THE ART OF RENT COLLECTION
Being a landlord means that you have to collect rent. This one task is probably the most important – and sometimes the hardest – thing you will do at the end of every month. Rent collecting requires business savvy as well as good people skills. When you really think about it, it’s an art form.
The laws in most states require that rent be paid on the first of the month. In some states, however, tenants must pay their rent by the last day of the preceding month; and in still other states, landlords have the option of determining rent due dates. If you have rented property to someone who wants to move in after the start of the month then things can get a little complicated. You can:
- collect partial rent for each day that remains in month plus a full rent payment when the new month begins OR
- opt to start the rental cycle on the day the tenant moves in and collect payment every 30 days thereafter
You also need to make sure that the rental agreement between you and your tenant clearly states when and how you want to be paid especially if the due date falls on a weekend or holiday. It’s also important to put in writing when rent will be considered late and when you will begin to tack on late fees.
Then there’s the small matter of bookkeeping. You have to keep careful record of payments received for each individual tenant. And in the event a tenant owes you money, you need to monitor the outstanding balance and whatever payments have been made (or not) to clear it (or not) from your books.
As if that weren’t enough, if your lease with the tenant states that he or she can pay for some of the repairs in the rental unit then the tenant can legally deduct those charges from the following month’s rent. And if the tenant feels that there’s a major problem with the rental unit then that person can legally withhold rent until the situation gets resolved. And as with everything else, you have to make note of everything and be prepared to deal with an angry–or unreasonable–tenant.
But you have options. The property management professionals at Herman Boswell can lighten your work load by serving as your rental unit representatives. Regardless of whether you lease apartments, condominiums or homes, we have the expertise you need to maximize the returns on your investment. Contact us and make your life easier today!