Every landlord who has ever rented out a property harbors a concern that their tenants may not pay rent consistently. To effectively earn money and have a pleasant and stress-free rental experience, you need to know that your rent will come in on time. It’s an excellent reason to have a strict screening process in place and to use a Santa Rosa property management company to lease your home.
Today, we’re talking about some of the ways you can collect rent effectively. Ultimately, you can evict a tenant who doesn’t pay rent, but in California, evictions can be time consuming and expensive. It’s better to ensure you’re working with tenants who are responsive and responsible.
Try these rent collection tips, and contact a property manager if you’re still having trouble getting your tenants to pay on time.
Set Rent Collection Policies and Expectations in the Lease Agreement
You’ll need to let your tenants know what your expectations are before they even move in.
Talk about when rent is due, how you expect it to be paid, and what the consequences are if it’s paid late. All of this should also be documented in the lease agreement. When you offer your tenants a variety of ways to pay rent, you’re more likely to get it in on time. Offer online or electronic rental payments, let them know if you have a grace period, and explain how the late fees work if rent isn’t paid on the day that it’s due.
Communicate Openly and Transparently
When tenants are late with rent, they tend to avoid their landlords. Make sure you create a relationship where they’re willing to talk to you. If rent is going to be late, you’re better off hearing about it before the first of the month. All late fees should still apply, but you want your tenants to feel comfortable communicating with you if there’s a problem.
Reach out to your tenant if the rent is late and try and find out what the problem is. Be professional and kind. Usually, you can rectify the issue, especially if it’s an otherwise good tenant. If the rent is going to be late, set a date for the rent to be paid.
Stay Firm and Be Consistent with Santa Rosa Tenants
Once you get the late rent, you can reinforce your expectations moving forward. Don’t let your tenants think that by accepting rent late one month, you’re going to be okay with them paying whenever they want going forward. Consistency is important.
Nonpayment of rent is considered just-cause for eviction. Even though you probably don’t want to evict your tenant, it’s still a good idea to get the process started in case rent never does come in or your tenant is non-responsive. Serve a Pay or Quit Notice so you’re formally informing your tenants that rent has not been paid and they either need to catch up or leave the property.
The goal is to ensure your tenant doesn’t get into the habit of being late on rent. This will become a problem for you if you have to chase them every month. Set the terms and expectations immediately. You may have a situation where it’s a job loss or something that’s causing the problem, and if it doesn’t look like they’ll regain their financial footing, you may have to talk about terminating the tenancy.
Good communication, solid and consistent policies, and an understanding of leasing and landlord/tenant laws will help you collect rent on time every month. If you’d like some help, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Redwood Residential Property Management.