A landlord hands keys to tenant.The process of collecting rent can be one of the most precarious situations for landlords to deal with. The value that you get out of your property is dependent on tenants to pay their rent on time, per their contract. However, if both you and your tenant have a clear understanding of your responsibilities, then rent doesn’t have to be a stressful process, if setup correctly.

Here are some tips that simplify the rent collecting process and make life easier for you and your tenants:

  • Use an automatic payment system for tenants to use to pay rent that deducts the money at the same time every month.
  • Allow tenant to pay bills online, rather than use checks. This should be essential in today’s world.
  • Don’t use cash. Ever.
  • Use automated alerts to remind your tenants about upcoming rent before it is due.
  • Have a grace period of a few days that tenants can pay rent within.

Pick the right tenants

At the end of the day, no matter how streamlined your rent-collecting processes are, you still may not get paid if you have a bad tenant. Renting property isn’t a business model where you should serve every customer. This doesn’t mean judge a book by its cover, but it does mean following up on references, credit reports, background checks, and whether or not they actually have income.

Be clear and consistent with consequences

If you are a landlord, then there are going to be times when a tenant fails to pay rent by the agreed upon date. Eventually, it will happen. It’s practically a natural law. When this does happen, it is important to enforce the penalties that were agreed upon by the tenant. The terms for what happens when a payment is late should be clearly identified in the lease agreement.

Keep good relationships with tenants

Good tenants will actively be responsible and pay on time. Getting good tenants largely comes down to proper vetting techniques, but you can actually get better tenants by improving your own relationship with the tenants you already have. Having a good rapport with tenants gives them further incentive to pay rent on time, as it helps them maintain that relationship, as well. While we said above that you should be consistent with the penalties for late rent payments, it may actually be beneficial to waive such a penalty if it only happens once, as it can improve the tenant-landlord relationship, but be very clear that it will only be waived once!