Rent collection is an important part of being a landlord in Richmond, and you want to make sure you get paid on time. A few specific strategies will be helpful in ensuring your tenants pay in full and on time every month.
Proper Tenant Screening
Your tenant needs to be properly screened before they even move into your home. When you have a good tenant in place, you are more likely to get your rent paid when you expect it. During the screening process, look for a history of paying on time. If the tenant has had trouble paying before, that tenant will probably have trouble paying again. History does matter, and the tenant’s past performance will indicate how reliable they will be in the future.
Make it as easy as possible for tenants to pay rent. Most property management companies today offer online payment systems, and we have found that paying online means the tenants pay faster and on time. When the tenants pay faster, the property owners get paid faster.
Online rent payment means the tenant has the option to pay rent with a credit card, if necessary. There is usually a fee for credit card payments, but that fee is often a lot lower than a late fee. Make sure your lease requires an appropriate late fee when rent isn’t paid on time. If there’s a small fee, the tenants might be willing to pay later than they should. However, an appropriate late fee will act as a deterrent. Tenants will realize that even though they may not want to pay with a credit card, that credit card fee will be cheaper than the late fee.
Finally and most important is communication. Your property manager should be communicating with your tenants at all times so they will be aware of any situations that might mean rent will be paid late. When you’re communicating, you can provide options and resolve problems. A good property manager will notify you when late will be rent and talk about any other issues.