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What to do if your Palm Beach rental tenant stops paying rent

Todd Breen - Tuesday, May 29, 2012
The worst case scenario for any property owner is that he rents to someone in good faith, checks and double checks their references, and everything looks fine; but then somewhere along the line things go wrong and the rent checks stop coming. What can he do? In this video, Todd and Tammy, our Palm Beach Gardens Property Manager, discuss landlords whose tenants have stopped paying the rent.

So your tenant stopped paying rent. Now what?

File a Three Day Notice

The very first thing Tammy advises is to file a three day notice. This notice should be served in person to the tenant if they are home or posted on the door. This gives them 3 business days to pay the money. If no payment is received during this time frame, the eviction process can begin. Too often landlords wait out this nonpayment situation while trying to be accommodating and understanding towards the tenant. Eventually this procrastination makes it worse for the landlord.

Serve the Notice Right Away

The best thing you can do is serve the notice right away. An optimal time is before the 5th of the month if that's a business day. This sends a clear message to the tenant that the grace period is over and rent needs to be paid now. If the situation escalates to a position where filing an eviction is required, then Palm Beach county court offers a Do-It Yourself Eviction Kit. The lesson Tammy offers to such landlords is get busy now! Get the eviction right away yourself or hire a Palm Beach professional property manager to do it.

Attempt to Turn Around the Situation

If you are in an eviction situation and seeking help to turn around the situation, Home Property Management Company suggests making a payment agreement as the first step to resolve the situation. This allows the tenant to make payments in a timely manner. If this does not work out, then proceed with the eviction signed by the judge. Landlords need to get legal advice from an attorney and hire an attorney, if he is going to do the process himself. Additionally, if you are going to do it yourself, you must have confidence in the court system to take the risk that if it doesn’t work out you are going to do it over again.

Hire a Property Manager

For those hiring a manager, Palm Beach Property Manager Todd Breen mentions a special program they run for landlords to deal with this situation. They use an attorney who is a landlord/tenant expert and does a lot of eviction work for apartment communities around the Palm Beach County. Under this program, the client pays $15 a month which covers up to $700 of the eviction cost. This price is typical in the Palm Beach County market right now. With choices of Do-It Yourself Eviction Kit and hiring a property manager, we leave it up to you to decide how you would like to resolve the nonpayment of rent issue.
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