Owning a rental property is an excellent long-term investment. However, there can be risks associated with renting out your property as well. One of the most significant risks is renting to a non-paying tenant.

In Arizona, specifically Maricopa County, this risk is even higher. In 2017, courts in Maricopa County issued 42,460 evictions. This amount of risk can cause you to be skeptical about who you rent your property to. Fortunately, there are many options available to landlords when dealing with a non-paying tenant.

What to do if your tenant isn’t paying

Each state has different laws, but generally, you will need to take certain actions before filing for eviction. If you have a tenant who is late on their rent, consider following these steps:

  • Speak with your tenant: As soon as your tenant is late on rent, you might want to speak with them. If you believe this will be an ongoing problem, you could offer to let them back out of their lease with no penalties. If they accept, this will save you time and money by not having to go through the eviction process. If they refuse, warn them about the possibility of eviction.
  • Deliver a late rent notice: This notice is also called a Pay or Quit Notice and is required in most states. The notice will include any outstanding rent payments and how long the tenant has to pay. If your tenant does not pay in time, their lease will be voided.
  • Start filing an eviction notice: If your tenant has not moved out or responded to your notice, you might want to begin filing paperwork to start the eviction process. Bring a copy of your Pay or Quit Notice, you may need to provide evidence that you have exhausted all your other options.

Another option you may want to try is paying your tenant to leave. They may respond to this option more favorably than the others. If they accept your offer, you will save a lot of time and effort.

It may be wise to contact an experienced real estate attorney if you have any questions or concerns about the eviction process. Dealing with an uncooperative tenant can be difficult. But with the help of a lawyer, you will understand the eviction process and the necessary steps you need to take along the way.