How to Handle Late Rent Payments | Professional Property Management in Raleigh, NC
System - Wednesday, January 11, 2017
The problem of collecting late rent payments can be difficult for landlords, especially if there’s not a system in place. We have talked before about dealing with difficult tenants, and sometimes landlords will create their own problems because they don’t have a set of policies and procedures that they consistently follow with tenants. Today, we’re sharing some of the best practices we use in the Raleigh rental market.
Debt Collection Practices
When you are trying to collect late rent, you are attempting to collect a debt. When you’re collecting a debt, there are disclosures and notices that need to be provided to the tenant. This is going to be hard to hear and understand, but failure to include those disclosures can result in the tenant filing a complaint against you, and you’ll receive fines that far exceed the value of the rent you’re trying to collect. Don’t send texts to tenants demanding late rent, and avoid making repeated phone calls to tenants demanding late rent. Just send the tenant a courtesy notice indicating rent is due with a ledger statement that reflects how much is due to you. If your lease is worded correctly, it will state when rent is due, and tenants will know they are late.
Filing in Court
After the notice is sent to the tenants, file for a Summary Ejectment at your courthouse. Once the paperwork is filed at the courthouse, it may take 10 to 15 days before a hearing date is set. That gives the tenant more time to come up with the late rent. You aren’t required to accept a cure, but if you do take the rent that’s owed before the court date, you can simply dismiss the case. If rent is not paid, however, the court date already has things in motion. After you win, you can file for an actual eviction from the property.
Rent Collection Process
When collecting rent, our best practice is to collect using certified funds. Don’t accept cash. Sometimes we see landlords making arrangements with the
tenant to pay rent by using bank deposits into the landlord’s account. This might seem convenient, but it creates a lot of problems and we don’t recommend it.
The bottom line is that when you have a rental property, you have a business. You need to treat that business professionally, by establishing processes and procedures. If you have any questions about a tenant not paying rent or anything that concerns property management in Raleigh, NC, please contact us at Paramount Realty Solutions.