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7 Insider Secrets to Get Your Tenants to Pay Rent on Time

The last thing you want to deal with as a landlord are late-paying tenants. No landlord in Richmond wants to have to chase down their tenants each month, asking them to pay what’s due and owing for rent.

richmond property manager asking tenant for rent

The best way to handle late-paying tenants in your Richmond property is to prevent it from happening in the first place. How is this possible, though?

By the end of this article, you’ll know seven of the absolute best tips to get your tenants to pay their rent on time every single month.

1. Clearly Communicate Your Expectations

As a landlord, you must assert your authority while still maintaining your friendliness with tenants. This can be a tricky line to balance on, but you can achieve this through clearly communicating your expectations to your tenants.

While your lease agreement should state all of your expectations, your tenants may understand them better if told in person. So, when they first move in, let them know the rules of living there, including when rent is due.

It’s of the utmost important to be clear and concise when giving information about when and how you would like the rent to be paid each month. It may also be helpful to reiterate your expectations in an email so your tenants can refer back to it over the course of their lease.

2. Make It Easy to Pay

Would you be more or less inclined to pay something if it was a difficult process to do so? You would probably push it off for as long as possible. The same goes for your tenants if you create a difficult process for paying rent.

So, make paying rent as convenient as possible. Nowadays, the easiest way to collect rent is with online payments. From PayPal to bank transfers to Venmo, tenants are more likely to pay their rent on time when they can do it with a few clicks of a button.

In fact, 57% of tenants say that being able to pay rent electronically is very important to them while renting a home.

It’s fairly easy to set up, and you’ll have records of when and how much your tenants paid their rent to you. This information is crucial when filing your taxes and completing the bookkeeping for your business.

3. Enforce a Late Fee

Scare your tenants into paying their rent on time with a late fee. With each passing day, you can raise the late fee they owe you. You can start it at $50 and increase it by $10 each day the rent is late.

It is common courtesy to give your tenants a grace period, though. Usually, landlords will allow four or five days after the first of the month (or whenever the rent is due) for some leniency.

However, after this grace period ends, you may enforce a late fee on your late-paying tenants. The only issue with this method is that you then have to chase them down for the late fee as well as the rent.

It’s up to you to decide whether or not to enforce this, but it has proven to be effective for some landlords.

late rent fee sent by richmond property management company

4. Incentivize Early Payments

What if your tenants actually paid their rent early? That would be a rare occasion for most landlords in Richmond. However, you can actually encourage this habit by giving incentives to your tenants.

An incentive for paying their rent early could be a discount on one month’s rent if the tenants pay early for three months in a row. Or you could simply show your appreciation by bringing them a gift basket or gift card to their favorite café.

Enforcing a late fee and rewarding early payments simultaneously could actually get your tenants to pay their rent on time, according to science. These reward and punishment systems working together have proven to be effective in many situations.

5. Ask Why Rent is Late

We know you’re running a business with your real estate investment and taking on the responsibility of being a landlord, but your tenants are people too. Sometimes you just have to ask them why their rent is late for the second month in a row.

While you don’t have to accept any crazy sob stories from your tenants, it’s important to still show some empathy when possible. Depending on the situation, maybe the two of you can work something out so that they can pay rent on time for the rest of the lease’s duration.

6. Screen Tenants First

The best thing you can do to prevent your tenants from paying their rent late is to screen them before they sign a lease. Get to know the tenants better before agreeing to let them live in your Richmond property.

A thorough tenant screening usually includes a background and credit check, income statements or pay slips, and interviewing references such as previous landlords. These will all give you a better idea of whether or not the tenant is a good fit for you.

If speaking to a prospective tenant’s previous landlord, ask if they had any issues collecting rent from them. When reviewing the tenant’s finances and income, ensure they aren’t spending more than 30% of their paycheck on the rent. If it’s more, it could cause issues later on.

7. Send Reminders

You can also send your tenants friendly reminders that their rent is due a few days beforehand. This can be in the form of a text or email. Calls aren’t necessary.

This could be seen as passive-aggressive by some tenants, so you may want to ask them if they would appreciate a reminder each month when they first move in. Some people are aware that they could use the help.

Never Deal with Late-Paying Tenants Again

What if you never had to chase another tenant down for a late rent payment? It sounds almost impossible, right?

Not when you work with Hylton & Company — Richmond’s leading property management company!

Our professional systems and team members will collect the rent from all your tenants each month, so you don’t have to worry about it! Let us do the hard work while you sit back and enjoy your passive income.

Call us today to discuss how we can help take the stress out of owning a rental property in Richmond!

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