Making a late rent payment, while not the best situation to put yourself in, is not the end of the world. However, habitually paying your rent late is never a good idea. It’s important to remember as a renter that your actions have consequences.
You Can Incur Penalty Charges
Like a late payment on a utility or credit card bill, late rent payments also result in additional fees. Generally, in most rental agreements, there is a grace period involved with the payment due date, but you need to look at your lease to know for certain. If you pay within the grace period, which is normally up to five days after the rent due date, you won’t incur any late payment charges. Even with a grace period, though, it’s still good to get in the habit of paying your rent on the exact date it is due. Remember that your landlords have bills to pay as well. If you pay your rent late, you’re affecting your landlord’s financial situation. Also, you’re laying the groundwork for a turbulent relationship between you and your landlord. It’s always smart to be on the best possible terms with your landlord as possible.
You Can Be Evicted
Make late payments on a regular basis and you could receive an eviction notice. An eviction notice is an extreme measure. You’re less likely to receive a notice even if your rent payments are perpetually late if you communicate openly with your landlord or leasing office. If you’re having trouble making payments on time, be sure to notify someone about it. Be honest about your situation. A different payment plan may be able to be set up. If you’re not paying your rent on time and don’t care enough to be proactive in amending the situation, don’t be surprised when you’re given notice to vacate your apartment.
You’ll Affect Your Credit and Ability to Rent in the Future
In general, it’s good to get in the habit of paying all of your bills on time. You ability to do so will positively affect your credit score. On the flip side, not making payments on time can be damaging to your credit. This is true for rent payments. As early as 30 after your rent was due and you failed to pay, you can be reported to a credit bureau. Negative marks on your credit report can affect your ability to get a loan later in life, get a job or even rent or purchase a home in the future.
Making delinquent rent payments is setting precedence for your future. When a potential landlord down the road wants past references from your previous landlords, don’t expect glowing reviews. If you’ve been late on enough payments, your former landlords may hinder your chances of securing a decent rate on a new place-or even securing a new place at all.
In summary, if you’re having problems making payments on time, talk to your landlord about it right away. Honesty is best policy, and communication solves most problems. If your landlord realizes you’re doing the best you can in the situation, you’ll have a greater chance of making things right without penalty.
Rachael Weiner: I’m a communications professional for a non-profit, which financially necessitates my status as an apartment dweller. Constantly “on-the-go,” I’ve resided in five different apartments across the United States over the past five years. Roommate issues, budgeting, organizing and handling problem neighbors are my specialty.