Failure to Pay Rent

Posted on Apr 1, 2013 in Landlord Tenant Information, OCP

The Residential Landlord/Tenant Code states that the rent shall be paid at the time and place agreed to by the landlord and the tenant. The law does not provide the tenant a grace period for late rent payments.

If the tenant does not pay all or part of the rent on the agreed due date, the landlord must write the tenant a letter, allowing the tenant at least five business days from the day the tenant receives the notice to pay the entire balance of unpaid rent. The letter should also state that if the tenant does not pay the overdue rent within the time mentioned in the notice, the rental agreement will be terminated immediately. The tenant must vacate the unit immediately after the rental agreement is terminated. The landlord does not have to provide the tenant additional time to vacate the unit.

The landlord is encouraged to send the notice certified mail, return receipt requested, in order to provide proof of proper notification for unpaid rent. If the tenant cannot be notified through the mail or in person, the landlord can post the written notice in a conspicuous place on the dwelling unit.

If the tenant remains in the unit beyond the date of termination without having paid the rent, and without the landlord’s permission, the tenant becomes what is referred to, as a holdover tenant. For every day of holdover, the tenant may be liable for double the rent, calculated on a daily basis. The landlord is strictly prohibited by law, to lock out the tenant, change the locks or turn off the utilities, as a means to remove the tenant from the unit, once the rental agreement has been properly terminated.

If the tenant does not vacate the rental unit voluntarily after the date of termination, the landlord has sixty days to file a claim in District Court for summary possession or eviction. The cost is $145. The phone number for District Court is 538-5151.