Collecting Missed Rent Payments
A big fraction of success as property managers is based on formulating plans and following them step by step . .and dealing with missed or late tenant payments is no exemption.
We’ve always tried our best to be human with our tenants and know that sometimes good people fall on hard times. What to do when a tenant doesn’t pay or skips? What do you do when the tenant leaves the rental prior to the termination of their lease? The process can differ and depends upon the terms of the agreement. The most vital thing to remember is not to make this too personal – it is business and whereas you can empathize with the circumstances you can’t allow that understanding to blind you to the fact that the not paying rent hurts your company. You need to have a precise policy set for dealing with the delinquent accounts.
The big picture here is you need to have a plan and follow it. What will you do if the tenant contacts you prior to the rent due date to let you know the upcoming trouble? This shows a certain degree of responsibility and an ownership of the problem. Will you be more willing to work with them? Over what period of time are you willing to spread out the payments? Is it all right for you to spread the payments over the next 3 months, etc? At what point does the risk that the tenant will default offset the demand for a vacant unit? Are you dealing with high demand and low vacancies resulting in a fast turnover or have units been sitting vacant making it cheaper to work something out rather than face the cost of a turnover? If they could not pay the rent what has changed that will allow them to pay the next month’s rent in addition to their remaining balance? A good practice would be to simply screen the tenant again based on the new payment.
If the renter has left and owes you money how do you find them? You usually need to find them to have them served with court papers – it’s uncommon that someone that owes you money lets you know where they are going so that you will have the chance to track them down. You know that will help you here? Good records! Especially place of employment and emergency contact information.