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Rent Watch

It's OK to change the due date

July 26, 2009|Martin Eichner

Question: Several of my tenants have asked that the due date for the rent be changed to better fit their pay schedule. I have good, long-term tenants and want to help them. Is it legal for me to change the rent due date from the 1st to the 15th?

Answer: There are no laws regulating the day of the month that rent must be paid. This is a date set solely by you.

Because you agree to make this change, give each of the affected tenants a written 30-Day Change of Terms notice that states the new due date. This change will create a one-time event in which the rent needs to be paid twice during the month the new date is effective.

For example, the first rent payment is a prorated amount due on the 1st to cover the first 15 days of the month. The second rent payment is due on the 15th of the same month that covers the next 30 days. After this second payment is paid, the rent will be due on the 15th of each month thereafter.

To determine the prorated amount, divide the monthly rent by 30 to obtain the daily rate. Then multiply the daily rate by 15, the number of days between the 1st and the 15th. This payment will complete the previous rent payment arrangement.

The last step will be for the tenants to pay the full rent on the 15th of the same month and on the 15th of each month thereafter.

-- Martin Eichner, Project Sentinel

Eichner is director of Housing Counseling Programs for the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based mediation service. To submit a question, go to www.housing.org.

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