There are many things you can do to encourage on-time rent payments as a property owner or landlord. But there are times a tenant will make a late payment or misses a rent payment entirely. It is important to know the best way to handle them in these situations. Most landlords establish a step-by-step process that the tenant can follow to ensure that their response is both timely and consistent.
Encourage Paying On Time
One of the first and most crucial things you can do as a Winston-Salem property manager is to encourage your tenant to pay their rent on time. Some ways to do this are by regular communication and convenient online rental payment options. Be in contact with your tenant – even when things are going smoothly- as it encourages better and constant communication when things get hard. What’s more, you can help motivate your tenant to keep their payments on time by making rent payments easy and convenient.
Check Payment Records
When a tenant’s rent payment is still overdue, the next thing to do is to double-check your information and make sure that it’s late and that you didn’t forget to log it properly. Also, double-checking your lease documents can help determine whether your tenant is still in the agreed grace period for on-time payments. Sometimes a late payment isn’t late. It is crucial to have your facts straight before you move on to the next step.
Send a Late Notice
When the grace period has passed and you still haven’t received the rent payment, you need to send a reminder to your tenant about the late rent. This reminder can be official or as friendly as you’d like, but just make sure to put it in writing and document your delivery method.
Call Your Tenant
If you have established regular, positive communication with your tenant, it is necessary to continue that behavior when dealing with a late or missing rent payment. Just by simply giving a friendly phone call to your tenant, you can understand the situation a lot more and figure out why the payment is late. Although your tenant may not want to talk about the details of the circumstances, especially if they’re facing sudden financial hardship, even a quick conversation could accomplish a lot. But be careful not to call your tenant repeatedly or demand payment. This is considered harassment, which is illegal.
Send a Pay or Quit Notice
If you have tried reminders and the rent payment has exceeded your lease’s grace period and multiple late payment terms, it may be time to send your tenant a pay or quit notice. This notice is an official document that expresses your intent to pursue action opposed to your tenant. This notice should have the amount of money the tenant owes, the deadline to pay in full, and your intent to evict if these conditions are not fulfilled. Be sure to stick to state and local laws that govern when such notices can and how they must be delivered to the tenant.
Start the Eviction Process
It may be time to pursue legal action against the tenant if there are no other options left. The eviction process typically needs a court ruling in most places. In multiple places, it is illegal to remove a tenant by force or even change the locks until the court proceedings are over. The proceedings could take months and can be costly for those involved. But to avoid delays or having the judge rule in your tenant’s favor, it is essential to follow the law and the evictions process to the letter.
Keep it Professional
Finally, as you work with your tenant, you may need to keep some things in mind. First, don’t accept partial rent payments Take any amount of money and you will just restart the eviction process from the very beginning. Moreover, be certain to document everything, including phone calls. Finally, it’s necessary to continue your professionalism and keep to the terms of your lease. You may not want to, but enforcing your lease is a crucial part of managing your rental property as a business.
Dealing with late or missing rent payments can be a time-consuming headache. That is why many rental properties owners hire property managers like Real Property Management of the Triad to do it for them. Contact us online to learn more about our quality services.
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