My tenant isn’t paying rent what do I do?

Hey everybody. This is Matthew Whitaker here. I’m looking at myself, and I’m realizing that I look a little bit like a vagabond. Please forgive me. It’s the weekend, but I had a video for “Questions Owners Ask.” I think it’s an important video.

This is a question we get all the time. A lot of times people will call us when there’s a problem. The biggest problem when they’re self-managing that people call us about is, “My tenant isn’t paying rent. What do I do now?”  So, somebody decided to self-manage their house, which is great. I mean, a lot of people do that. But you run into some trouble when the tenant stops paying rent.

The first thing I think it’s important to know is the state-specific landlord-tenant law. So, typically, states have written laws that deal with this fact. I mean, obviously, the biggest reason for a break of a lease is somebody doesn’t pay the rent.

So, first thing I would do is understand your state and what the law says about it. There’s typically notice provisions. In other words, you have to give notice to the tenant and actually tell them that they’re not paying the rent. I know that sounds funny.

But that’s the way most states handle it. And then there’s a time that goes through, you know, in Alabama it’s seven days. In Tennessee, it’s another set of days. But there’s typically a time you have to give them before you can start the eviction process. But make sure that it jives with both state-specific landlord-tenant law and also your lease.

The second thing I would suggest is, which is kind of that next elevation, I may even do this first, is hire an attorney who’s familiar with the state-specific landlord-tenant law. Don’t just go to your local family attorney. Typically they don’t know what they’re talking about.

I would go to an attorney who’s used to doing evictions. Attorneys that do evictions do a ton of them. They have a process that they go through. They know all the laws. They know the judges. You’re gonna definitely wanna hire an attorney that is familiar with landlord-tenant law, familiar with these evictions.

The last thing, kind of a shameless plug but I honestly think it’s not a bad idea, is to hire a property manager to take over at this point. Typically, and there’s lots of great property managers in all the markets we’re in, so I’m not saying necessarily hire us.

But what I am saying is we’re familiar with these types of processes. We’ve actually taken over a lot of these situations from homeowners who have put poor tenants in there that aren’t paying the rent. So, this is not like a unique situation to us.

We already have the attorneys on speed dial that can kind of speed up this process. Why learn something new when you can literally hand it over to a professional and they can handle it from there?

So, again, that question is, “My tenant stopped paying rent. What do I do?” This is “Questions Owners Ask,” and I’m Matthew Whitaker with gkhouses.