What Is a Current Rent Balance Letter?

A current rent balance letter is a type of payment request letter sent to tenants by their landlord to let them know about any overdue amount that they owe. The letter is often followed up by other types of notices, such as an eviction form notice. One can expect a typical current rent balance letter to outline the amount due for specific rental periods, as well as other penalties that have been incurred. Most landlords send this through certified mail so that they will receive a notice of their own that will inform them that their letter was already received by their tenant.

The Types of Notices

Landlords need to be aware of what kind of notice to send to tenants depending on the circumstances. This is supported by the fact that households in the US are now renting more than any other point over the last 50 years according to Pew Research Center. Since notices can have similar functions or even names, it pays to know the different types. Detailed below is a list of the types of notices that you may need sooner or later.

Notice to Pay or Quit: This first type is where a current rent balance letter will fall under. Basically, this will inform the tenant about overdue rent and then follow it up with a warning that eviction isn’t too far away. Despite that, it does not function as part of a formal eviction notice, nor does it provide the landlord with permission to change the tenant’s locks. Be informed that most states will have their own set of rules regarding the notice that a landlord is required to provide a tenant with.Notice to Cure or Quit: This is used for occasions when tenants violate certain conditions. Among those conditions would be unapproved roommates or subletters, unapproved pets, or any unapproved use of the property. Once the tenant has remedied the violation, then the lease can continue as it did before this particular notice was sent.Unconditional Quit Notice: This is a more extreme notice that is given to tenants who have violated certain conditions even after said condition has been remedied. Some of the more common reasons for unconditional quit notices being sent are the following: late rent payments on more than one occasion, participation by the tenant in serious illegal activities on the premise, serious damage being inflicted on the rental property, and repeated violations. Take note that due to the harshness of this notice’s nature, not all states in the United States are allowing it.Offer of Renewal: Most fixed-term leases do not auto-renew. That means the tenant and landlord need to sign a renewal agreement if they want the tenancy to go on. Landlords who wish to renew the lease may notify their tenants regarding the offer some 60 to 80 days before the current lease will expire. The reason for this would be to ensure that they have enough time to prepare or to consider any alternative options that they may have in mind.Notice of Non-Renewal: There will be times when you may decide to terminate a periodic lease. In that case, you will need to send the tenant a notice of non-renewal. Another term for this would be a no-cause eviction since both parties involved may choose to terminate any periodic lease at any time at all, provided proper notice was given by the one initiating. Take note that each state in the U.S. has its own rules regarding how much notice is needed regarding periodic leases. Such amount may vary between 7 days to 60 for monthly leases.Notice of Rent Increase: Increasing your tenant’s rent can be quite tricky. Going to high may encourage them to leave while not raising it in the least can lead to you lose money because of inflation. When you do make the decision to raise the rent, send your tenant with proper notice at least a month or two in advanced. Some may decide to go the alternate route of not raising the rent of those they consider to be great tenants. Once those tenants finally vacate, that’s when they finally decide to raise rent for the next ones.Notice of Intent to Enter: It may still be your property, but once a tenant has rented it out, you are not allowed to just enter whenever you want without notice. At least that’s what most states require. Even those that are okay with it still treat providing your tenants with a notice to entry as an industry best practice. These can even be done via text.Notice of Intent to Dispose of Abandoned Personal Property: Landlords who discover abandoned property of previous tenants may dispose of it but only after a notice is sent to the last known address. However, only some states allow this while others are content to allow landlords permission to throw abandoned properties out immediately. To avoid as much hassle as possible, it would best to urge or remind departing tenants to remove all their items from the premises.Notice of Transfer of Management: This notice is to give tenants a heads up when the property is sold to a new owner. It is important to do so since not only is the property sold, but ownership of the lease gets transferred as well. However, it is worth taking note of the fact that this can also be a bit tricky. Not all new owners may want to be contacted or bothered by incumbent tenants. Some may decide to be an active participant in the property’s rental dealings, but others may just be content to stay silent. There are those that may even want to involve property management companies.Notice of Repairs: The last type of notice on this list tends to come with the “notice of entry”. Its purpose is simple: to inform the tenant of any schedule repairs that needs to be done on the property. Sending this can be seen as a common courtesy, especially when the repairs involved are expected to inconvenience the tenant somewhat. By giving them a heads up, they can prepare adequately in their own right.

How to Write a Current Rent Balance Letter

The creation of a current rent balance letter does not differ too much from that of other documents, such as a joint lease agreement or a rental application. Those who have never attempted to draw one up can choose to either rely on the knowledge of an attorney or make the attempt themselves. If you decide to go for the latter then you are free to look into the step-by-step procedure detailed below. They are intended to be simple enough for anybody to understand, producing an experience that is relatively easy and quick.

Step 1: Write Your Name at the Top-Most Part

Working our way from top to bottom, the first thing that needs to be accomplished is to write your name down at the page’s top-most part. Remember that the header of the letter is going to need information that can identify the sender of the letter along with the recipient. Since this step deals with the former, include your full name or the full company name if this is being written on behalf of a company. Below will be either your address or the address of the company that you are representing.

