How To Get Residents To Pay Their Rent On Time

Whenever a property manager looks at potential residents, their first question is, how do I know this person will pay their rent on time? Is there any way to guarentee it, besides a magic eight ball or a genie? You can ask all the questions in the world, and there would still be that lingering itch of what if they’re not going to pay me on time? There is very little that actually makes this worry go away, until your resident has taken the long run to prove themselves over and over again for an extended period of time. That leaves the question – if you don’t have a perfect resident, how do you get them to pay their rent on time?

1. Ask About Their Pay Day

Sometimes the simplest solution is the answer. When does your tenant get paid? Many people in America live from paycheck to paycheck, which means the days leading up to pay day are harder to get some things done. If your rent is due leading up to pay day rather than after, it may mean that your tenant is late to pay up for the very simple reason that they haven’t been paid, either.

Try talking to your tenant about this, and be a bit flexible. It could be that by altering Rent Day a little bit, your chronically late tenant could be cured of this awful affliction as easy as one, two, three. You can even avoid this problem entirely in the future: add the question to your tenant applications and you can set your rent days around then so everyone is a little bit more at ease.

2. Offer It Online

It’s 2019! If you don’t have the option to pay rent online, then it is time to get started. People pay just about everything online. People can go car shopping on the couch in their pajamas. They can order groceries from their bathrooms and pay their student loans from bed. There are even ways to pay off your credit bills on with a phone app. Paying rent with in-hand, physical paper is time-consuming. It’s another thing they have to schedule into their day.

Just like everything else in this Tron World we live in, it is a lot easier for your residents to pay up on the spot if they can do it online. Offer your residents a way to pay their rent without getting up, and those lazy bones will probably be able to pay you much faster, easier, and yes, on time.

3. To Be Flexible Or Not To Be Flexible

People stick around for property managers they like, and they’re typically the ones who are a bit flexible. If you offer your residents a bit of wiggle room instead of a stickler, no gray area way of life, they’ll want to stick around. Maybe they’re occasionally late by a day or two, but they’ll work harder to keep you happy in the long run. And what’s better than a good, long term resident?

On the flip side, you might look at your current policies and realize you’re being too flexible. If your residents are handing in their rental payments later and later than you’d prefer, you might want to reign it in by enforcing late fees. No one likes fees, and it might just be the key to obtaining consistent, timely rental payments. Sure, it might sour your property manager-resident relationship, but if your residents are taking advantage of your flexible late policy, are they really good residents?

Worrying about on-time rent payments is one of the main reasons that a property manager goes gray. You can’t always know when it’s going to happen, how late the payment will be or how soon it will happen again. Unfortunately, you are stuck knowing it will probably happen at some point. Try these three tips to see if you can offset how often it happens with your residents.

How do you get on time?

Let us know in the comments!

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Nicole Seidner

Cole Seidner is a copywriter here at the CIC Blog. She holds a degree in Writing from Savannah College of Art and Design with a focus in creative nonfiction. Her free time is spent taking pictures of her dogs or reading deep dive analysis on movies that she hasn’t seen.

Comments (1)

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    I give them my rental bank account number written on the contract lease. This way, there’s no mistaking when they actually deposited the rent if it’s on time or not. Also, nobody has to worry if it gets delayed or lost in the mail. Some of my tenants also set up automatic transfer payment from their bank account. It has worked for me and my tenants as well.

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