Free Late Rent Notice Template
Paying rent on time is a tenant’s primary responsibility. However, when rent goes unpaid, landlords must take action to recover owed rent and avoid further delinquency. Sending a late rent notice is often the first step.
This comprehensive guide will empower landlords on when and how to properly send late rent notices. You’ll learn:
- Grace periods for late rent by state
- Steps for creating late rent notices
- Notice requirements and delivery methods
- Downloadable late rent notice template
Let’s dive in!
Why Send a Late Rent Notice?
Before jumping straight to eviction, a late rent notice gives tenants a chance to pay overdue rent. Often a friendly reminder is all that’s needed.
Without sending notice, landlords risk:
- Lost rent money
- Wasted time tracking down payment
- Frustration over freeloading tenants
A notice maintains the landlord-tenant relationship. It also creates a paper trail showing you attempted resolution before escalating to eviction.
Grace Periods for Late Rent by State and Country
Some countries and states mandate grace periods for tenants to pay overdue rent before landlords can take legal action. Common grace periods are:
- Arizona: 5 days for mobile homes.
- Colorado: 7 days.
- Connecticut: 4 days for week-to-week lease agreements, 9 days for all other lease agreements.
- Delaware: 5 days, or 8 days if rent can’t be paid in person within the same county as the residence.
- Maine: 15 days.
- Massachusetts: 30 days.
- Nevada: No grace period for week-to-week lease agreements, 3 days for all other lease agreements.
- New Jersey: 5 business days for certain senior tenants.
- New York, North Carolina & Washington: 5 days.
- Oregon: 4 days.
- Tennessee: 5 days (if the 6th day is a Sunday or holiday, the due date is the next business day).
- Texas: 2 days.
- Virginia: No grace period with a written lease agreement, 5 days if there is no written lease agreement.
For states not listed, landlords may charge a late fee the day after rent is due, and eviction notices can be served without a grace period. Local laws may differ from state requirements.
In the UK, there is no statutory grace period for late rent payments. However, landlords must give tenants at least 2 weeks’ notice if they are in rent arrears before they can start eviction proceedings.
Grace periods in Canada are determined by provincial or territorial laws. Some regions may offer a grace period of up to 3 days, but this is not uniform across the country.
In Australia, grace periods can also vary by state. Generally, landlords cannot charge a late fee for rent unless it is written into the lease and complies with local laws. It is common for grace periods to range between three and five days
New Zealand law stipulates that a landlord can issue a notice of overdue rent if the rent is unpaid for at least five working days after the due date.
When to Send the Notice
Send the notice as soon as rent is past due, outside of any grace period. This could be:
- The day after rent is due per the lease
- The day after a state-mandated grace period ends
The notice triggers a deadline for the tenant to pay or vacate, typically 3-5 days depending on local laws.
How to Deliver the Notice
Acceptable delivery methods for late rent notices include:
- In person
- Certified mail
- Registered mail
- Courier service
Check your lease and country/state statutes for proper notice delivery. Maintain documentation showing notice was sent and received.
Writing an Effective Late Rent Notice
Follow these steps to create a lawful, professional late rent notice:
1. Address the Tenant Properly
List the full legal name(s) of all tenants on the lease and the rental property address.
2. Specify the Date
Date the notice for the day it will be delivered to the tenant.
3. Note the Overdue Rent Details
State the total overdue rent amount and any late fees owed. Specify the month(s) unpaid.
4. Provide Payment Instructions
Explain when, where, and how to pay the balance due (in-person, online, certified check, etc.).
5. Sign Your Name and Address
Print your full legal name as landlord along with your contact address.