Late Rent Notice forms are one of the most used forms for landlords. Having tenants that pay their rent late is inevitable.
There are two main types of late rent notices, the Courtesy Notice and the Three Day Notice. Both of these can be used to remind the tenant that their rent payment is late. However, both forms also serve VERY different purposes.
The Courtesy Notice will let tenants know, in a nice way, that their rent hasn't been received. Their rent is now late, and they now owe a late fee in addition to their rent payment (make sure to include both amounts).
Why send a courtesy notice before a Three Day Notice? This notice is a great option if the tenant is new and you want to give them a first warning in effort to try to establish positive landlord/tenant relationship first. You can use this notice if your tenant has never paid late before and you want to make this a "first strike" warning situation. Sure, you can call or email them to let them know their rent is late. But it is ALWAYS best to have everything in writing when dealing with tenancies. If they are good tenants, they will appreciate the reminder and pay, with a late fee and an apology, right away.
And if not? What if, because you wanted to try to keep a good positive relationship with your tenant, you chose to issue the Courtesy Notice first. And what if they didn't respond, and haven't paid. It's been a few days. Now what? Don't waste any more time. POST a THREE DAY NOTICE on the door:
It's generally good practice to give good tenants one courtesy warning in a lease term, if their rent is late. Things happen. Maybe they had a good reason for being late with rent that month. And if they mail their rent to you, it's VERY possible it's the fault of the USPS and not the tenant.
But if you do give a Courtesy Notice and you don't hear back from the tenants right away with concern or with a response, post a Three Day Notice right away. Don't give more than a couple of days before taking the situation very seriously. No need to waste any more time, enforce the lease and rent payment date and issue late fees at this point. Issuing a Three Day Notice of Nonpayment is the start of the eviction process. This first part of eviction is done by the landlord. It's free. It's super easy. It WILL scare good tenants. And bad tenants will know exactly what the Three Day Notice means.
Make sure to follow your state's law and use the appropriate notice, making sure to fill it out correctly. Why? In the event you DO proceed with eviction, the judge will look closely at this form. Most judges will throw your case out if ANY part of the notice is filled out incorrectly, if you served it incorrectly, if the number of days to pay is calculated incorrectly, or if landlord accepted partial rent payment in any way that contradicts the prevailing law at that point in the process.
Done incorrectly could render your served notice as invalid, and you'll need to start the process from the beginning again by serving the Three Day Notice again, waiting the correct number of days, etc..
Here are the Florida Statutes guiding terminating a lease for nonpayment of rent.
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