The prospect of earning a steady passive income is the reason there are over 11 million individual landlords in the U.S. You've made a smart decision to invest in Virginia Beach, a popular market for rental real estate.
Unfortunately, your goal of banking rental income every month is dependent on your rent collection efforts and the quality of your tenants. If they're not reliable rent payers, or if they stop paying at all, you'll need to act fast or lose your income.
In this article, our focus is on what your options are when a tenant fails to pay rent in Virginia Beach. Read on to learn more!
Call Your Tenant
It's not uncommon for a tenant with a good record to miss a deadline or skip a payment from time to time. If you've been a tenant, you know that life happens to everybody.
Perhaps they're out of a job. They could have had a medical emergency that disrupted their financial well-being.
Either way, it's good practice to reach out to the tenant and find out why they're late on rent. Remind them of their obligations and the consequences of defaulting on rent.
Send a Five-Day Pay or Quit Notice
If a tenant fails to pay rent even after you've been lenient with them, you might be tempted to evict them immediately. You cannot do that! It's against Virginia's tenant eviction laws.
It's procedural to first send a written late rent notice, also known as a five-day pay or quit notice. Ensure the notice is delivered to the tenant in person. The notice should include the date, your name and address, the tenant's name, the reason for the notice, and other key details.
For the notice to be valid, there needs to be a confirmation that your tenant received it.
Take Legal Action
Your tenant needs to pay the rent within five days of being notified to keep staying in the rental. If they don't, it's time to start the eviction process.
Go to the Virginia Beach General District Court and file a summons for unlawful detainer, along with the pay or quit notice. You might want to hire a landlord attorney to help you with this.
The unlawful detainer is typically served to the tenant (or a member of their household) by the Deputy Sheriff.
A court hearing is set within 30 days of filing the unlawful detainer. The tenant can still pay the outstanding balance before the hearing -- a right that they can only exercise once every 12 months -- and the hearing will be canceled.
A writ of possession (eviction warrant) is issued if the tenant admits the allegations at the hearing. If they deny, the case goes to trial, after which the judge will make a ruling. If you win it, the tenant has 10 days to appeal, failure to which a writ of possession is issued.
An Effective Approach to Rent Collection
Rent collection can be a big nightmare for any landlord who has bad tenants. But it's a task you can get off your plate by hiring an experienced property management company.
PMI Virginia stands ready to handle all your landlord duties. Get in touch and let's make rent collection a breeze for you!