Regardless of what reason is behind the late payment, telling the property manager may not be easy, but it is necessary. This isn't a good situation for either side to be in and can result in both sides getting frustrated. The tenant spends time avoiding the landlord who wastes time and resources trying to collect money that isn't there. By taking time communicate effectively and find a solution, you can make this situation easier for everyone involved.
Find A Solution
The real estate expert will want to know how you plan to fix the problem when you contact him or her. Therefore, before you deal with the problem, sort everything out so you can give them the answers they need. To do this, determine the amount of the debt, the late payment fee, how much you can afford, and the date you will be back in good standing. This ensures both of you know what to expect and neither is left to fill in the blanks. If you don't come up with a reasonable solution, you might be asked to leave. Lastly, make sure that you commit 100% to the arrangement.
When those renting a condo fail to be open and honest with the property manager about the situation, things can deteriorate quickly and may lead to an eviction. If it is prior to the due date and you know you aren't going to have enough cash, talk to the person in charge and let them know how much you have and tell them what is going on. The worst thing you can do is lie or hide. He or she will respect you far more for being truthful and see that you are trying to rectify the problem as soon as you can in a professional manner.
Getting The Needed Cash
When renting a condo, short-term causes of missed payments, such as poor budgeting, have a relatively easy fix -- reevaluate and adjust the budget. With more devastating causes, such as a job loss, it could take months to catch up and may result in becoming several months behind if you aren't careful. Work with the property manager to see if there is anything you can do to make up the missing payment. You might have to take a part-time job in addition to the new job or do odd jobs in your off hours to pay out the debt. It might also mean staying with it until you are in a good financial position. During this time, make sure to stay in touch with the landlord as well.
When you make payments on the rent debt, be certain they are prompt and in full. In some cases, you might have to admit that you can't afford the place you are in. Instead of letting the debt climb higher, admit to the landlord that you can't make the payments and need a home with a smaller price tag. This will save both of you a significant amount of money. In many cases, the property manager will understand and will give you a good reference to help you get a less expensive place. Sometimes, they may have a unit with lower price tag and may be willing to give you that one. It depends on how you handle the situation and how things have gone during the tenancy.
Real estate rental experts never like hearing they won't be getting their money on time, but a majority will attempt to work with you if deal with the issue in a mature and honest way. The reality is that when these situations go badly, the property manager and the tenant both lose money. When renting a condo, deal with the late payment the best you can. As long as it isn't a common occurrence, your professional connection with the landlord will remain intact for years to come.
Christine O'Kelly writes for Beal Properties, a leading property management company specializing in renting a condo for more than 80 years. Chicago Beal Property is the property manager of several properties in historic Chicago neighborhoods.