Skip to Content

When (and How) to Fine a Non-Compliant Renter

Irving Renter Looking at a Lease Violation NoticeIt’s not agreeable, but sometimes renters violate the terms of their lease in circumstances that result in a fine. There are numerous explanations why a renter may risk being fined and lots of violations that could bring about a fine. But whatever the circumstances, fining for renter violations is a delicate business that is easy to get wrong. It should only be done after all other methods of communication have been exhausted, and the renter has failed to comply with the lease agreement. Let’s take a look at some usual reasons an Irving property manager may fine a renter, best practices for doing so, and some important pitfalls to avoid.

When a Renter Violates the Lease

One of the most frequent reasons for fining a renter is when they’ve violated the terms of their lease agreement. This could be anything, but it commonly contains:

  • Late rent
  • Unauthorized pet
  • Unauthorized occupant
  • Unauthorized vehicle
  • Noise violation
  • Failure to provide an updated or renewed insurance policy
  • Property damage caused by renter negligence

Addressing lease violations can be problematic because you want to certify that the fine is fair and proportional to the offense. It’s vital to have clear language in your lease about what will cause a fine and how much those fines will be. Penalties should also be consistently enforced for all renters, not just selectively applied.

Best Practices for Fining a Renter

After reviewing your lease terms carefully to ensure that your renter has violated them, you should first gather evidence of the lease violation. This can be done through pictures, written statements from other renters or witnesses, and documentation of any previous communication with the renter about the breach.

After obtaining evidence, the next step is to issue a warning to the renter and let them change their behavior. The only exception is late rent; late fees or fines related to late rent payments can normally be applied without warning.

If the renter does not cooperate, a fine can be given according to the terms of the lease agreement. Use official communication methods such as a certified letter or email to inform the renter of the fine and how it will be collected. It is recommended to thoroughly document all communication and actions taken if the matter escalates and legal action should be pursued.

Pitfalls to Avoid

It’s imperative to know that fining a renter should never be used as a form of retaliation or harassment. Fines should only be applied when they are fair and appropriate to enforce the lease terms.

Fines should also be consistent – not arbitrarily issuing them to certain renters but not others. This can result in a hostile living environment and potential legal matters. Overall, fines should only be used as a last resort to guarantee the safety and well-being of all renters and the Irving property itself.

In addition, it’s crucial to follow all state and local laws regarding rent increases, late fees, and other rental regulations. Failing to do so may lead to undesirable legal consequences.

Fining renters should never be the first resort, but sometimes it is needed to confirm a safe and compliant living environment for all renters. By remembering the reasons and best practices for fining a renter and avoiding potential pitfalls, you can effectively manage lease violations and maintain a positive relationship with your renters.


Working with renters who violate their leases can be tough and time-consuming. Rather than going it alone, think about calling in the experts at Real Property Management MidTown to guide you! We supply a full range of property management services, freeing you from the horrible business of fining renters. To learn more, contact us online.

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. See Equal Housing Opportunity Statement for more information.

The Neighborly Done Right Promise

The Neighborly Done Right Promise ® delivered by Real Property Management, a proud Neighborly company

When it comes to finding the right property manager for your investment property, you want to know that they stand behind their work and get the job done right – the first time. At Real Property Management we have the expertise, technology, and systems to manage your property the right way. We work hard to optimize your return on investment while preserving your asset and giving you peace of mind. Our highly trained and skilled team works hard so you can be sure your property's management will be Done Right.

Canada excluded. Services performed by independently owned and operated franchises.

See Full Details