You are a good property manager, and the tenant stops paying rent. What do you do?

You might want to go into prayer mode, but you have to be prepared to react quickly. Whenever your tenant isn’t paying the rent, the first thing you want to do is to contact them and find out why. It could be a simple problem they’re having, and you will be able to work with them. But, you always should file the Three Day Notice. You don’t ever want to hold off on that. You file it right away, as soon as they have not paid the rent on time. That is the beginning of the eviction process, and you want to preserve the owner’s rights and timeline. Quite frankly, the judges want you to file quickly as well, and they’ve told us that. We don’t want to evict if we don’t have to, if we’re not forced to. But we need to be prepared to evict.

I use a flow chart that shows me what happens and when it happens. I file a Three Day Notice, then I file the Eviction Tenant stops payingComplaint and then I wait to see if the tenant is going to answer the complaint, or hire a lawyer. In our particular situation, we have a good outside counsel.

We are always willing to listen but we are always running the clock as well. We are always preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.

The most important thing when you start the eviction is your Three Day Notice. It’s critical because it is a statutory form so it has to be exactly right. I always recommend using a process server to serve the notice. Don’t file it yourself, because if something is not done correctly with a Three Day Notice, when it gets in front of a judge, bad things happen.

So if you have any questions about how to handle a tenant who isn’t paying rent, please contact us at Florida Management & Consulting Group, and we’d be happy to give you more information.