When you manage property, one of the things you need to do is collect rent from your tenants. If you're lucky, you have responsible tenants that always pay in full and on time. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Here are some tips for collecting rent and trying to get it on time.
Propose a Late Fee
To keep residents from constantly paying their rent late, propose a late fee. Be very specific about how much the fee is and at what date it will be charged. It can be a flat rate fee for anyone paying the rent on the 2nd of the month or later, or be a percentage based on exactly how late the rent is. You may charge it immediately, not accepting their rent payment until the late fee is included, or put it on their bill for the next month. Mae sure their lease has information about the late fee so they know what to expect.
Have Strict Policies
All of your policies about paying rent and accepting late payments should be made clear. If you don't accept rent past the first of the month unless it is approved beforehand, let them know this. If you only accept online payments as long as the rent is paid within the first 5 days, put this in the rent paying policies. Have rules in writing about accepting partial payments or not. You need to be strict and specific with your tenants so they know the rules. By having policies, they will be more inclined to pay on a certain day and not try to stretch it out, paying it when they believe it is most convenient for them.
Accept Multiple Forms of Payment
It can be helpful when your tenants have different options for paying rent. This increases the chances of getting all the rent from all tenants on time each month. For example, it might be easier for some people to pay online with a credit or debit card, while others like it to be withdrawn automatically from their checking account. Some tenants prefer paying by check or with a money order or cashiers check. Decide what forms of payment you will accept and inform your tenants of how to pay the rent.
Remain Consistent With Consequences
There should be consequences for not paying rent on time that the tenants are fully aware of. Not only should you let the know what will happen if they don't pay their rent on time, but keep up with the consequences. When you start giving people extra time to pay, it becomes a habit. If you give out a 3-day pay rent or quit notice if you haven't received rent by the 3rd, then do this each and every month it happens. Do not wait until the 5th, or tenants will start thinking they have more time.
For assistance, talk to a property management company like PRDnationwide.