No matter how carefully you screen your tenants, there is always the possibility that they won't pay their rent or they pay, but their check bounces. It's no wonder that many landlords identify dealing with tenants and collecting money as the worst parts of being a landlord.
If you are dealing with a bounced check, you might be wondering what to do. Not only does it mean you aren't paid on time, but it will also cost you money, as most banks will charge you bounced check fee. Read on for our guide on what to do if your tenant's check bounces.
Talk to Your Tenants
If this is the first time that your tenants have written you a bounced check, have a conversation with them. There is a good chance that they simply made a mistake, didn't deposit a paycheck on time, or miscalculated when the check would clear.
Give them the courtesy of asking what happened and allow them the opportunity to make things right. If it becomes a habit, though, you may have to be more punitive, as it means that their rent is late.
Have a Policy in Your Lease
Because checks that bounce cost you money, you should include a policy in your lease that details any fees assessed due to a returned check.
Bounced checks also cost you money because they mean rent is late. There should be a policy in your lease that addresses this as well. When rent is late, for whatever reason, you should follow your state laws and lease to notify your tenant that they have a certain amount of time to pay their rent.
In Texas, you cannot charge a late penalty until the rent remains unpaid two full days after it was due. If you receive the bounced check notification after two full days have passed since the due date, you can assess late fees in accordance with Texas laws.
If you want to ensure that future checks do not bounce, you can require a certified check from the bank or money order. This ensures that the check will not bounce and that your tenant has the money.
Switch to an Online Payment System
If you want to eliminate dealing with checks altogether, you can create an online payment system. This allows your tenants to pay their rent electronically or to even set up an automatic payment schedule.
This eliminates you having to deposit checks, wait until they are available in your account, and then pay your bills. You receive your funds much quicker when rent is paid electronically.
Never Deal With a Bounced Check Again
The easiest way to never deal with a bounced check again? Hire a property management company to handle your rental properties, collect your rent, and deal with tenants who pay their rent late or bounce their rent check.
A property management company can reduce much of the stress that comes with being a landlord. If you are ready to let someone else handle the day-to-day management of your rental property, give us a call at Blue Ribbon Property Management. We can help you will all aspects of the rental process as well as manage your properties for you.