Late Rent Payment: Consequences and How to Avoid

What happens if you pay rent late? How late can a tenant pay rent? Is it bad to pay rent late? Read more to get answers to these important questions.

late rent payment

Paying your rent late can have dire consequences especially for someone who is a frequent rent defaulter. Yes, emergencies do come up – a loved one falls ill, you have to pay the medical expenses, payday is not in line with the deadline for paying rent or maybe you’re just going through financial hardship.

Constantly paying your rent late can get you in trouble and ruin your relationship with your landlord. Below is a list of what could happen to you if you don’t pay your rent on time and give you suggestions on how to avoid such a situation.

You will incur penalty charges

late rent fees

Not paying your utilities on time means you don’t get to enjoy the services getting water and electricity. Most landlords expect you to pay rent by the 5th of every month. If you pay past this date, you will incur additional fees. Landlords understand that tenants can go through tough times and become more understanding by giving you a grace period to try and raise the rent money.

READ ALSO: The Landlord and Tenant Bill 2021

The question is, have you read your lease agreement and understood what the terms are when it comes to paying rent? What will happen if you pay your rent late? Is it stated in your tenancy agreement? Don’t just sign it blindly the next time you move. Take your time to read it and ask questions where you don’t understand something.

READ ALSO: All You Need To Know Before Signing a Leasing Agreement

Auctioneers could take your belongings

We’ve heard of some really sad stories of auctioneers going to clean people’s houses by taking all their belongings in the name of collecting rent. Once you default on paying rent, auctioneers can come to your house, take everything with no mercy, leaving you sleeping on the floor wondering what to do next. Don’t get caught in such a situation because it is both embarrassing and humiliating.

You could face an eviction

landlord locking house

Many people wonder if it is ok for a landlord to evict a tenant who pays rent late. They go back home and find that has put a padlock on the door. Well, if you have made it a habit, the landlord has every right to evict you from his property and serve you an eviction notice for late rent payment.

This is a formal letter from the landlord informing a tenant to vacate the apartment. According to the law, the landlord should give you 30 days to try and raise the rent amount before he can serve you with this notice.

READ ALSO: Common Reasons for Tenant Eviction

Once you receive a late rent payment notice from your landlord, you should take it seriously because it could become a court case. And because you are going against the lease agreement, it could be a costly affair for you in terms of finding legal representation and legal fees.

What if You Can’t Pay the Rent?

eviction notice

Communicate with your landlord

Try and negotiate for a rent reduction from your landlord. The landlord or property manager expects you to pay your rent on time.

But they also understand that people go through challenges sometimes. That is why you should do your best to communicate in advance and explain your situation to the landlord.

If they do call you, make sure you’re available. Don’t let it get to a point where you are you are avoiding calls from the landlord. You will just make the situation worse.

Don’t hide or run away

If you live in an apartment block that has many houses, you might think that you can get away with not paying rent. After all, there are too many of you. The landlord knows everyone who stays at his property. Keep in mind that he also has bills to pay such as the mortgage, operational costs, maintenance and repairs and other fees. Meaning, he will notice if you don’t pay rent. With that said, it is important to know the rights you have as a tenant.

Consider living with a roommate

living with a roommate

If you live alone and you’re struggling to pay rent, maybe you should think about finding a roommate. Then you can split the bills into half so that it is not that much of a financial burden on you. Remember to follow these tips on living with a roommate.

READ ALSO: Tips on living with a roommate

Find another source of income

With the economic hardships that most people are experiencing in Kenya, it is wise to think of finding multiple sources of income so that they can sustain your livelihood. Think of turning your hobby into a money-making venture. Make time to do something outside your day job.

Move to an affordable place

Lastly, if you can’t afford rent and you don’t want to live with someone, maybe it is time to move to a cheaper house. Live within your means. Don’t try to live in an expensive neighbourhood to please your friends or your family. You’re the only one who will struggle to pay rent at the end of the month.

Have you experienced issues with your landlord from paying rent late? Do share in the comment section below.

EABL, Formerly at BuyRentKenya
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