Collecting rent can be a difficult and time consuming task. Most real estate owners can relate to the uncomfortable experience of having to collect rent from their tenants. There are some tenants who are continuously late in their payment of rent, and others might only require a slight reminder from time to time. Dealing with tenants who are constantly late in paying rent can be challenging and lead to uncomfortable situations. In order to help you speed up your rent collection, here are 5 tips that will help you collect rent on time.
1.Be upfront about your rental property payment policy and the consequences of being late
Surprisingly, one of the main reasons why most tenants are late in their rental payments is simply because they’re unaware of its significance. As such, it can be beneficial to ensure that your tenants understand the reason why being on time with their rental payments is so important. Make all the details about what’s required clear in the lease or rental agreement and review it with your new tenants so that they know what’s expected of them from the start.
For the established tenants who are always “late payers”, try to convey to them how the late payment might affect them directly. For instance, their payments usually go towards property repairs, property renovations, and mortgage payments. Keeping all your tenants informed about the rental payment requirements as well as the consequences for late pays will help you to make rental collection more efficient. In turn, this will help to eliminate any excuses for not making rental payment due to lack of knowledge regarding the rental policy.
2.Be careful about the candidates that you select as tenants
If you own rental property in Sacramento, use narrowly-tailored criteria when selecting your tenants, and ensure that you stick to them. Ensure that you hold all prospective tenants accountable according to the same standards and criteria. Among other criteria, ensure that all your prospective tenants have a good credit standing, have reputable character references and fulfill income requirements.
One item that may be even more important than credit score is their income. The amount of money an applicant earns directly affects their ability to pay rent on time. Typically experts recommend someone who makes at least two and a half to three times the rental amount.
Prospective tenants must have in writing that they have an established history of paying their rent on time at the previous areas of residence. Also, ensure that you request and check their references at their previous place of residence. Contacting a prior landlord and requesting to be informed about their experience with the applicant can help you determine whether you should accept the candidate’s offer.
3. Enforce rental payment policies
You should be consistent and firm in your rental payment policy. This will not only make your rent collection process more efficient but it will also give your tenants very clear guidelines as well as due dates every month for rent payment. Nevertheless, there are times that you need to be equitable in your rental policy enforcement. Experts recommend that you should factor in the following components to your lease:
- The exact rental amount every month
- Where the payments ought to be made, and the acceptable payment methods
- The rent’s due date and what constitutes the grace period
- The consequences of a default or a bounced check
4. Send reminders
With e-mail, text messages and phone calls, it’s easy for you to get in touch with all your tenants. If you so choose, you can use any of these mediums to remind your tenants that the rent is due. Besides the fact that paying their rent is outlined clearly in the lease, it does not hurt to take this extra step and remind your tenants a few days before their rent is due.
Automating this task isn’t complicated. You can create a Google group of your tenants and then set up an automated message which will be sent out at specific times. Sending recurring messages is simpler than you may think. Alternatively, you can create a group in your mobile phone and then send a mass text on a monthly basis. Either way works.
5. Consider offering automatic payment options
Offering automatic payment options makes rental payments easy-to-do and convenient for your tenants. There are 2 options that you can use: online bill pay or ACH debiting. Ensure that you investigate the 2 options and their merits as well as drawbacks before you consider implementing them in the rental collection process.
You can also decide to offer incentives to tenants who pay rent on time. When a tenant is consistently on time with his/her payments, don’t hesitate to show them even a small note of thanks. Small tokens of appreciation like gift cards or home-baked goodies can go a long way towards solidifying a strong and positive relationship between you and your tenants.
Managing rental properties in Sacramento can be a profitable business provided you manage your cash flow well and collect your rent on time. Implementing the above tips for collecting rent will allow you to better manage your rental property and enjoy the benefits from your rental property investments.