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Collecting rent is a significant part of your job as a landlord. But  it can also be one of the toughest. What, for example, do you do when a tenant gets behind on rent?  This can be an especially sticky situation if the tenant in question has gotten laid off or is experiencing other serious issues that are interfering with his or her financial stability.

The first time this happens, go to your tenant and ask what the problem is.  You can do this in person or by letter. Either way, keep a friendly and professional tone. No matter what may be going on don’t become emotionally involved in your tenant’s problems.  If the rent remains unpaid after your intervention and after a predetermined dated, then you’ll need to begin the eviction process.

You can also opt to have your tenant’s wages garnished.  Garnishment is a legal process that allows creditors to take a specified sum from a person’s wages, income tax refunds, or bank account to satisfy debts such as back rent. If you choose to do this, you’ll need to know where your tenant works and have his or her social security number.

Garnishing income tax refunds or a savings account is more likely to give you most of what you are owed.  Just as when you garnish funds from a tenant’s wages, you’ll need to have his or her social security number as well as the name of the bank where the savings account is located.

You can also garnish income tax refunds to be paid the following year. You’ll need to file papers by no later than the fall to collect money being refunded in the next year. Be sure you know when the exact filing deadline is, otherwise you may find yourself unable to collect what’s owed you through this particular process.

The experts at Herman Boswell are experienced professionals who know just how hard it can be to not only get the rent you’re owed, but also deal with tenants who won’t–or can’t–pay. We help you manage your real estate investments with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of satisfaction.  Contact us today!