Changing rent due date

Hello. My wife and I bought our first rental this year. So, we’re noobs to a lot things, but learning. The renters were already there and treat the home very nice, which is important to us. The lease states that rent is due on the first of the month. However, they usually pay on the 6th which is when they get their checks. They always pay the late fee.

Would it be out of line to change the lease to make the due date on the 6th or 7th? Just curious if anybody else has done anything like this. Or, maybe they should just manage their budget a little better each month :biggrin

Appreciate the advice.

I don’t understand. Your clients take good care of your house; are willing to pay the late fee; which is effectively more rent; and it comes in at predictable intervals; and you want to somehow upset this applecart? Why again?

Evidently your late fees don’t create enough pain to avoid. When you renew the lease, increase your late fees.

We charge $150 for rent received after the first (business day). We add $10 per calendar day after that. If this were our client, it would cost them $200 extra if they waited until the 6th to pay. It usually takes new tenants a couple of months to figure out what we mean when we say the ‘rent is late after the first.’

Thank you for the reply. You have good points which is what I was after. Your late fees are certainly steeper than ours. I will probably leave things as they are for now.

Thanks again. :biggrin

When our clients are regularly paying the late fees, it’s obvious the late fees are not big enough, if the rent isn’t high enough already.

If we raise the fees, and the rents still come in late… the rents are also too low. Just saying.

Frankly, we rarely have this problem.

Our clients pay us early and give themselves a cushion, because of our policies.

One thing that helps establish the payment pattern at the get-go, is getting the entire first month’s rent in advance, and prorating the second month’s rent. The second month’s rent is often a significantly smaller amount in dollars.

That second month’s rent also ‘comes due pretty fast’ in the renter’s mind. But since we prorate the second month’s rent, that nut is easier to crack.

As a result, we can more naturally ease the tenant into our deadlines. After all, it’s about getting the rent by a date certain, not collecting fees (for us anyway).


Rental real estate is a science. Time is of the essence with rentals. They are renting the house by time. Each day has a name. The 1st is when the rent is due it is late on the 2nd with a grace period that starts late fees on the 5th. That is really set for a reason. If the tenant decided not to pay then on the 5th you would send a 3 day notice to pay or leave. On the 8th you would file in court for eviction. Your trial date would be set. Courts don’t do evictions every day. They set their evictions for the 15th or so every month because they give themselves five or so days to serve the tenant. If you let the tenants go much later than the 8th or so you will miss the window for the courts to serve the tenants so they will set your trail date the next month. If your tenant gets into trouble and need to be evicted you won’t know until late and could cost you and additional month of none payment. That is why keeping the rent due dates in line with normal protocol is important.

If you want to move the due date in the ranges you mentioned it will probably be ok. Don’t set the due date on the 6th make the due date the 2nd with the same 5 day grace period which places you in the same general time period. If the tenant can get you the rent out of the paycheck they get on the 6th why can’t they get the rent out of the paycheck they get on the 20th of the previous month? That is bad money management on the tenant’s part that he has transferred to you.

Don’t let the tenant train you you need to train them. I would recommend that you just keep taking the late fees.

My goal is to get the rent on time and not to have the tenant pay late fees. The vast majority of our tenants have rent due on the first and late after the fifth. I also don’t like setting people up for failure and have adjusted due dates for a few people. It makes things a little harder to keep track of but I can still keep it straight at this point. Maybe I won’t be able to once we get several more units. We’ll see.
Here’s an option that might work. You could tell them to pay an extra five days worth of prorated rent next month. Then tell them you’ll have a new lease for them to sign next month where the rent is due on the sixth and late after the eleventh. So now your tenant paid the rent to cover changing the date to the sixth. You got your money and you are setting them up for success based on their check. Our county has eviction court weekly so me doing this plan here would not affect how fast I could evict. If we only had court once a month I would do what bluemoon said and adjust the date by a day or two so the sixth would fall inside the grace period. Just my opinion.

:banana :banana
There’s some great information here.

