How hard can it be to collect rent?
It seems like a fundamental part of the landlord/tenant relationship. Your tenants pay you, every month, and you provide a safe, habitable, and attractive home for them to live in.
That is the basis of your rental contract, but rent collection isn’t always as easy as it seems it should be. Tenants might forget. They might run into unexpected financial problems. There may be an issue with the check traveling through the mail, or they may only be able to pay in cash.
The potential for complications is always present. That’s why we strongly recommend that you don’t collect rent at all.
Instead, you should leave it to an Atlanta property management company. We have systems in place that ensure your rent is collected on time every month, without any stress or frustration. You’ll find your money deposited quickly into your own account, and you’ll have access to a detailed, accurate, and transparent accounting report that shows all the income and expenses associated with your property over the last month, quarter, and year.
There are dozens of benefits to partnering with an Atlanta property manager when you’re renting out a property. The collection of rents and the associated financial reporting will make the partnership more than worth it for you.
Here’s how it works.
Establishing a Rent Collection Policy
To collect rent easily and consistently every month, you need a policy in place that is clear and enforced. Your property manager in Atlanta already has one that has been used effectively with hundreds of other tenants. These are the essentials to any good rent collection policy:
It needs to state how much rent is due every month. Maybe this seems obvious to you, but are there additional fees and costs that need to be included with the rent every month, such as pet fees or utility costs? Your rent collection policy needs to state exactly how much is due every month. Let there be no confusion.
The rent collection policy also needs to state when rent is due. Typically, rent is due on the first of the month, but it’s always good to have that in writing rather than to trust that your tenants will assume it. In addition to the due date, you want to mention whether there’s a grace period. When is the rent officially late?
Penalties and consequences for late rent. Make sure your rent collection policy reflects whether there are late fees. How much are they? When are they assessed? How long will you wait until the eviction process is started? All of this must be reflected in your rent collection policy.
Atlanta property managers will include the rent collection policy in the lease agreement. This will provide an easy point of reference for tenants. We’ll also reinforce the importance of on-time rental payments when we meet with your tenants to sign the lease and prepare for the move-in.
With a rent collection policy and a property manager to enforce it, you can count on less risk that your rent will be paid late.
Collecting Rent in Flexible Ways
There should be more than one way that you’re willing to collect rent. Most tenants will want to pay online. Some will want to write a check. You have to be prepared to accept rent in multiple ways, and while it’s difficult for you to be set up for this as an independent landlord, your property manager can facilitate rent collection in a number of different ways.
Online rent collection is especially convenient and secure. Tenants appreciate being able to pay quickly and easily from their phones or their tablets. Using the online portals that property management companies provide, tenants can set up automatic rent payments, schedule the withdrawal of funds in advance, and store bank account information and credit card numbers. It makes rent payments easier to manage and more timely to submit.
The ability to offer online rental payments is an excellent reason to work with a property manager when you need rent collected consistently and on-time. You also have to remember that not all tenants will be comfortable paying online. They might prefer other methods of payment, and working with a property manager means you’ll be able to offer those options. Property managers can collect rent online and with:
∙ Checks – mailed or dropped off in person.
∙ Money orders.
∙ Cash. While we never recommend accepting cash from tenants for rent, there are a number of programs that several retailers offer, where tenants can pay in cash at a 7-11 store or a Walmart or some other retailer, and the money is instantly transferred to the property manager.
Remaining flexible is an important part of getting rent paid on time. Property managers already have plans in place to collect rent in several different ways, depending on the needs of your tenants. Not only will this increase your on-time payments, it will be an important step towards tenant retention. Residents will feel understood and supported when they’re able to pay in ways that are easiest for them.
Financial Statements and Atlanta Property Management Accounting
How are you tracking the income you earn and the money you spend on things like maintenance, landscaping, pest control, and other services? Part of your rent collection process has to be financial reporting and accounting statements.
Property managers are good at this, too.
Our property management technology allows us to easily integrate our rent collection platform with our accounting software. Everything is easy to read and understand, and the entire rent collection process makes sense inside of a comprehensive system of Atlanta property management.
Rent collection is one of the most fundamental parts of renting out a property. The rent you collect is the money you earn; it’s the recurring and consistent income that drives your long term return on investment. If you’ve been struggling to collect rent on time, an Atlanta property management company is your best resource for making sure your tenants understand and respect your rent collection policy.
We’d be happy to work with you on leasing, managing, and maintaining your property. You won’t have to worry about rent collection at all when we’re your professional partners. Please contact us at Clients 1st Property Management, and we’ll tell you more about how we can help.