Past Due Rent Letter: What Is It?

A past-due rent letter is just one of the many important business documents focusing on tenancy and rentals. This letter is written by a landlord or property owner to notify any renter or tenant who wasn’t able to pay the rent on time. Thanks to this letter, tenants would surely be aware that they need to pay their rent as soon as possible or there would be consequences if they can’t fulfill their rental obligations.

Why Are Past Due Rent Letters Important?

There are many reasons to create past-due rent letters, particularly when you have a bunch of tenants whose rentals are due. And these are the reasons that prove why past due rent letters are important:

A Rent Notice to Remember

Always bear in mind that a past-due rent letter or rent notice helps renters remember their rental responsibilities. Whether the tenant fails to remember the payment date or has failed to pay on purpose, the letter itself should very well remind the renter that paying the due rent is critical, unless they want to be evicted. In fact, the landlord should also keep track of these letters because having numerous late payments would be bad for the rental business.

It Is All in the Details

A past due rent letter isn’t just a piece of paper that simply tells you “Your rent is due.” It is a detailed document that states the name of the tenant, the rental payment schedule, the amount of money to be collected, and other crucial information about the rental. With that said, the letter is essential so that tenants and landlords use it as a quick reference for answers about rental data rather than dealing with too many questions.

Reliable Proof of Dispute

Should the tenant clash with the landlord and decides not to pay the rent at all, then the landlord can use the past due rent letter as an instrument of evidence when things lead to court. This letter along with the original rental agreement or contract can be used to prove that a tenant has actual rental obligations to fulfill. Hence, you can’t take this document for granted as you may need it to protect yourself from disputes.

Future Concerns

What you should know is that a past due rent letter does not merely inform the tenant about the rental payment dues but also what to do in the future. Sometimes, it takes more than sending a letter notice to make sure tenants take action. An example is to warn them that they will be evicted from the house or apartment if they can’t pay according to the final date set or you can allow an extension if they have proof that they actually lost their job, lost a family member, or any reason you find to be valid.

The Basic Elements of a Past Due Rent Letter

Always be meticulous in writing past due rent letters because incorrect information mentioned there could be used against you in disputes. And to make sure you have accurate and complete data inside the letter, you better insert the following standard elements of a past due rent letter inside the document:

Title: It is self-explanatory that your document should have the title “Past Due Rent Letter” on the top center part so that it is easy to distinguish what its purpose is. Without the exact title, tenants may mistake your letter as a rent increase letter, rental agreement letter, or any other purpose.Date: Don’t confuse the date mentioned on top of the letter with the rental payment due date. The date simply refers to the exact day, month, and year the past due rent letter is written.Name of Tenant: Identify to whom the past due rent letter is for by writing the complete name of the tenant as well as their contact list details. Identification is crucial in the document because anyone could deny who the person addressed in the letter is without the name.Address of Rental Unit: Insert the address of the rental unit. Of course, this part would include the complete address of the landlord’s apartment, condo, or house for rent. But the crucial part here is the room number of the tenant to specify which room renter hasn’t paid yet.Introduction: The first few elements mentioned earlier are written as if you are enumerating details but the introductory statement of your letter marks the beginning of the formal part where you write in a letter form. You may start with the words “This letter is to inform you that we haven’t received your rent payment which was due on…” Specify the payment’s time period as well.Rental Payment Due Date: The body of the letter should clarify the exact rental payment due date. You may refer to the original payment schedule whether it is a biweekly, monthly, or quarterly schedule for accuracy. And mentioning the due date helps tenants know how late their payment is when compared to the current date.Rental Payment Amount: Of course, you can’t forget the actual rent payment amount. Remind the renter about the rental payment amount as stipulated in the rental agreement letter before. Write it in numbers and in words for clarification.Call-to-Action Statement: At the conclusion part of the letter, write the call-to-action statement. This is the part where you offer options on what the tenant could do next. After reading the letter, a tenant may either pay the late payment as promised to continue staying on the property, refuse to pay on time but will undergo an eviction notice instead, or contest the past due rent letter in court.Landlord’s Name and Signature: Last but not least, incorporate your name and signature as the landlord or property owner who wrote the letter itself. This part confirms that the document is officially written by the landlord and that the tenant should adhere to the message inside the letter. Also, you may personalize the letter with your rental business’s official logo or company branding.

