Getting Rent On Time: Balancing Compassion With Savviness

Getting Rent On Time: Balancing Compassion With Savviness

The rent collection time is that time of the month that can be stressful not just for tenants but also for landlords. What landlords struggle with, besides the delayed payment, is the tightrope walk they have to make between being compassionate and being business savvy. If a tenant commonly uses an excuse for not paying rent on time, it goes without saying that you will need to draw a line between kindness and gullibility. 

While you empathize with the reason for the delay, do make it a point to make a note of it in the client’s file, so that there is a record available of their payment history. Regardless of the veracity of your tenants’ claims related to the reason for the delay, the fact is that personal issues should not impact their rent payment. Your success lies in reminding your tenant of their financial obligations while not compromising the tenant relationship. 

In fact, how smoothly you collect rent may also depend on the rent collection process that you set up during the time of the lease. Just as you arrive at the rent payable at the beginning of the tenancy, it is prudent to also agree upon how the rent will be collected too. Whether it will be collected in person or online, are decisions which when made well in advance, ensure that any delay on account of potential confusion can be avoided. There are several options available to you.

In-Person – While rent collection in-person works well on account of the fact that you get to visit the property each month and can even do some routine maintenance, it can turn out to be quite cumbersome especially if you have multiple properties.

Online – The answer to how to get tenants to pay rent on time may also lie in setting up an online collection process. With an online payment process, you also have the option of automated email reminders, as well as including a late rent payment fee if the rent is past its due date. Online payment apps may also work well, but depending on the services there is likely to be a fee involved.

DropBox – One of the other options includes setting up a drop box on the premises, which makes it easy for tenants to drop their checks. A word of caution here though! You have to be sure that the dropbox is kept safe and there is no possibility of theft. 

Property Manager – Another great option to collect avoid late rent payments by tenants (as well as dealing with many other property-related issues) is to appoint a property manager. Right from screening applicants to collecting rent, ensuring maintenance, and more, they can offer you complete peace of mind, as far as managing your property is concerned. Of course, there are property management fees, however, it is well worth it given its benefits. 

In choosing the option that works well for you, it is important to be mindful of two things:

  • First, the chosen method must be conveyed to the tenant at the time of the lease itself so that there is no delay in payment on account of any confusion.
  • Ensure that the collection of rent is well-documented. This means that using cash as a method of rent collection is a strict no-no, as there is no way of proving or disproving it, in the event of a dispute.

With some of the above mechanisms in place, late rent payments may be a thing of the past! 

Diana Simon

Diana Simon is a psychologist, author, and mother of two living in Burbank, CA – that place that’s always on fire. She enjoys reading and writing about real estate investments and improvements, painting portraits, and dressing in cosplay. Yes, you…
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