Helping Landlords Collect Rent and Evict Delinquent Tenants
The fundamental premise of the landlord-tenant relationship is that the landlord provides real property to occupy and the tenant pays rent. As such, collecting the rent is the most important function of a landlord or property management company. After all, unless you are running a charity, the purpose of having property that you do not personally occupy is to build wealth through returns on investments in commercial or residential real estate.
When tenants do not pay the rent, not only are they in violation of the terms of their leases, they also can put landlords in precarious financial positions. Large developments run the risk of rapidly accumulating receivables that distract management from other aspects of the community. For smaller property owners, if you financed your investment property, you are probably counting on a certain level of paid occupancy to make your mortgage payments each month. Even one or two missed rent payments have the potential to put you in a position where you could lose your property and have your credit ruined by foreclosure.
Generally speaking, tenants miss rent payments when they have financial problems. Common reasons these issues arise include:
- The loss of a job
- Road construction diverting traffic from a retail location
- An economic downturn
- Medical problems
- Changing market conditions
- Unexpected Injury
Whether you are a commercial or residential landlord, if you are having trouble collecting rent, you should speak to an attorney as soon as you can to protect your rights. To schedule a consultation with one of our lawyers, call the Landlord Law Firm today at (203) 847-4747.
Pursuing Past-Due Rent without Resorting to Eviction
As a landlord, you are probably aware that one way you can deal with a tenant who has not paid rent is by eviction, which is formally known as “summary process” in Connecticut. Do not delay in dealing with a tenant who has not paid rent. While alternatives to eviction exist, the summary process can be a valuable tool to address acute or chronic late payers.
You may want to put off evicting a tenant. Some common reasons include:
- Your residential tenant is going through a hard time and you want to give him an opportunity to catch up on rent during the course of a few months
- Your commercial tenant may simply have an unusually bad month
- You may not want to jeopardize a long-term relationship with a tenant that you have developed during years or decades
- Evicting your tenant immediately may jeopardize your ability to collect any of the past-due rent
- Your commercial tenant may anchor the property in such a way as to make the property available to other, smaller businesses
In many cases, it is advisable to escalate attempts to collect past-due rent rather than head down to the courthouse to start the eviction process at the first opportunity you have. Generally speaking, it is advisable to start the process by simply contacting your tenant and letting him know you have not received the rent for the period in question. In some cases, your tenant may have simply forgotten to put a check in the mail or thought that an employee, roommate, or spouse had done so at their request.
If you are unable to contact your tenant or it seems that he is avoiding your attempts at communication, it is a good idea to get a lawyer involved immediately. In many instances, an attorney’s involvement is enough to induce reticent tenants to resolve a rent delinquency, because hiring an attorney often indicates imminent legal action. Sometimes, a lawyer can help negotiate a settlement to a past-due rent situation in which the tenant stays current on payments that come due while making installment payments on the missed month. In many cases, tenants who are offered this type of arrangement are more likely to keep up with their rent payments in the future. Of course, it is always a good idea to have any arrangement memorialized as a formal contract should a dispute arise. One really effective and enforceable way to do this is through the court process.
Helping Landlords Avoid Nonpayment in the First Place
Of course, a better option than working to collect past-due rent is leasing to tenants who do not fall behind on their payments in the first place. We consult with landlords about how to evaluate prospective tenants in a way that minimizes the risk of nonpayment of rent while remaining compliant with the Fair Housing Act.
Evicting Nonpaying Tenants Requires Adherence to Connecticut Law
Sometimes, the only way to solve the problem of nonpayment of rent is by pursuing eviction. Eviction is highly regulated by state law, and a landlord is required to take certain steps before removing a tenant from a property. Failure to follow these rules can result in the tenant having a defense against eviction, which may result in your property being occupied by a non-paying tenant for a significant period of time, ultimately costing you money. For this reason, any landlord who is considering evicting either a residential or commercial tenant should do so with the counsel and representation of an experienced lawyer.
Call the Landlord Law Firm Today to Schedule a Consultation with a Nonpayment of Rent Attorney
If you are having difficulty collecting rent from a tenant or tenants, speak to an attorney as soon as possible. The assistance of a lawyer can often result in you obtaining the money you are owed without resorting to legal action. In addition, should legal action become necessary, a lawyer can help you remove a delinquent tenant from your property and assist you in collecting any back rent a tenant owes you. For practical information regarding legal issues of interest to landlords and property managers, please consult our easy-to-search catalog of articles. To obtain specific advice regarding your situation, schedule an appointment with a Connecticut nonpayment of rent lawyer by calling the Landlord Law Firm today at (203) 874-4747 or by sending us an email through our online contact form.