In the US, the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,180 per month. That's a large sum of money to be collected from a whole host of renters each month.
In fact, some 36% of Americans from 122.8 billion households across the US are renters. If you're one of the landlords worrying about rent collection each month, you know it can be a hassle to get the money collected and on time.
Are you looking for a way to make sure the rent payments that are due actually get paid? Read on for these landlord tips to help you out when it's time to collect the rent.
As you seek out good tenants for your property, it's also important to establish expectations for them. You should not be renting without having your tenants sign a detailed rental lease agreement.
Your lease will, of course, name the rent amount. It can also spell out the due date for rent, how to pay it, and what happens if it's not paid on time. You can't be too specific. The more your expectations are spelling out the easier it is to hold your renter to it.
How to Pay Rent
As a landlord, you'll have to make decisions about how you want your tenants to pay rent and when. It's most common to expect rent to get paid at the beginning of each month.
You will need to decide how you want your rent money, cash, a check, a credit card, debit card, or checking account. The more options you offer your tenants make it easier for them.
You also have to decide how that rent should be delivered to you as the landlord. If you're managing many properties, it often makes sense to offer a tenant portal where tenants can pay rent, get information from you, and even report maintenance issues.
Other payment delivery options include being dropped off in person, mailing the rent, or putting it into a locked dropbox.
For many younger renters, you will get your rent most effectively if you offer an online payment option.
Due Dates and Late Fees
As was mentioned, most landlords decide to have rent due at the beginning of the month. It establishes routine and makes it easier to remember. It's also the industry standard since most leases will also begin on the first of the month.
You also need to let your tenant know if you'll charge a late fee if their rent is not due on time. Late fees are legal if they are spelled out in the lease agreement. Most landlords will offer a short grace period before charging the late fee to the tenant.
For example, the rent might be due on the first of the month. On the second, the rent is considered late. Yet, with a grade period, often a five day window, you don't pay the late fee until after the grace period.
Send Rent Receipts
To protect yourself and make communication clear, it's always a good idea to give a receipt for rent payment. If you use an online system, then the receipt can be built into it.
Your rent receipt should include:
- Tenant’s name
- Rental property address
- Total amount received for rent payment
- Date of the payment
- Name of the person receiving the payment
This protects you in case of disputes about rent being paid or unpaid.
Rent Collection for Landlords
Your goal is to find good tenants who pay their rent on time. Rent collection goes more smoothly if you spell out your expectations for the tenant in the lease agreement and give them options for collecting the rent.
If you have rental property and need help with management, we can help. Contact us today to learn more about our property management services.