How to Collect Rent Effectively - dummies

By Robert S. Griswold

Part of Property Management Kit For Dummies Cheat Sheet

It’s your job as property manager to collect rent. You can make this routine task fairly straightforward by instituting some basic policies and following them for every tenant. Use the tips in the following list to devise and hold to your own rent-collection policy:

  • Have a written rent-collection policy and go over it with each adult tenant prior to move-in.

  • Institute a firm policy that rent is due on or before the first of the month.

  • Always follow your rent-collection policy, starting the first time a tenant’s rent is late.

  • Provide tenants with electronic funds transfer info or with stamped, preaddressed or business reply envelopes to make it simple for them to pay the rent on time.

  • Refuse partial rent payments. If you feel that you must accept a partial payment, have the tenant sign a partial rent payment agreement and personally serve new legal notices for nonpayment of rent.

  • Accept only one check for the entire rent if more than one tenant lives in a rental unit. This strategy helps you collect the rent more efficiently and reinforces the fact that each of your tenants is legally responsible for paying the rent.

  • Enforce and collect all charges for late and returned checks or dishonored electronic payments.

  • Accept only cashier’s checks or money orders if a tenant has two returned checks or dishonored electronic payments.

  • Consider incentives to encourage prompt rental payments. Be sure to offer all incentives to all residents equally.

  • Promptly serve all legal notices to protect your legal options, even if you believe that your tenant will fulfill his promises.