The best way to ensure that your rent gets paid on time every month is by providing a few good options for tenants when it comes to how they pay. While you don’t want to welcome them to pay with their collection of pennies and dimes, you do want to offer different ways so that they can choose the method that works best for them.
Collecting rent starts with a strong lease that includes a consistent and sensible rent collection policy. As a landlord in Hampton Roads, you’ll have to communicate that policy to your residents.
Establish a Consistent and Enforceable Rent Collection Policy
Your rent collection policy needs to be clear, consistent, and well-enforced.
In your lease agreement, include a section that indicates the following:
Whether there’s a grace period
What the late fees and other consequences will be if rent is late or unpaid
How to pay the rent
That last point is especially important. Your tenants need to know how to pay the rent. Don’t leave them to unsure about this, or you may have a tenant who tries to pay in cash when you don’t accept cash.
Create a Platform for Online Rental Payments
Nearly everything can be paid for online, and that includes rent. Most Hampton Roads property management companies have been collecting rent online for years, and we have found that tenants appreciate it because it’s easy, secure, and can be done from the comfort of their own homes.
Today, most tenants are going to expect some sort of online rental payment system. They’re not going to want to write out a check and mail it to you. We highly recommend that you offer online rent payment as an option. This may be difficult if you’re managing on your own and you don’t have access to a sophisticated property management software platform like those available to professional managers. However, you can set up a system for your tenants to use an online payment system that already exists. You can have money transferred from their bank to yours as well.
Many property managers and landlords won’t accept cash, and we don’t recommend that you accept it as payment either. It’s too risky and requires extra work on your end.
Offer Different Rent Collection Methods
Most tenants today prefer paying for everything electronically rather than writing out checks and looking for stamps and envelopes. No one wants to go to a mailbox or drop off rent in person. So, provide that service for your tenants and offer online or digital payments.
Remember that while this is often the preferred way to pay, it’s not the only way. Some of your residents may not be as comfortable with technology, so give them other options when it comes to paying rent. Let tenants pay with a check or a money order if they’d prefer. There are programs you can join where a tenant can pay at 7-11 or a convenience store. As long as your tenants have options, they’re likely to meet their rent payment obligations.
If you have any questions about how to collect rent or you’d like to talk about the online rental collection systems available through professional Hampton Roads property management companies, please contact us at Doud Realty Services.