More than 14 percent of renters were behind on their rent last year. While most tenants do eventually pay, it can be difficult to catch up once they fall behind.
Collecting rent is the main event when it comes to rental properties. Here's a guide that will help you make the rent collection process as simple as possible.
Accept Online Rent Payments
If you're wondering how to collect rent when tenants are late, you might consider accepting different payment methods. The days when landlords could insist on post-dated checks for rent payments are over.
Most people are comfortable with paying other expenses online so they will welcome the chance to pay their rent electronically. You can encourage them to set up automatic payments through their bank and they'll never be late again.
Select Quality Tenants
Tenant screening will help you find people who have a solid credit score and a history of paying their rent on time. One of the best tips for landlords is never to skimp on tenant screening. It's important to take the time to discover the best tenants for their rentals.
If a good tenant is occasionally late with their rent, talk to them about the problem. Successful landlords maintain open communication lines and you may discover a way to help them get back on track.
Establish Penalties for Late Rent Payments
When you have clear expectations about on-time payments, you may have more success with your tenants. Clearly state the terms in your lease or rental agreement and include a short grace period before imposing a penalty.
Contact the tenant to determine the reason for the late payment. If your eviction rules require serving written notice of unpaid rent, issue one right away. This notice will signal that you are serious and the tenant will prioritize rent payment.
Even if you aren't expecting to evict the tenant, getting the paperwork going starts the clock and that will help you if you do need to proceed. Check the landlord/tenant rules in your state to find out how much they allow you to charge as a late fee. Most people are motivated by money, so a late fee may encourage on-time payments.
Hire a Property Manager
Becoming a landlord has its benefits but it takes a lot of time and patience. A professional property manager is often more successful in setting firm rules for on-time rent payments.
They have a collections process to follow when a tenant is late and they will document each step. This will come in handy if you need to proceed to eviction.
If you don't live close by, collecting rent every month can be a problem. A local property manager is a solution in this situation. They can collect rent in person if the tenant prefers to pay by check.
Improve Your Rent Collection Process Today
We provide a market analysis to help you set the right rents for your property. When your rents fit current market conditions, your rent collection is easier.
Renters Warehouse Hampton Roads is the best agency for all your property management needs. We offer full-service property management in the Hampton Roads area. Get in touch today to learn how we can help you.