When you’re a landlord, your tenants’ rent payments are part of your livelihood. At times, tenants having difficulty paying rent on time forget to consider the landlord perspective. Whatever the reason for the late rent payments, they can affect a landlord in more than one way. For one, if you are counting on rent checks to cover payments related to the property, from mortgage to miscellaneous bills, late rent collection could lead to financial frustration and negative effects on your credit. To top that off, the whole ordeal adds unnecessary stress to your life. This is especially true when the late payment is a habit rather than a one-time occurrence. So what can you do to avoid late rent payments from your tenants?
There are several ways to incentivize your tenants to pay rent responsibly and on time. For one, clear communication from the get-go is key. With strong communication, you can be proactive in preventing late rent payments through friendly reminders. Also, good communication creates a positive tenant-landlord relationship, which in turn encourages your tenant to want to stay in good standing with you as landlord in regards to rent – another incentive to pay on time! If you are still confronted with late payment, good communication can also be your saving grace.
For example, if you set an approachable relationship with your tenant from the start, confrontations are less like to fall under the negative sense of the word (like a confrontation). Instead, you can approach your tenant with a “directed conversation” that flows well within your regular conversation flows. In a graver situation, a history of good communication will be just what you need in legal matters to demonstrate that you relayed all the information and your tenant did not follow your lease agreement in regards to rent payment.
Another way to incentivize your tenant to pay rent responsibly and on time is by having a late fee. Often times financial motivation is the best motivation, and so a financially-responsible tenant might be careful to pay rent on time if only to avoid the financial repercussions. Late fees can be a hard fee (ie. $100) or increasing according to how late the payment is given. Some landlords like to give one warning before a late fee is required – this shows that you care as a landlord but you’re serious about your property. Whichever way you decide to set up a late fee, make sure that it is present as a clause on your lease agreement for legal purposes.
The most important thing you can do to help yourself in your battle against late rent payment, however, is to be consistent in your policies. Exceptions can make mistakes turn into habits if you aren’t careful. One way around this is to log your interactions on a platform which both records and encourages strong communication. As funny as it sounds, electronics have a way of pressing matters without the negative feeling a tenant-landlord late rent payment confrontation would! RENTIGO is the perfect app for just that. Through the rent payment feature, you as landlord can easily track when rent is due for various properties. At the same time, tenants will have an online platform to remind them of rent payment and track when they are late. Couples with the other features available through the application such as the maintenance request feature, RENTIGO is a landlord’s dream-come-true.
When it comes down to it, however, always be prepared for the worst scenario. If you were consistent, professional in your behavior, communicative, and you put forth your best efforts to encourage timely payment, you can rest assured that you did everything on your part. Don’t be afraid to take action at this point – deliver a “late rent” or “notice to pay” notice and begin the eviction process. Being a landlord is a business, and in business, there are certain things that cannot be overlooked.