Step 2: Acknowledge the Recipient

With the first step out of the way, the next step will deal with the acknowledgment of your recipient. This is done by writing down the name of the recipient below the name of the sender. The date to be used for the documentation of this letter will separate the two. As with the sender’s details, two spaces below the recipient’s name will be dedicated to the address. Make absolutely certain that the name you write down for the recipient is the exact same name that is on the now-violated lease agreement. To complete this step, write the word ‘dear’ as part of your letter’s opening and then follow it with the recipient’s name once again.

Step 3: Write The Body of the Letter

The third step involves using the kind of language to properly inform a tenant of the amount that needs to be paid concerning the rent. More often than not, you must specify the overdue amount by writing it on a blank line, followed by dollar signs and the “Due Immediately” phrase. Another thing that you need to specify would be the time frame. Do so by supplying both the first and the last calendar month and year. For the last paragraph, you may provide the letter’s recipient with your contact details. You may, for example, start it out using the phrase “you can contact me at…” and then write down the phone number that you want the recipient to call you at for further discussions of the rental payment.

Step 4: Close Your Letter With a Signed Execution

For the last step, the only thing missing is to execute the letter properly. You can do this by first writing down the word ‘sincerely’ below the body of the letter. Afterward, create a blank line below that and sign it after the document has been printed out. In doing this, you solidify any intentions you may have in regards to the collection of your tenant’s current rent payment.

The Dos and Don’ts of a Current Rent Balance Letter

Even with the knowledge of all the elements and steps needed for the creation of a current rent balance letter, there are still things that you will need to take note of. Tips on what to do and what not to do will serve you well since you can never know what pitfalls you may eventually find yourself in regarding a rental-based situation. Just like how contracts and agreements can help protect businesses from its potential threats, each of the dos and don’ts listed below can ensure that you are kept as safe as possible in this scenario.

Dos

Do remain polite and professional in tone.

One of the simplest things to keep in mind is that the tone of your letter needs to remain polite in tone as much as possible. It is also worth remembering that polite does not have to mean positive; neutrality can also work appropriately for documents such as this. After all, your aim is to address financial concerns between yourself and the tenant renting out your property.

Do make sure all of the important details are accurate.

There are multiple consequences that can arise out of misinformation in regards to your current rent balance letter. Depending on what details you may have gotten wrong, you could be dealing with a balance that cannot be fully paid by your tenant, late payments in the event that you got the dates wrong, no action taken or no response from the tenant in the event that you got the forwarding address wrong, and lastly, even the completely ineffectiveness of the document from a legal standpoint. For these reasons alone, it definitely pays to proofread what you’ve drawn up before sending it to its intended recipient.

Do keep copies of the letter for yourself.

There are scenarios that you definitely do not want to be a part of. Among them would be the escalation of any existing issue between yourself and your tenant regarding the rent or the property. In the event that this actually reaches court, you need to have as much evidence on your side so that you can come out of it unscathed. For that reason, you will want to have at least one copy of all the relevant documents pertaining to the property’s rental, including the current rent balance letter.

Don’ts

Do not use a threatening tone.

Whatever specific issues you may have with your tenant, it is strongly advised not to write the current rent balance letter with a tone of hostility. Conduct your business in a professional manner and refer to one of the “dos” above. Be as polite as you can and avoid threatening, insulting, or humiliating your tenant for whatever reason. Doing so may lead to further trouble down the line, especially if what you have written contributes to the escalation of the problem.

Do not write a letter that is too long.

There is no hard and fast rule in regard to how long a current rent balance letter needs to be. However, when you take into account that most people are not likely to enjoy reading an incredibly long letter, then it is worth considering a shorter document. There are also a few benefits that you can reap from with short documents. For one, you can go straight to the point, averting any unnecessary or irrelevant information. Then there’s the fact that a short document is often easier to read and understand, so there would be less confusion on the reader’s part.

Do not neglect to provide the tenant with a means of contacting you.

The natural objective of a current rent balance letter is to help the tenant fulfill his or her financial obligations to you, the landlord. To ensure that the letter is effective in that regard, you need to include your contact details in it for the benefit of the tenant. It is through those details that you and the tenant can continue this discussion at a later date in the hopes of fully resolving the issue.

Do not hesitate to consult an attorney whenever necessary.

As with many other forms of legal or business documents, it always helps to have the right people by your side to provide you with advice. An attorney with the knowledge and experience can not only help you in drawing up the letter but he or she can also steer you away from potential pitfalls and mishaps that you may find yourself getting into should you operate alone. Having your attorney around can also be useful in making sure that no legal complications arise.

The intention behind a current rent balance payment is simple, but the nuances behind it are anything but. Even with all of the knowledge gained from this article, there will still be those who do not want to create one from scratch. Those who find themselves among these people may opt to go for online resources for this and other landlord letter templates. With these at your disposal, all that you need to ensure would be that you make all of the necessary edits to your template of choice before you print it out.