Is Your Tenant Not Paying Rent? – A Guide to Collecting Rent in Alamo
It’s hard to make any money on your rental property investment if your tenants aren’t paying rent on time.
When you have tenants who are falling behind on rent, it’s important to act quickly and consistently. The best way to ensure your rent comes in on time is to establish a rental collection policy and then follow it. Make sure your tenants understand what you expect before they move in.
Tenant Screening is the First Step
Your tenant screening process has a major impact on whether you collect rent on time. When you’re screening, it’s important to look for prior evictions as well as any outstanding debts owed to former landlords or apartment communities. Conduct reference checks of past landlords and property managers. Call them and find out whether rent was paid on time. The way a tenant performed in the past is an excellent way to know how they will perform in the future. Don’t rent your property to anyone who doesn’t have an excellent record of paying rent.
Establish a Rent Collection Policy
A written rent collection policy will leave no room for ambiguity or confusion. Include this policy in your lease agreement. It should state how much rent is due, when it is due, and how it should be paid. The policy should reference any late fees and additional consequences for late rental payments. Discuss this policy with your tenants before you collect their move-in funds and hand over the keys.
Provide Numerous Ways to Pay
When you provide different payment methods, you’re more likely to get the rent in on time. Working with a professional property management company that has an online portal takes care of this for you. We can collect online rental payments, which tenants seem to prefer. They can make online payments at any time and they can even schedule recurring or upcoming payments. As an individual landlord, you may not have access to the software that property managers have. But, you can still offer you tenants a way to pay electronically. There are several platforms available to send and receive money. You can also be open to checks, transfers, and even cash if you’re comfortable accepting that.
Follow Your Process When Rent is Late
When a tenant understands the rent collection policy and has a few different ways to pay you, there’s really no excuse for late payments. If your tenant gets in touch to tell you that rent will be late a day or two, that’s proactive, and you can plan. But, if you don’t hear anything from your tenants and you still don’t receive the rent, you’ll need to have a plan in place. You can contact the tenant first to remind them that rent is overdue. You can charge your late fee. If you still don’t have the money that’s owed, work quickly to take the next steps. Serve a notice so the tenant knows you’re planning to evict if the rent isn’t paid immediately.
Chasing down late rent is never fun, and it’s not a good use of your time. This is a very good reason to consider hiring a professional property manager. We’d be happy to talk to you more about how we collect rent on time from our well-screened tenants. Please contact us at Stowers Real Estate.