Rent is typically due on the first day of the month. However, landlords can select any day of the month for rent to be due as long it is clearly listed in the lease.
How to Choose a Rent Due Date
Picking the right due date matters, especially when taking into account how many tenants you have, their preferences, and also any grace period laws in your state.
Landlords are most successful when a tenant has a consistent policy and procedure to follow. Tenants need to know how much to pay, when to pay it, and how to pay it.
Keeping the same policy and due date through the life of their lease will help you to avoid any confusion about when rent is due.
Determine Bill Dates
It is important to plan for any bill expenses you as the landlord have. If your mortgage and insurance payments are due on the 15th, you don’t want the tenant’s payments to also be due on the same day.
Consider Grace Periods
A grace period is a length of time after the due date that payments can be made without penalty.
If you offer a grace period or your state legally mandates one, you need to plan for tenants to use it.
If your mortgage on the property is due on the 10th and the tenant payment is due on the 5th but there is a 5-day grace period, you could have a problem.
Identify Payment Methods
Establishing what payment methods you offer can help you determine a due date.
If you only offer online payments, you can easily see which tenants didn’t pay on time. However, if you accept mailed payments or have tenants with Section 8 housing, payments may be delayed. Be sure to factor in those delays.
Talk With your Tenant
Landlords are welcome to discuss the rental due date with their tenant and come to an agreement. If there is a solid reason why a tenant needs a different due date, being flexible can be beneficial to the landlord-tenant relationship.
All landlords want a great tenant who pays on time, cares for the property, communicates responsibly, and stays for a long time. If having a due date on the 15th instead of the 1st creates this situation, it’s worth it.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Having Rent Due on the First of the Month
Choosing the rent due date can be complicated. Ideally, you want to select a date that works best for both the landlord and tenant. Check out the chart below for the benefits and drawbacks of having rent due on the first of each month.
|People typically get paid on the last day of the month or the first day, helping to ensure rent is paid on time and in full
|A tenant could have a late paycheck
|Convenient for record-keeping
|It can be difficult to keep track of all the payments coming in at once if you have a large portfolio
|Simple to remember
|Tenants may prefer a different due date
Should I Accept Weekly or Bi-Weekly Rental Payments?
You can create and accept any payment schedule that works for you and your tenant. 84% of landlords listed payment problems as their top concern. Some landlords offer varying payment options to help tenants budget appropriately and stay on track.
Bi-weekly or weekly payments are great options for those who are paid weekly or bi-weekly rather than once a month. Weekly rent payments allow tenants to pay ¼ of the rent each week while a bi-weekly payment splits the rent into two payments.
Just keep in mind that this type of payment schedule can get messy for those with large portfolios unless it is set up online. But, many online rental payment programs such as Zillow Rent Manager, don’t allow alternative payment schedules.
Some landlords charge a convenience fee for weekly or bi-weekly payments. This can help cover any additional administrative expenses incurred for more frequent payments.
What is Prorated Rent?
Prorated rent is calculated as the number of days a tenant lives in a rental.
Typically, landlords can let a tenant move in on any day of the month. If a qualified tenant is approved on the 13th and the space is ready, there is no sense in waiting until the end of the month for the tenant to move in.
Landlords can charge prorated rent or deem the rental due date as the day the tenant moves in. For example, if the tenant moves in on August 13th, their next rental payment would be due September 13th.
When is Rent Considered Late?
Rent is due on the date listed in the lease agreement, and is considered late the following day. If rent is due on a weekend or holiday, most landlords will specify in the lease agreement that rent is due the next business day.
When Can a Landlord Charge a Late Fee?
Landlords in most states are allowed to charge a late fee the day after rent is due. However, landlords in 16 states are required to give tenants a grace period before charging a late fee.
|Required Grace Period for Late Fees
|5 days (mobile homes)
None (other housing types)
|4 days (week-to-week lease agreements)
9 days (all other lease agreements)
|5 days (except the grace period is 8 days if rent can’t be paid in person within the same county as the residence)
|None (week-to-week lease agreements)
3 days (all other lease agreements)
|5 business days (certain senior tenants)
None (other tenants)
|5 days (if 6th day is a Sunday or holiday, due date is the next business day)
|None (with written lease agreement)
5 days (if there is no written lease agreement)