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Landlord’s Guide to Handling Late-Paying Tenants (+ Prevention Tips)

renter in phoenix holding overdue rent notification

One of the most frustrating parts of being a Phoenix landlord is dealing with late-paying tenants. You already have the responsibility to maintain the property, make sure tenants are satisfied, and pay the bills. Chasing renters down for their rent is just one more inconvenience.

When tenants are consistently late paying their rent, your first instinct may be to evict them. However, this can cause more issues than before. Fortunately, there are some remedies to get the rent on time and even prevent late payments in the future.

If you’re tired of asking your tenants to pay their rent on time each month, this article is for you!

What to Do When Tenants Pay Their Rent Late

So, you’re still waiting for your tenant’s rent to arrive. It’s been a few days – maybe even a week – since the due date, and you’re getting anxious. This can be a nerve-wracking time, and steam may be building up inside you.

Before you do anything drastic, like leave an eviction notice, try these steps first.

Communicate with Your Tenant

The best way to resolve an issue with a late-paying tenant is to simply communicate with them. Let them know you are frustrated that they are not holding up their end of the deal as stated in the lease.

This conversation isn’t only about you, though. You have to understand your tenant’s side of the situation as well. Maybe they are between jobs and waiting for their next paycheck. Or they simply need a reminder each month because the days slip away from them.

Whatever the issue is, this is a great time to figure out a solution to the problem. Communication is a powerful tool that is absolutely necessary for landlords in Phoenix (and everywhere) to have.

Keep Your Cool

Remember that steam that’s building up because you’re tired of dealing with late-paying tenants? Well, you’ll have to let it out before you talk to your tenant.

It’s essential to keep a landlord-tenant relationship professional and respectful. You can’t approach your tenant and start yelling at them that you want your money.

Before you confront your tenant, prepare what you would like to say to them. This will help you lead the conversation to a solution and maintain a good relationship with your tenant.

Don’t Delay Confrontation

Confronting your tenant about late rental payments isn’t the easiest thing to do as a landlord. It’s easy to have faith that next month they’ll pay their rent on time. But then it becomes two months, then three, and so on.

The first instance it happens, let your tenant know that you are unhappy with this behavior. This can act as a warning. However, the second time it happens, schedule a meeting to discuss the situation in person with them.

Impose Consequences

In your lease, you may have written that a late fee will be enforced if tenants are late with their rent. Usually, landlords allow a grace period between the rent’s due date and when a late fee goes into effect. This is typically three to five days.

Remember, you cannot enforce a late fee on your tenant if it is not stated in the initial lease they signed when they first moved in.

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How to Prevent Future Late Payments

Now that you know what to do when a tenant is late with their rent, how do you go about preventing it from happening with future tenants? As you can see, you could spend a lot of time on this issue if you don’t take the proper steps to prevent it from happening.

Convenient Payment Methods

One of the best ways to ensure tenants pay rent on time is to make it easy for them to do so. With the convenience of online payment methods, tenants can send their rent to you with a click of a button.

In fact, having an online payment method is important to 57% of renters. This is especially true if you are targeting millennial renters, which make up a huge portion of the market.

Screen Prospective Tenants

Before you collect a security deposit and allow them to sign the lease, make sure to conduct a thorough tenant screening. You don’t want to let just anyone live in the investment property you worked so hard to obtain.

When someone is interested in leasing your rental, ask them to complete an application with their personal, employment, and financial information. They should also provide references for you to contact and ask any questions you have about them.

When you see your tenant has a stable job and sufficient income to pay the rent, you can have more confidence that you will receive the rent promptly and they can pay it.

Work with a Property Management Company

The easiest way to ensure rent is paid on time is to work with a professional and reputable property management company.

From acquiring and screening new tenants to collecting rent each month and even managing the eviction process, if necessary, property management companies are a saving grace for landlords.

If a tenant is late with their rent, property managers have the essential resources and training to ensure they collect that rent. Rather than you, the landlord, chasing down your tenants, your property manager will do it. Therefore, you save a ton of time and stress, so you can focus on other things you enjoy.

Never Have a Late-Paying Tenant Again with Real Property Management Phoneix Valley

When landlords work with a professional property management company like Real Property Management in Phoenix, they can expect to get their rent on time. We are proud of our reputation of having a 97% rent collection rate!

Landlords can rest easy knowing their properties are in professional hands and managed with skill. While we maintain and manage your property, you have all the time in the world to relax, enjoy your passive income, and pursue your next great venture. 

Contact us today to see how we can not only increase your rent collection but also your rental income!