Past-Due Rent Notice for Landlords [Free Template]

Sending a past-due rent notice can be a great way to gently remind your tenants of owed rent and encourage future on-time payments.

A past-due rent notice, or late rent notice, is a letter informing and reminding your tenant that the rent is late. Sending a past-due rent notice to your tenants can be an effective way to remind your tenants of owed rent and encourage future on-time payments.

In this article, we take a closer look at what a past-due rent notice is, when to use one, and how you can avoid late rent in the future.

About Past-Due Rent Notices

Also referred to as a late rent notice, a past-due rent notice is a letter that informs current tenants that they are late on their obligation to pay the rent in any particular payment period. This notice is also important for your records, should tenants continuously pay the rent late. A past-due rent notice acts as an important reminder of the tenant’s legal obligation in regard to the current lease agreement and is also where you will want to outline any late fees that may have been accrued.

There may be some instances where a tenant withholds rent, such as if the landlord has failed to complete major maintenance issues. Under these circumstances, the landlord would not be able to penalize late payments.

The exact treatment of late payments and landlord and tenant obligations vary by state, so refer to your local landlord-tenant law if uncertain.

What is Included in a Past-Due Rent Notice?

A late rent notice should generally include the following details:

  • The rental property address
  • The name of your tenant
  • The issue date of the notice
  • The date the rent is due as stipulated in the lease
  • The current balance due
  • Any penalties such as late fees that are or will be owed should the tenant continue to not pay

Landlord Studio offers a free late rent notice template below that you can review and use. (Alternatively, create a free account to collect rent online with Landlord Studio and utilize our automatic rent reminder and late rent emails).

Free Past-Due Rent Notice Template

Below we've shared a free late rent notice template sample. Simply click the "Download Now" button and get the free pre-formatted template delivered directly to your mailbox.

Date (dd/mm/yyyy): _______________

Tenant’s name(s): _________________

Address of rental unit:




This notice is to inform you that we have not received your rent payment which was due on __________. This payment is owed for the time period of ________ to ________.

According to the terms of your rental agreement, you are also responsible for a late rent fee of $______. In combination with the rent payment, the total amount of ________ is due by ______(date)______.

If you have any questions or believe this is a mistake, you can contact me at (___) ___-_____.


Landlord or property manager’s signature


When Should I Send A Late Rent Notice?

Generally, speaking you will want to send the late rent notice immediately after the rent is late to encoourage the prompt payment by your tenant.

However, a number of states and cities have specific rental laws which stipulate a grace period for tenants to pay - often this is between 3-5 days.

For states with these legal grace periods you can only deliver a late rent notice after the grace period has passed. Research your local ordinances before sending a notice to make sure you stay compliant with local and state laws.

How To Deliver a Late Rent Notice

On top of this, some states have specific regulations as to how landlords need to deliver a late rent notice or your lease agreement might outline the preferred methods for landlords to deliver late rent notices. These methods usually include:

  • In-person delivery,
  • Sending via certified or registered mail,
  • Or using an overnight courier service.

Again, it's important to understand local and state laws in this regard. It’s also important to consider why you’re delivering the past-due rent notice. For example, if this is the first time a tenant has been late, a friendly reminder email might be all you need to get them on track. If it’s the second time, you might want to send a more formal letter and will want to follow state guidelines as to how and when to deliver it.

What Should I Do If A Tenant Continues To Not Pay Rent?

Should tenants continue to not pay, you may then need to continue with eviction proceedings with a pay or quit notice. It’s important to note that you may not be able to evict the tenant if you haven’t followed each required step as outlined in state landlord-tenant law.

How To Automate Rent Reminder Emails

Save time and reduce stress by automating your rent reminder and late rent notices.

The best way to stay ahead of late payments is to utilize a property management software like Landlord Studio. Landlord Studio offers the ability to automate the entirety of the rent collection process. This includes allowing tenants to set yup auto-pay, automating late fees, automatically tracking income and setting up automated rent reminder emails. These can be timed to go out before and after the rent due date to gently remind tenants of their upcoming rent payment obligations.

You can also CC yourself into all communications so that you have copies of all communications for your records. This will be useful should you need to escalate the situation to a formal late rent notice or pay and quit notice.

This feature, when paired with Landlord Studio’s rent collection, allows landlords to automate the entirety of the rent collection process and massively reduce the potential for late rent.

Final Words: Past-Due Rent Notice

When it comes to handling late rent, as with many things, prevention is the best remedy. However, sometimes tenants do pay late, and while you can mitigate this risk, you can never completely eliminate it.

Having a succinct and clear policy outlined in your lease in regard to late fees and grace periods is a key strategy for mitigating any potential financial loss caused by these late payments.

Finally, by employing rent collection software like Landlord Studio, landlords can streamline their rent collection, making it as easy as possible for tenants to pay their rent, and automate time-consuming tasks such as chasing up late rent payments and tracking income.

Create your free account with Landlord Studio today, streamline your rent collection process and never experience late rent again.

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Past-Due Rent Notice FAQs

Late rent notice vs 3 day pay or quit notice: What's the difference?

A 3 day notice, otherwise known as a pay or quit notice is a more formal version of a past-due rent notice. Many states require this formal letter before the landlord can begin the eviction process.

Due to the fact it is a more formal notice, the rules around delivery and language are more strict. Typically, landlords must deliver the 3 day pay or quit notice directly to the tenant or via certified mail. If they can’t be reached, the letter can be given to an adult at the property or at their place of work. If no suitable person can be found, it will be posted on the property, such as taped to the front door. In both of these cases, a version must also be mailed to the tenant’s address.

How do I write a letter for past due rent?

The important elements of a past-due rent notice include:

  • The tenant's name and address. Provide the tenant's full name.
  • The date of the notice. 
  • The late rent details including any associated fees. 
  • The payment details and method. 
  • Your (the landlord or property manager’s) name and address.

What is a letter for overdue rent?

A late rent notice or past-due rent notice is a notice to the tenant to remind them that the rent is currently overdue. It should also outline any late rent fees and reinforce the seriousness of the issue.

What to do if the tenant continues to be late with the rent?

If a tenant continues to be late with the rent then it may be time to send a formal pay or quit notice or even begin eviction proceedings. A pay or quit notice essentially informs the tenant that they must complete the rent payment within a set period of time. Not doing so will mean they are formally in breach of the lease agreement which is grounds for an eviction.

What’s the best way to collect rent and avoid late rent?

There are a few steps you can take to reduce late rent. These include:

  • Carefully screen and choose tenants with a rental application
  • Provide clear rent payment instructions in your lease agreement
  • Include a late fee clause in your rental agreement
  • Use online rent collection software

Online rent collection software makes it as easy as possible for tenants to pay. And, the best way to collect rent from your tenants is to use a purpose-built online rent collection software like Landlord Studio.

Using Landlord Studio, tenants can set up automated rent payments at the beginning of the lease, and unless a payment fails due to insufficient funds or they manually disable the auto-pay feature, their payments will be initiated on the same day every single month.

This has added benefits for the landlord, as all transactions are then automatically tracked and reconciled in our industry-leading accounting software significantly reducing the time it takes for you to track and record income and expenses every month.