When is monthly residential rent really due?

The lease or contract document between the tenant and landlord outlines specifically when tenant rent payments are due.  Sometimes the due date can be open to interpretation. Does a postmark date count as rent payments having been made even though the check may be delayed by the U.S. Postal Service, weather delivery issues, or vagaries of scheduling?  Do partial rent payments count toward timeliness? What about last month’s precedent?  If accepted late by the landlord in the past, does that change the rent payments rule?

All these are valid questions. Unfortunately for the tenant, the landlord specifies the rules in the lease document including the method of rent payments e.g. check, cashier’s check, money order, debit, or credit card.  Most landlords will not accept cash or currency.  Late or delinquent rent paymentsare often required in certified funds before the land lord will accept them. Rent payments made before the due date is prudent and shows financial responsibility.  Tenants planning to purchase their own home secured by a loan will be glad they paid their rent on time.  Lenders often ask for a letter from the applicant’s landlord attesting to regularity and timeliness of rent payments in partial support for a home loan.

Grace periods allowing late rent payments, often hefty late fees attached, are common.  These grace periods do not extend the date by which the rent is due.  If rent is due and not paid “by the first of the month” then it is late if paid on the second of the month.  A landlord would be within his/her rights to issue a “Three Day Notice to Pay Rent or Quit” notice on the second of the month.  Consistently late rent payments in San Francisco provide evidence of delinquency which can be used to support an unlawful detainer court action.  There are limited, supportable grounds for eviction as outlined in the Rent Ordinance-SF Administrative Code, Chapter 37 as amended. Late or consistent delinquency of rent payments is one of them.

iManageRent eliminates late rent payment anxiety.  Reminder emails are automatically sent prior to due dates. Tenants may pay on receipt or schedule reoccurring rent payments to ensure on time payments. Rent transactions are secured by the highest level data encryption offered and are made from bank-to-bank without an unnecessary escrow/trust payment processor. Tenants and landlords alike can be confident that a check in the mail has much greater exposure to data theft than payments made online through iManageRent.  Tenants enjoy the additional benefit of using this service for free.

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