The short answer is, pretty much never.

I know that sounds harsh, but hear me out.

You must run your landlording business as a business, and that means your tenants aren’t your friends, though you can respect one another and get along well. They’re you’re business partners. If one doesn’t uphold their side of the deal, then the other must take action.

Besides that, if you make exceptions for one tenant but not for another, you may be sued for discrimination, and that’s one court case that’s very likely to not go your way.

Let’s talk a little about due dates.

Contrary to a common belief, grace periods do not exist unless the landlord specifically states it in the lease. Some states require them, but most don’t. If you didn’t specify a grace period in your lease, then you are allowed to charge a late fee as soon as the due date passes.

Holidays and weekends are a common problem. Usually, it’s best to put in your lease that if the due date falls on a weekend or a legal holiday, the rent is due by the next business day.

As I discussed in my earlier article “How to Prevent an Eviction,”  it is okay to work a little with your tenants if you know they’ve fallen on hard times. Work out a payment plan in which they bring you part of the rent each week and you serve them a Pay or Quit notice each time updated to reflect the new amount owed. Remember, you must reserve the notice every time because each new payment will void the last notice. Only let this go on for one month, and never do it if  you’ve already started the eviction proceedings, as this will force you to begin at the beginning again.

Obviously, the best way to deal with non-paying tenants is to never have them in the first place. OnTAP can help you get there with just a few clicks. This is no scam, and it’s the best defense there is.

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