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What should I do if my commercial tenant is not paying rent?

On Behalf of | Nov 16, 2023 | Commercial Landlord Tenant Law |

If you own a commercial building, you may decide to rent it out. Unfortunately, if your tenant does not pay their rent, it can be difficult to know what to do next.

Reasons for non-payment

A commercial tenant may have several reasons for not paying rent. They may be experiencing financial difficulties, such as unexpected expenses or lower sales and as a result, they can’t pay you. Similarly, if the tenant who rents from you has irregular income, that can cause them to have difficulty paying rent.

If a commercial tenant files for bankruptcy, that may also prevent them from paying rent.

Sometimes, you may encounter a dispute with your tenant that causes them to withhold the rent. These may include disagreements about the lease terms, repairs or property maintenance, as well as if the tenant believes you have not complied with safety regulations or other building requirements.

Addressing unpaid rent

If your tenant is not paying rent, you may want to start by reviewing your lease agreement to determine whether you can charge a late fee for non-payment and when you can start the eviction process.

You should notify the tenant in writing of what they owe and a deadline for payment, then allow them time to respond. Usually, the response time is detailed in the lease. If the tenant still does not pay the rent, you can ask the court to intervene and hold a hearing.

The tenant must be given notice of the hearing and have an opportunity to respond. If you can demonstrate that the tenant has violated the lease, the court may order the tenant to pay you the outstanding rent.