It’s that time of the month again when the rent is due. Do you look forward to this day or dread it? As a renter, it can be hard to see so much of your hard earned money go towards the rent bill each month. From a renter’s point of view, today seems like a heyday for property managers. It’s time to cash in all that money from all of the apartment complexes they manage and let the money come pouring in!
Property managers are often just as stressed as the renters are when the rent is due. It’s like a ticking time bomb of what will or won’t happen. Will someone forget to pay the rent? Will the property manager need to evict a tenant for refusing to pay the rent? Will there be a long legal battle?
Paying rent doesn’t have to be such a big headache, however. Here are a few ways property managers and tenants can work together to ensure an easy transaction each month:
Communication: One of the best ways to ensure a healthy relationship with your tenants is to openly communication what your expectations are about the rent payment. What day is the rent due? What happens if the tenant is late paying the rent? Are there any repercussions for paying the rent late? Create a firm, reasonable plan for what to do if the rent is late and make sure each tenant knows about it. Put it in writing and give each tenant a copy. You could even have your tenants initial this page, so you can prove that the tenants read and understood the rules if the need arises.
Automatic Payments: Life can be chaotic. And, sometimes, a good, responsible tenant might completely forget to pay the rent on time. To avoid life’s distractions, you could help your tenants set up an automatic payment each month. Many banks have an “online bill pay” feature that can create an automatic payment. Or you could set up an ACH (Automated Clearing House) that will withdraw money from a tenant’s bank account. Automatic rental payments can help responsible renters never worry about missing a rent payment again.
Gentle reminders are also helpful when setting up payment plans. Our RentPlus app also has a feature that allows users to send an auto text reminder that reminds them to pay their rent on a certain day of the month.
Create Consequences: If there are no consequences for late rent payments, then tenants will walk all over a property manager. One consequence a property manager could set up is a late fee charge. Most people hate added on fees and will avoid them as much as possible. Late fees are good incentives for getting tenants to pay their rent on time. You should also let your tenants know if there will be a grace period and what will happen if there are bounced checks or default. Make sure you include details about the consequences of late rental payments in the lease agreement.
Be Consistent: Sometimes people fall on hard times and can’t make payments. As unfortunate as it may be to see a good person down on his or her luck, you need to remember the bottom line: Your business can’t succeed if tenants aren’t paying their rent. Set a policy now and stick to it. It’s good to have a grace period to give tenants a chance to come up with the necessary funds. But if someone can’t afford to pay rent, you need to find a tenant who can.
Offer Rewards: Many property managers focus so much on making sure certain tenants actually pay their rent on time that they forget about those reliable tenants who always pay their rent on time. As a property manager, you should show your tenants that you value their responsibility by giving them a motivation to renew their lease. You could offer your tenants a gift card or gift basket after they’ve paid a consecutive year of on-time rent payments.
Another reward you could offer reliable tenants is the chance to build their credit score with RentPlus simply by paying their rent on time each month. Most tenants will jump at the chance to improve their credit score. This incentive will be especially helpful in making sure people pay their rent on time each month.
In an ideal world, everyone would pay their rent on time every time. However, this isn’t an ideal world. Property managers struggle every month to ensure each rent check is paid in a timely manner. Yet, if you follow these helpful tips, you might alleviate some of the stress and hassle involved when the rent is due.