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Get Paid On Time: Rent Collection Tips for New Landlords

It’s not uncommon for first-time landlords to make mistakes. One of the most important lessons that they learn (the hard way) is making sure that tenants pay rent on time. Even if you know your renters because they were recommended by a friend or family member, remember that late payments are detrimental to your business.

Last week, I heard a story of a landlord who was okay with late payments because his tenant was doing him a huge favor. In the beginning, the tenant was two weeks late with rent. Eventually, weeks turned into months.

If you want a profitable business, you need to safeguard your cash flow. While proper rent collection is basic, it’s often taken for granted. To spare yourself the trouble of receiving late payments, I’ve prepared 5 useful tips.

Clearly state rent payment details in the lease agreement.

I shared about the things that your rental form should contain. Make sure you include rent collection in the form. Specifically, mention the rent amount each month, due date, and rent payment method. Once you have a rent collection policy in place, enforce it. Some tenants may pay late for the first time. It’s alright to let this go especially if there’s a good reason for it. Just be sure that there’ll be no second time around.

Ask the tenant what’s wrong. 

Communication is very important when it comes to rent payments. Never take this skill for granted. In fact, it’s better to over-communicate than to keep silent about the concerns you’ve been wanting to tackle with a tenant. If a tenant fails to pay on time, don’t hesitate to ask what’s happening and when they plan on actually paying you.

Consider automatic rent payment solutions.

Thanks to technology, landlords can now leverage online rent payment solutions that automatically move payments from tenants to your bank. While rent payment tools such as or charge fees, using these tools benefits you and your tenants in many ways:

  • It prevents forgetfulness on the tenant’s part.
  • Appeals to millenial renters who prefer online methods.
  • Does away with paperwork. Documentation is saved online.
  • Eliminates security problems such as lost or stolen checks.
  • Schedule recurring payments.

Offer incentives for early rent payments. 

You may find this unreasonable but yes, incentives do work in motivating tenants to be early with their payments. Nevertheless, you should remember that tenants must be responsible for fulfilling what is said in the lease agreement without being rewarded. If you’d like to give the strategy a try, effective incentives include discounts, gift vouchers, and property upgrades.

Have a strict tenant screening system in place.

The best way to ensure timely rent payments is to enforce a proper screening process. What this means is that you should explore a potential tenant’s background. It would be great if you could call the person’s previous landlord and ask if he or she has a history of making late payments. Also, look at a tenant’s credit report since it’ll give you an idea how well the person meets his or her financial responsibilities.

Final Thoughts

As a landlord, handle things in a professional manner if tenants pay late. Be careful not to infringe on a tenant’s rights because you’re stressed about his or her behavior. You may need to consider giving the tenant a formal “pay or quit” notice. Pursue an eviction if payment still isn’t made on the date specified in the notice.

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