Let's be honest, although we can try to motivate tenants to be on time with their rent, often this is a result of bad tenant selection, something we hear too often before people joins Cubbi. It is, therefore, crucial to be real and throw in the towel to start looking for better tenants when you know you have exhausted all your options.
If you are with an agent, they should ensure your tenant ensures your property is taken care of and doesn't cause unnecessary disturbance as well as being financially capable (check if your agent doing their job here) - a rule of thumb for this being that the combined tenant income is at least 3 times the rent amount.
Relationship building is nonetheless always important and motivating is an important piece especially when you want to de-frost an otherwise non-existent relationship or if you just want to steer your tenants away from fostering a bad habit by constantly being late by a couple of days.
1. Positive Reinforcement.
Just because tenants are contractually obligated to pay rent on time does not mean they should not be recognised for paying their rent on time. This could be on-time rent payment certificate they can pass on to future landlords to help get their dream home. Help them and they'll help you.
2. Give tenants tools to make and record payments on time.
This one can be difficult for those managing privately or through certain agencies, as it requires technology. It is easy to get frustrated when a tenant is late with the rent, often owners have very little understanding of why the tenant was late.
Being a few days late frequently, often tells you that your tenant is probably not financially incapable but rather the payment options you are offering aren't flexible enough to accommodate their lifestyle. Say your tenant pays rent monthly, but they get paid fortnightly; usually, you'll get the rent on time but the months where the fortnightly pay lands a couple of days after the rent, the owner becomes the victim to bad payment systems. By choosing payment solutions or an agency that allow flexible payment options (NPP, BPay, DirectDebit), this can easily be avoided. Don't just rely on one option but give the tenant the options to be able to choose a method that responds to their lifestyle.
Equally, recording each rent payment as 'Paid on-time' or 'Late' against each rent period paid for, will hold tenants accountable each time the rent becomes due again. They'll know formal records are kept and are accurate that will affect their ability to rent another property.
3. Tell them up front
Before a tenant (read how to select a good tenant) signs the lease and especially moves into a property they should be made aware of the importance and their obligations about their rent payments. Including what happens if they do fall behind. You need to ensure rent is up at the top of their priority list before it's even late. Some tenants just don't understand the importance of on-time rent payments.
4. (Quick) Follow through
What you tell a tenant will happen if they fall behind must be followed exactly if they do. Remember when mum would tell you to eat your dinner or no ice cream but then you got ice cream anyway?
This starts with prompt late rent follow up. The day after the rent was due and not paid in full, a very gentle follow up message should be sent to them via text message. The point is to show them you recognise it's late. Just a friendly reminder, they are likely to already be stressed about it.
5. Maintain the property
Owners should be prompt with repairs and maintenance as they expect tenants to be prompt with rent payments. Not just responding to tenant requests but ensuring is in good condition in general, showing you care about their living standards and your home will show the tenant you care and it's important the rent is paid on time. If you're holding up your end of the bargain (maintaining the property) the tenant is more likely to hold up their end of the bargain (pay rent on time). Might be worth noting that legally the tenant should always pay rent on time even if the owner is slow are responding to maintenance requests.
There you have it, 5 ways to give your relationship with the tenant a booster. Once again, it's important to leave bad tenants behind and foster good ones, but you'll only ever be able to do that with the right tools, legal aid and advice, thus making it pivotal to understanding where the problems really lie. if you are interested in knowing how Cubbi could you help you with a better rental payment solution or to a better renting experience, feel free to subscribe, comment or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.