Thanks for the tips Bluemoon.
And Javipa, while you’ve espoused the high late fees, I don’t think I’ve ever heard you talk about increasing the late fees to test the rent.

I didn’t mean to infer that we increase late fees to see if the rent is at market rate. Our late fee is always $150 dollars, plus $10/day. However, if the tenant (theoretically speaking) would continue paying late, that would indicate that the rent itself was too low. But we don’t take market temperatures by adjusting the late fees.

We do however measure our vacancy factor on a rolling average, which does tell us more precisely whether our rents are too high, or too low.

You know, rents sometimes have to go down, not up, to maintain a 95% occupancy.

That’s why it’s smarter to use rolling (occupancy) averages as a guide to where rents need to be (on occupied units), instead of simply noting the dates the renters are paying, or what the late fees they’re willing to pay.

I’m not an expert in landlording as I only have a townhouse unit being rented out. What we did before signing the contract was we talked about the best due date for the rent, eg. the tenant’s payday or when they get some benefits, etc. That way we all avoid the hassle- them paying penalties, and me having a headache for the uncertainty of when they’ll be able to pay or not. Not sure though if this arrangement works well with others… :rolleyes

We’ve discovered that tenants will either pay on time, or they won’t. For the ones that won’t, we make it enormously painful. What day they decide not to pay us is irrelevant.

As as result of our discovery, we just set the due date for the first, and call it a ‘day.’

Attempting to customize the due dates, based on the tenant’s pay day, is not an option. Otherwise, we’d have, say 200, different due dates to monitor. That’s as dysfunctional as tits-on-a-tuna. No thanks.

Instead, on day two, we see which boxes aren’t checked, to see who owes us One hundred and fifty bucks, plus rent. One due date, one fine, and one daily late fee, just speeds up the management process.

I have on occasion given allowances out of the late fees. It only happens to control behavior. I let a guy out of late fees for November. I posted notice on the 16th (KS law), but screwed up and did it too late in the day to count (7pm), so I had to wait until the 26th to file due to the holiday and court’s schedule and state law which is very tenant friendly. He paid me on the 25th for the rent and I told him if he was out by the 1st and the place was in good shape I’d forgive his late fees. It was a few hundred bucks by then but it was my money as the manager and wasn’t interested in fighting with a guy who would never pay so I let him out of it. He seemed happy and the owner was too since he obviously couldn’t pay december rent also.

I have another tenant who is having trouble keeping up. I’ll probably offer her the same deal and let her out of the lease with a sublet. She has to give the place back in good condition and make the turnover easy on me for it to happen though.

We operate way differently than you other landlords. I DO recommend taking rent when the tenant gets their paycheck. Heck, yes.

Here with our 30-day or more furnished rentals we really like to know when the tenant gets paid. If it’s an executive or manager, no problem, their company will send a check. Or they will.

But if it is Johnny Paycheck then we write down when payday is. We want to be first in line. We want to call them on payday if they don’t show up.

Right now we have about 15 pipefitters, welders, crane operators and boiler makers staying with us as the nearby petroleum plant does its annual retrofit. We are charging those guys by the WEEK, even though they have signed monthly rental agreements. We are doing this because this is what they are used to from the hotels. This is what they are comfortable with. This is how they get paid. This is the language they speak. “Do you have a room? What is the weekly rate?”

We quote and charge a daily rate on all rentals. We require a 30-day minimum stay. We accept rent each and every day of the month. We accept cash, checks, money orders, Travelers’ Checks, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, debit, and bank draft. We have a night drop box for after hours. In short, we TRY to make it easy for the tenants to pay. And to pay on time.

Our adjusting to our tenants means that this January we are 100% full. Otherwise January was sometimes a slow month, and we had to get by with 80-85% occupancy.

So I say why not accept rent on the tenant’s payday? Why not get rent EVERY payday–especially since low-income people have a hard time keeping track of big rent sums at once. Just charge it on a daily rent schedule so you are getting paid for 31 days. That’s five extra days of rent a year.

Make it easy for money to come in the door. Work with the tenants you got.