What should I do if my Tenant Stops Paying Rent?

  • The landlord/tenant code and the court are both very specific on the procedure to follow for non-payment of rent.
  • You must provide the tenant a “five day letter”, which tells the tenant that they are late in payment of rent, exactly what is due, and what will happen if they don’t pay within 5 days.
  • By law, you must be very specific and detailed: you need to indicate each month of rent that is due and how much that rent is; any late fees; and utilities. If you do not specify these, you may not be able to collect them.
  • You must also inform the tenant that if they do not pay, you will seek possession of the unit; this tells the court that you seek to terminate the lease and to physically evict the tenant.
  • Code requires that you deliver it by certificate of mailing, certified mailing, or hand delivery. Hand delivery is always best.
  • Consult an experienced attorney to ensure you are successful.