Consistent and timely rent collection is an important part of your cash flow and the efficient management of your rental properties. Landlords can easily become frustrated when rent isn’t paid on time, and sometimes tenants need to be reminded and motivated to get the rent in when it’s due.
Today, we’re sharing some tips on how professional Lancaster property managers collect rent with efficiency and regularity.
Reference Rent Collection Policies in Your Lease Agreement
Your process for collecting rent must be spelled out in your lease agreement. The lease is where all responsibilities and expectations between you and your tenant are in writing. It has to provide all the necessary information, including rental payments and how they are handled. You want your rent collection policy and your lease agreement to include information about:
- How much rent is due every month.
- When the rent is due every month.
- How the rent should be paid every month.
- What types of grace periods or late fees are in place.
Be specific and clear. For example, perhaps rent is due on the first of the month, and then considered late on the fifth of the month. Late fees could be $50 or $75 or a percentage of the rental amount. Stipulate all of that in your lease.
Once you have the rent collection policy in writing, make sure to enforce that policy consistently. If you let your tenants pay late one month without consequence, you’re going to leave them thinking they can always pay rent late.
Offer Different Rent Collection Methods
Most tenants today prefer paying for things electronically rather than writing out checks and looking for stamps and envelopes, then getting those checks into the mail. You’ll want to be able to meet tenants where they are, and that’s probably online. When you work with a professional Lancaster property management company, you’re at a rent collection advantage. Most management companies have the benefit of an online payment system. Tenants simply log onto an online account and pay the rent electronically with debit cards, credit cards, or bank account drafts.
As an independent landlord, you may not have access to property management software. But, you can still offer electronic payments. With platforms like Zelle, Apple Pay, PayPal, and other systems, you can easily set something up where your tenants transfer the rent directly to your account.
While most people prefer online payments, not everyone will. So, it helps to be flexible. You should be willing to offer other forms of rent collection. Let tenants pay with a check or a money order if they’d prefer. As long as your tenants have options, they’re likely to meet their rent payment obligations.
Work with a Lancaster Property Management Company
Professional Lancaster property management can help you get your rent paid on time in a number of different ways. First, there’s the online rental payments and the property management software that automates rent collection. There’s also the matter of better tenant screening. Your Lancaster property managers will know what to look for when screening a tenant. It’s easy to gather information about a tenant’s past performance and reliability when it comes to paying rent on time.
Property management also helps with consistency. You have to treat all of your tenants the same way, otherwise you could violate fair housing laws. If one tenant pays late and you waive the late fee, you can get into some legal trouble if you don’t offer the same allowance to all your tenants.
If you’d like to talk more about collecting rent efficiently and consistently, please contact us at Fetch Home Management. We’d be happy to tell you more about how we manage this process.