If you have a tenant who has not paid his or her rent, there are steps you can take to make your tenant pay. On the flip side, if you're the tenant, you should know your rights and how you should expect to be treated by your landlord when you owe rent. In both situations, working with your attorney can help you through this process in the most effective manner.
A landlord has the right to start a nonpayment eviction case when a tenant doesn't pay. This kind of lawsuit states that if the tenant doesn't pay, he or she will need to leave the property. Landlords have the option of opening different kinds of cases against tenants, which are called holdover cases. These cases are not for payment-related issues but instead for lease expiration issues, noise disturbances and other problems.
Before submitting a nonpayment case, the landlord in question should speak to the tenant and make a rent demand. The demand should include information on how soon payment is due and when you'll need to move out if you don't pay. This can be either written or spoken. The nonpayment case can begin if you don't pay the rent due by the time the landlord states.
A rent demand only has to be served three days before the nonpayment case can begin. The demand should state which months of rent you owe and how much money you need to pay. If you live in a mobile home park, you receive 30 days instead of three. Everyone's case is different, so make sure you know exactly what's expected of you as soon as possible.
Source: Access to Justice, "Tenant Questions & Answers," accessed Dec. 01, 2016