What do you do when the first of the month flies by and any grace period you offer has passed, but the rent has not arrived?
In this situation, the goal of most landlords is to avoid the expense and hassle of eviction and get the rent and any late fees paid ASAP. This requires effective communication and a good process.
First, let's talk about sending reminders before the rent is due. People feel busier than ever, and a simple reminder could go a long way to getting the rent paid. Set up an automatic email that reminds renters a week in advance that the rent is due. If you have a Facebook, Twitter or other social media account for your property, post a rent reminder message.
Second, let's talk about how residents can pay the rent. Increasingly, flexibility and convenience are the expectation when it comes to making payments. Buy with one click on Amazon, pay by tapping your phone with Apple & Google Pay, and texting someone money with apps like Venmo & Cash are a few examples. In fact, many people no longer have a checkbook! Increase the convenience and options for paying the rent, and you may get paid on a more timely basis.
*Here are a few options to consider:
- Accept ACH payments and e-checks for free using QuickBooks.
- Accept ACH payments using a service like Dwolla.
- Accept payments using the Venmo app.
- Accept payments using the Cash app.
Of course, you can still accept paper checks, but you may want to consider giving more convenient options a try!
*HousingLink does not endorse or officially recommend these services but shares them as ideas to consider
Third, let's look at grace period communication. During the grace period, send an email/text or drop off a note that says, "Wow, the 1st flew by! We haven't received your rent yet, get it in by the X (end of your grace period) to avoid the late fee."
Finally, let's discuss how to deliver the late rent notice. Depending on how your renters prefer to communicate, and how many units you manage, here are some options to consider:
What should the message/letter say?
- Slide a late rent letter under the door.
- Send a text message.
- Send an email.
- Send a private message on Facebook (if you are connected on Facebook or your property has a business page).
- Make a phone call and leave a voicemail.
- All of the above.
Keep it friendly, clear and actionable.
This is a reminder that your rent of $X was due on 'X' date and the grace period has passed. You now owe:
$X - Rent Amount
$X - Late Fee
Total - $X (rent + late fee)
Let us know right away when we can expect payment. If we don't receive your rent by 'X' date we will move forward with an eviction filing. If you need to make a payment arrangement or want to discuss this further, contact us at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email firstname.lastname@example.org.