eviction as a last resort.

We understand that before resorting to legal action, you would like to evaluate a few general solutions that are employable. Here are the best ways to collect rent as a landlord in Southern Jersey.

Design and Implement a Strong Rent Collection Policy

We have encountered circumstances where tenants try to escape their obligations by citing the loopholes in an agreement. It is therefore essential to have a documented lease agreement that clearly defines the terms and conditions of the property’s tenancy. It should also encompass a strong and coherent rent collection policy that specifies details such as due amount, due date, grace period (if any), conditions and percentage of penalty that can be applied (if any), and the mode of payment. 

Collect Rent Online

It is highly advisable that online transactions be used as the primary means of payment. It makes transactions simple and quick, which is what renters desire. It also saves you time by eliminating the need for time-consuming offline banking procedures. It also offers little room for the renter to make excuses due to the lengthy processes. Furthermore, it facilitates monitoring of rent from both parties and maintains transparency of the pay records.

Keep the Lines of Communication Open

The most fundamental step is to remind the tenant by the means of the contact information provided by them. This is the best way to collect rent as a landlord. You could send a reminder to the tenant of the due payment through a phone call, email, or other messaging services. 

In case of a delay despite the timely reminders, you can still contact the tenant while also inquiring about the reason for the said delay. This can help you in determining whether there is a genuine reason for the delay, or otherwise. Although it can be challenging to confirm the authenticity of their excuse, it helps you in getting a perspective of the situation. 

The Promise to Pay Agreement

In cases where a tenant promises to pay the due amount on or by a specific date and time, record it in writing, in the form of a Promise to Pay agreement. This will serve as a legally enforceable contract in the state of New Jersey. It should outline the details such as the amount to be paid, and the time and date upon which it has been agreed to be paid.  Since it is legally binding, the renter becomes more liable to pay the rent on time and face the consequences in case of delay. 

Send a Legal Demand

legal documentA legal demand is a document you serve to the tenant to officially commence the eviction proceedings. If the renter fails to make the payment in spite of consistent reminders, you can issue a written notice to the renter stating the rent is overdue. It also stipulates the notice period, during which the tenant must pay, failing which they must vacate the premises. Also called a Pay or Quit Notice, it is the beginning of the eviction process. 

The legal principle ‘ignorantia juris non excusat’ implies that a person who is oblivious of the content of a law may not be exempt from liability for breaching that law. It’s critical that you understand state regulations and follow your rental procedures, which include screening, rent collection, notice in the event of late payments, and eviction. They must be rigorously followed and enforced in accordance with the law, failing which you may face legal consequences.

At Robert A. Gleaner, P.C, New Jersey, we provide expert legal services for seamless rental property management and the procedures needed thereof. We assist you in navigating legal complications and guide you through complex legal processes that are carried out in strict accordance with state law. Connect with us at Robert A. Gleaner, P.C, to ensure security, accountability, and a stable cash flow for your real estate investment.