If you had to comment on the top three stresses you face as a rental property owner, you, like many landlords, would probably include collecting late rent on that list. You are already faced with a multi-faceted workload, and chasing down Lafayette, CA renters for payment is one task you’d prefer to avoid altogether. There are a few best practices and suggestions that property owner veterans say will help keep your tenants on point with payments, and your stress reduced. Make things easier on yourself and never worry about late payments again, by leveraging some of these tips to avoid having to deal with past due rent.
Reimagine Your Rent Collection Process
A common first step is to review your current rent collection process overall. You may have created a reliable system initially when you first set out as a rental property owner. But now, it’s worth taking a look and making improvements to how you go about collecting rent. Markets change, as do technologies and transactional preferences. If you are struggling to collect rent every month, now is a great time to examine what works and maybe, what doesn’t work, in terms of your agreements, communication strategies, and rent collection processes as a whole. Identifying any problems or breakdowns in your existing approach is the most efficient way to then carve out a solution and a new plan.
No One Enjoys Having the Tough Conversations
Despite your best intentions, some Lafayette, CA renters will simply forget to pay or find themselves facing financial hardships that keep them from paying rent on time. Having the tough conversations with your tenants can be stressful. The terms in your agreement may be firm, but chasing down renters demanding payment can just be downright uncomfortable. Most of the experts will suggest reaching out for a conversation first, to understand the situation. You can then determine and communicate the next steps, whether they be late fees, credit bureau reporting, or even eviction. The tough conversations are much easier to have if you approach them with a voice of transparency and understanding. Setting your tenants up for timely payment success means establishing a clear expectation before they take occupancy. The tough conversations are also easier to execute if you have an ongoing communication strategy with your tenants.
Expand Your Methods of Collection
Some rental property owners feel they’re ready to expand their rent collection process to include additional digital channels and payment options. Digital-savvy tenants sometimes fall behind on rent due to a lack of convenient payment methods. It can be tough, however, for property owners to decide which online platforms work best. Offering app-based or online solutions will allow for quick, convenient fund transfers, setup of automatic payments, automatic incorporation of late fees, and even partial payments. Explore your options and making it easier to pay might be all you need to do to get your renters back on track.
Timely Payments Are Easier with the Right Tenants
If you find yourself routinely dealing with late-paying renters, the problem may not lie within your rent collection process at all. You could have a weak link in your process for vetting potential tenants in the first place. Consider taking a deeper dive into how often you deal with late rent, as well as the ‘why’ behind it. If a tenant truly has come into financial hardship, you may have a one-time situation. But some Lafayette, CA renters are almost professionals at fooling landlords and coming up with excuses for not having rent. If you find yourself facing the latter more often, it’s probably time to revisit your initial vetting process.
If you’re exhausted with late rent payments and ready to make some changes, start with a thorough evaluation of your current strategy. You can then identify those areas that may need improvement on your end. Or, maybe it’s time to partner with the experts who can help. Stop stressing or guessing if your renters will be paying on their due dates.
Contact PMI CONTRA COSTA today to explore how our team of Lafayette property managers can help protect your rental investment, and keep those payments coming on time.