How to Create a Proper Past Due Rent Letter

Before deciding to write a past due rent letter, make sure to consider the state and city rental laws in your area because when and how to submit the said letter varies depending on the allowable law. For instance, certain states won’t allow you to provide a past due rent letter if it is still the five-day grace period or if there are protocols wherein the allowable submission is in person or through email memo. Once you are sure of what’s legally accepted, make a past due rent letter with these steps:

Step 1: Review the Tenant’s Background

Set your own strategic plan in terms of investigating the renter’s background. Check if the tenant is usually late in payments or just this month because there could be a reason that the late payment has only happened now. Also, recheck if the rent is actually due because it would be embarrassing to send out the letter to the wrong person, especially someone who is responsible for paying regularly. Then, write a draft about the tenant’s details because you will use it as a reference in writing the letter later on.

Step 2: Utilize a Free Sample Past Due Rent Letter Template

Preformatted templates of past-due rent letters are available for download and editing here at Just look for a premade sample you want to optimize, click the template, and edit the template afterward. That means you can change the format, content, and overlook design of your past due rent letter. Then, personalize the letter that suits your needs. And the best part is you no longer work from scratch.

Step 3: Insert the Elements of a Past Due Rent Letter

Can you recall all the essential elements of a past-due rent letter discussed earlier? Add the title, date, name of tenant, and the rest of the standard parts on your template as those elements complete your past due rent letter. You may also insert more parts as to how business letters are written such as the salutation, complimentary close, notes, and other sections. Just make sure only relevant information about the past due rent is mentioned inside.

Step 4: Be Straightforward with Your Message

Indeed, writing a detailed past due rent letter is good but not to the point where lots of unnecessary statements are littered in the letter. Just write what needs to be said as long as the intentions and objectives are met, especially to deliver the message to the tenant to finally pay the late rental payment. Also, there’s no need to use flowery words that may only complicate things upon reading.

Step 5: Maintain a Professional Tone

Always keep in mind that a past due rent letter is still a formal letter. That means professional standards still apply in making the letter such as observing the standard letter format and writing in a professional tone. Avoid writing in a way that degrades the renter for paying late and never ever threaten your tenant to be evicted from the rental. That explains why the call-to-action statement of your letter should provide options or solutions on how the tenant can solve the issue.

Step 6: Make Fact-Checking a Habit

Lastly, reread your content specifications because there may be certain data that must be corrected. Faulty letters already bring bad light to your reputation as a landlord or the reputation of your rental business. Conduct a final evaluation until you are confident enough that there are no errors found in the document. Then, submit the past due rent letter to your tenant shortly and wait for a response patiently.


How do I encourage my tenants to pay their rent on time?

Some strategies you can use to encourage renters to pay on time are to incorporate a late fee in the rent agreement or contract, offer incentives to those who pay early, allow automatic payments via bank or payment collection services, and send automated reminders scheduled a few days before the final due date.

Can I evict my tenant right away?

No, you should allow the tenant to leave at least three days or a few weeks, depending on the allowable number of days in your state, before making the renter leave for good; an eviction form is needed before evicting pronto.

What excuses are often allowed to pay the rent late?

Not all landlords agree to all sorts of excuses but actual reasons that bring sympathy usually allow most landlords to extend the payment date such as getting hospitalized, being ill, losing a job, and losing a family member; the key is to communicate with the landlord properly.

Evaluate carefully if it is finally time to warn tenants that their rent is due. If yes, then submit a detailed letter, specifically a past due rent letter, to tenants and formally address rental issues, remind them about how much they owe you, and even offer solutions if they are struggling financially. Thankfully, you can ace this step in a smooth sail using sample past-due rent letter templates. Download now!