As a Tampa property manager, one of the most common issues we hear from everyday landlords is about late rent payments and how to avoid them. Sometimes late payments are inevitable with life’s sticky situations, and a little flexibility may be required. Even your best tenants will forget to send the rent check on time here and there. But flexibility should not be mistaken for acceptable behavior. If you find yourself dealing with rent collection issues these three easy steps may remedy your problem:
Step 1: Appropriate Preventative Measures. The best way to avoid late rental payments is by pre-screening potential tenants to determine their track record. Tenants with good track records tend to pay their rent on time, whereas tenants with not so good backgrounds will typically give you a little more trouble month to month when it comes to payment.
Step 2: Enforce the Rules. The key to avoiding late rent payments is to have a clear and concise policy in place within the lease agreement, and then enforcing it. Your policy could include incentives for paying early, fees for late or skipped payments, and a course of action for uncollected fees. Any fees for late or skipped payments should be reasonable and justifiable. Enforcing your policy early on during the tenancy will help prevent future late payments and bad habits from your tenants. Be wary of little white lies like, “The check is in the mail” or “I sent it to the wrong address”. While it is true that people do make mistakes, the best policy is the one that is strictly enforced.
Step 3: Make it Easy. Offering your tenants with convenient payment options will likely increase your odds of receiving payments on-time. Some of the options you could offer your tenants are payment by credit card, check by mail, ACH transfers, over the phone payments, or online payments through PayPal. Although some of these options have fees associated with accepting payments, these tools will more than pay for themselves by significantly reducing your difficulties with rent collection.
If you still find yourself dealing with rent collection issues, we recommend seeking the help of a professional Tampa property manager, such as Wise Property Management. An experienced and qualified Tampa property manager will be able to understand your goals and give you the stress-free results you seek.