How to Get A Tenant To Pay Rent
Some of these include legal proceedings. Which way is the best for you?
1. Find Out What Is Going On
If you have a tenant who has paid their rent on-time without an issue for years, but then suddenly comes up short, there's a good chance that they have an emergency situation going on. Medical bills, an accident, a death in the family, or getting laid off from a job are all within the realm of possibility. Do you really want to lose such a reliable tenant? Or do you want to give them the chance to make things right?
The second option here is usually the best one. Find out what is going on, work out a payment plan that works for both of you, and you'll have solved the problem.
2. Send a Notice to Pay or Quit
Sometimes you need to take a very hard stance on tenants when it comes to the rent. It begins with a full outline of the details that are required to meet payment obligations. If these obligations are not met, then you have the right to send a notice to pay or quit in order to get the tenant to pay their rent. This works in a majority of cases and in the end, most property owners get a late fee as well – an added bonus for the inconvenience.
3. Offer Multiple Payment Options
If you're only accepting cash or checks at the office, then you're behind the times and could be losing money and tenants because of it. At the very least, offer tenants the option to pay with a debit or credit card. An online portal or pay by phone option will also help people who need to pay in a hurry. An office dropbox that allows for afterhours payments is also a good idea. For landlords or property managers on the forefront of payment solutions, PayPal and even BitCoin are viable options for payment as well.
4. Have Automatic Payments
Other businesses utilize an ACH payment system for reoccurring payments, so why aren't you? Give tenants the option of having their rent automatically deducted from their bank account every month. They won't have to worry about finding time to write you a check or punch in their credit card information and you have a pretty reliable method of getting paid. If the ACH doesn't go through, however, you may have to initiate collection procedures.
5. Offer Rewards
Good tenants deserve to be recognized. If you have tenants that always pay on time without exception, let them know you appreciate their efforts in some way. Go beyond the typical fruit basket or thank you card. Look for gift cards, free coffee, or maybe a meal at their favorite restaurant as a better way to say thank you. That might also get you another 12 month renewal from that tenant and it won't hurt your reputation either.
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