Implement your policy on collecting rent
To make sure tenants pay regularly and on time, the best practice is to make your rent collection policies firm and consistent. However, there are some exceptions.
In your contract of lease, you should include all payment related issues such as the following:
- Exact due amount per month
- Where rent is paid
- Accepted payment methods
- Rent payment due date and grace periods
- Consequences of bounced checks or non-payment
There are times when you may feel sorry for your tenant who is going through difficult times, or being too quick in charging a late payment. When you are convinced that a tenant is having a “one time” experience, you can be a little more considerate.
On the other hand, to prevent them from taking advantage of your kindness at some point, make your policy firm after that, and stop being too lenient. Make them understand that whenever paying bills, rent should be a top priority, and that they will be responsible for the costs caused by delinquency.
In case you lack time and cannot collect rent payment or late charges, you can always hire a reputable property manager to do the job.
If they cannot pay on time, know the reasons
If you come across tenants who were not able to pay rent for the month, ask them some questions to figure out the issues they may have.
- When will you be able to pay rent?
- Where will you give your payment?
- How much will you be paying?
- What method of payment will you use?
- What source of income will you use in making your payment?
If they avoid answering your questions, give them an eviction notice on the following day. An eviction notice can only be served when tenants break your lease agreement. Verify your state rules to know the legal length of time needed for the notice before filing for eviction, and if your state requires several violations before proceeding with eviction.
You can serve notice (unofficially) in a simple way like sticking a piece of paper on their door that says “pay past-due rent to avoid eviction”. It will only be official when a formal letter is mailed and sent by means of Certified Mail as proof of receipt. More often than not, a notice taped to the door is sufficient to scare them into looking for the money elsewhere (like from dad and mom).
Give incentives to good paying tenants
The most important part of handling a rental property is keeping hold of good tenants. At times, landlords focus too much on avoiding unnecessary situations that they fail to notice the renters who make your work worth doing.
If a tenant always makes a rent payment on time, follows your rules and maintains your property, let them know that you appreciate what they do by giving them a gift card or a basket of fruits.
The best time to show your appreciation to your tenants is after they have paid one year of successive, well-timed rent. Gifting indecisive tenants with a timely gift basket can also motivate them to renew their lease.
Of course, if your tenants would have the possibility of paying the rent online, it much be much easier for both parties involved. It’s easy to implement this step – learn more about our rent payment service.