Nonpayment of rent is one of the reasons that landlords are allowed to evict tenants in Hamilton. But, you don’t want to rush right to eviction if a tenant is late paying rent. Instead, we have some ideas about how to ensure your rent is paid on time. The eviction option will always be available to you, but try these tips and tricks first.
Proper and Proactive Tenant Screening
The best way to ensure that your rent is paid on time is by screening your tenants thoroughly. It’s important to establish that they are financially responsible before they move in. You also want to make sure they can afford the rental amount you’re charging. Take a look at their credit reports and be wary of any large outstanding debts or overdue payments that are still owed to former landlords, property management companies in Hamilton, or apartment buildings and housing communities.
You also want to verify a tenant’s income before agreeing to lease a home to them. The industry standard is to look for income that is at least three times the amount of rent you collect. So, if you rent out a property for $1,000 per month, you’re looking for a renter who earns at least $3,000 per month.
Consistent Rent Collection Policy
You also have a better chance of collecting rent on time when tenants understand what you expect. If your tenant isn’t paying rent on time, you can explain the lease agreement and your rental collection policies. Your rental contract should explicitly state:
- How much rent is due.
- When the rent is meant to be paid.
- Whether there are grace period days to pay without penalty.
- How rent should be paid; in cash, by cheque, or online.
- What the late fees, penalties, and consequences will be if rent is paid late.
Make sure you’re enforcing those late fees and penalties. If a rental payment is not made when it’s due, you want to charge your late fee every time. Consistency will motivate your tenants to pay on time, and show them that you are serious about having it paid when it’s due.
Communicate Openly with Tenants
Communicating with your tenants is always important, especially when it comes to collecting rent. Make sure you are willing to contact them if rent is late. You might not like confrontation, but you need to follow up with your tenants when the rent isn’t paid.
You also need to be accessible and available if they need to get in touch with you. Perhaps your tenant is aware that he or she will be late one month. Give them the opportunity to call you and let you know so that you’re aware ahead of time, and you don’t have to waste your time chasing down the rent or wondering when it will be paid. If you are open and transparent with your communications, tenants will feel safe letting you know when rent is going to be a few days late.
We know how important it is to get your rent paid on time. We’re here to help. Contact us at Spotted Properties for help putting together or enforcing a rent collection policy.