Today, we are talking about how to collect rent from tenants in Fort Worth. The way you handle rent collection and late payments can be the difference between success and failure as a landlord. Collecting rent on time every month is important to maintain constant cash flow. Your tenant needs to understand this is not negotiable. Your lease agreement must state that the tenant pays rent every month in order to live in the property and the landlord collects that rent in a timely manner. Landlords must inform their tenants of the procedures that are in place for rent collection. Your tenants have to know the expectations of the landlord and what’s required of them. That information should be spelled out in the lease. These four tips will help.
Tenants must know the acceptable methods of payment. Let them know what you accept, whether it’s electronic payments, a Cashier’s check, personal checks, traveler’s checks or some other form of payment. Unless all parties agree to it, we recommend that you stay away from cash payments. Those are hard to track and they can create many other problems.
Next, make sure your tenants understand the place that payment is due. Your lease should state where each payment is to be made on the due date. The payment should be in the right place on the date that it’s due; not in the mail and not on the way to the post office.
The lease also needs to address due dates and grace periods. All rents are due and payable on or before a specific due date. In Texas, you are legally required to provide your tenants with a minimum of a one day grace period before a late fee can be assessed.
For a landlord to charge a late fee, there must be a provision in the lease that specifies the amount of the late fee and when it is assessed. If your tenant pays late, you should charge a late fee. Otherwise, there are no consequences or penalties for paying late.
The lease you sign with your tenant is a contract, and you should follow it to the letter. Use the same rules for all your tenants or you’ll set yourself up for lawsuits and charges of discrimination.
Remember that business is business and collecting rent is your business. If you have any questions or you need any help, please contact us at DeGuire Paperless Property Management.