At SJA Property Management, we are leaders in the property management industry, serving the Puget Sound area including Redmond, Bellevue, Kirkland, Seattle, and the surrounding cities. Today, we want to talk about the importance of consistent rent collection. How can you ensure your tenants will pay the rent in full and on time every month?
Set Clear Expectations with Your Tenants
There are many ways to decrease the likelihood that your tenants will not pay rent on time.
For starters, you really need to set clear expectations at the beginning of your relationship, specifically in the lease. You want to establish a business relationship rather than a personal one. That business relationship is going to be governed by the lease agreement as well as the landlord/tenant laws. You want to explain to the tenant that you are going to be fair, but you are going to enforce the lease agreement. You can point out that all parties are required to follow the landlord/tenant laws.
You need to have clear expectations as to when rent is due, when it is late, and when late fees are assessed.
Enforce the Lease Terms Consistently
Landlords have to be consistent with the enforcement of the lease terms. Remember, this is a business relationship. If a tenant calls and says rent will be a week late, you can accept that, however, you need to explain there will be a late fee because under the terms of the lease, rent is due on the first of the month and late on the fifth of the month. Lease enforcement sets a good precedent with your tenant.
Prevent Additional Losses by Acting Quickly
If a tenant has not paid rent despite the requirements of your lease, start the unlawful detainer or eviction action as soon as possible. Serve a Three Day Notice and get in touch with an eviction attorney. The sooner you serve the Notice, the sooner you can have that tenant removed if necessary. Usually, receiving a Three Day Notice motivates the tenant to pay rent. It shows the tenant you are serious about the lease and the rental payments.
If rent still doesn’t get paid and you have preserved your timelines, you can move quickly through the eviction process. You won’t have to wait two weeks or a month to try and get the tenant to pay. If you wait too long to start the eviction process, you’ll lose a month’s worth of rent. Time is of the essence, and you want to make sure you set and follow all the timelines. It’s better to remove a tenant who isn’t paying so you can replace that tenant with one who does pay.
These are just a few tips that have helped us to collect rent on time from tenants pretty consistently. We believe a positive landlord/tenant relationship is crucial to a successful rental experience. We work hard to keep our landlords out of trouble with delinquent renters or non-payers.