money | pay rent on time

10 Wise Strategies To Help Renters Pay Rent On Time

Late rent payments aren’t always due to insufficient funds. It could also be due to a tenant’s forgetfulness, inconvenient payment methods, or lack of serious consequences for renters. No matter the reason, landlords must be able to collect on-time rent payments each month. Here are 10 wise strategies to help tenants pay rent on time.


Why Tenants Need to Pay Rent on Time

Contrary to what most tenants believe, the rent they pay each month doesn’t necessarily go directly to their landlord’s pockets. Landlords have a financial obligation to maintain the property so that it is livable and up to code. As such, a large part of the income generated from rent is used to pay for maintenance and repairs, utility bills, security expenses, pest control, garbage collection, insurance, property taxes, property management fees, accountant fees, legal fees, and so on.

Landlords who don’t own their property outright must also pay their mortgage each month. Whatever’s left from rent payments, landlords get to keep for personal use.

However, if tenants are paying rent late every month, landlords will not be able to meet their financial obligations. Without the money to pay for expenses, they will not be able to maintain the standards of living on their property. Landlords will be the ones facing penalties and interest from their banks or creditors. To ensure the success of a property, landlords must ensure renters pay on time.


10 Wise Strategies to Encourage Tenants to Pay Rent on Time

Collecting rent is one of the most challenging aspects of property management. Thus, landlords are always looking for effective ways to encourage on-time rent payments. What is the best way to collect rent from tenants? Here are 10 wise strategies to consider.


1. Screen Tenants Carefully

High-quality tenants are most likely to pay rent on time. When screening potential tenants, make sure to do a thorough background check. You need to assess their credit scores, current employment status, income, and rental history to see whether they will be able to keep up with rent payments each month.

However, keep in mind that this does not guarantee on-time rent payments. Insufficient finances are just one of the reasons for paying rent late.


2. Communicate Rent Policies and Procedures

puzzles | on-time rent paymentsInform new tenants about your rent policies and procedures right from the start. Before moving in, go over the lease agreement with them and make sure they know how much rent to pay, when to pay, and where to pay.

You should also discuss the consequences of late payments such as fees or eviction. Upon moving in, landlords can provide tenants with a welcome packet that includes rent procedures and other important documents.


3. Send Invoices or Reminders Each Month

Most tenants are preoccupied with their busy lives and so, it’s possible that they just forget to pay rent on time. To prevent your financially capable tenants from forgetting, landlords can send an invoice about 5-7 days before the due date.

You may even want to send a text reminder the day before rent is expected. With monthly reminders, tenants can remember to set aside time from their busy schedules to pay rent when it is due.


4. Provide a Discount for Early or On-Time Rent Payments

Nobody wishes to pay more rent than they have to. If you want to have renters pay on time, it might be wise to provide a discount. For instance, tenants who pay on or before the due date can have $15-25 off their rent.

This strategy conveys to tenants that their landlord appreciates their efforts to pay rent on time. To maintain profitability in your business, make sure that the initial rent is already $15-25 higher. This is so that you won’t lose income even while providing discounts to tenants.


5. Introduce More Convenient Payment Methods

Cash or check payments are the most inconvenient ways to pay rent. Tenants have to physically visit the bank or office to pay rent or find a mailbox to mail their checks.

If your tenants are busy with other things, then you are most likely to have late rent payments. To encourage on-time rent payments, you should introduce more convenient methods such as online payments or automatic debit. These benefits landlords as well since it will be easier to keep track of rent payments digitally.


6. Impose a Fee for Late Rent Payments

past due | on-time rent paymentsAs per your lease agreement, tenants who do not pay rent on time are subject to certain consequences. If tenants still have not paid after the grace period, send a written notice to pay rent + late fees or vacate the premises.

If you need a sample letter for a tenant to pay rent on time, you can find a lot of resources online or from your property management company. Do not waive late fees because this will signify to tenants that you are flexible when it comes to rent payments. Thus, they may be more likely to treat the due date as flexible as well.


7. Talk to Your Tenants About Late Rent Payments

Landlords should talk to tenants who cannot pay rent on time. Find out why they are unable to do so. Did they suddenly lose their job? Or, are they going through a difficult situation?

If you see that a loyal tenant is experiencing financial constraints, you can consider giving them more flexible payment options or a deferred payment schedule. However, give this option sparingly as you don’t want tenants to abuse your kindness. You are still running a business and cannot afford to have late rent payments.


8. Report Late Payers to a Credit Bureau

Landlords can report late payers to a credit bureau. Since most renters want to build good credit, they cannot afford to get a bad credit report. Thus, they will be more diligent with paying rent on time.

Make sure that this is clearly stated in the lease agreement and that renters fully understand this before moving in. Landlords must also be consistent with this practice so tenants will see that you are really serious about reporting late rent payers.


9. Proceed with Eviction for Chronic Late Payers

Even with a landlord’s flexibility or consideration, proceed with the eviction process if it is clear that a tenant can no longer pay rent or if a tenant is a chronic late payer. It is a tenant’s financial obligation to pay rent on time.

If they do not live up to their part of the agreement, begin with the eviction process. Make sure to follow the procedure outlined in your lease agreement and consult an attorney if necessary.


10. Hire a Property Management Company

In some cases, late payments are not dependent on whether tenants pay on time or not. For instance, if you live far away from your rental property, you might not have enough time to physically collect the rent.

If these essential tasks are too difficult to manage, you might want to consider hiring a property management company. Your property manager will handle rent collections and other day-to-day tasks so that property owners can relax and enjoy the more positive aspects of having an investment property.


Tenants Must Pay Rent on Time to Honor Landlord-Tenant Agreement

Just like it is a landlord’s financial obligation to make a property habitable, tenants also have certain responsibilities — one of which is to pay rent on time. They are legally obligated to do so the moment they sign your lease agreement. Since there are many reasons for late rent payments, landlords can implement these 10 wise strategies to encourage tenants to pay on time.

If you need further assistance, feel free to browse our online directory for property management companies, HOA management companies, and real estate agents.