Landlords face a multitude of problems when they manage or lease out apartments or houses, but most agree that there are three major problems they have in common. If they can surmount these issues, they will be on the road to stress-free rental management.
Tenants Who Are Behind on the Rent
Every landlord has that one tenant who can’t seem to pay their rent on time. They always have a story about why they can’t pay on time or they simply avoid their landlord. If this is a recurring theme with your tenants, it’s time to take action. You can try several different techniques depending on the reliability of the tenants:
- Offer a payment plan that works for your tenants. Maybe your tenants get paid bi-weekly or weekly. If so, consider letting them pay you on their pay days. While this means collecting rent more often, it also gives tenants the chance to pay when they are flush with funds.
- Offer tenants who pay on time a discount on their rent payments.
- Offer tenants a discount if they will set up an automatic payment on their bank account. The automatic payments will also mean you won’t have to chase your tenants down each month for a rent payment.
- Charging a late fee of 5% or a flat late fee can motivate renters to pay on time. You need to clearly outline what the late fees are in each tenant’s lease for this to be legal.
Damage Caused by Tenants
You always risk damage to your property when a tenant moves out. Whether they were simply slobs or they damaged your property out of spite or anger, you can use the deposit money you received when they signed the lease to pay for repairs. Always make a visit to the property before your tenants leave and do a walk-through, taking photos of any damage so that you have evidence if they dispute the damage or demand the return of their deposit.
If the damage is so excessive that the deposit money won’t cover the repairs, you can file a civil complaint against them. If you win in court, a Judgment will be filed in your favor. You will have to track down your former tenants, however, and try to get them to pay. In many cases this can be time consuming and tedious. Your best bet at this point is often to turn over the Judgment to a company that specializes in judgment recovery services. They have the resources to track down the debtors, discover any assets they have and get them to pay. A judgment recovery firm such as ABR Judgment Recovery can also make arrangements for a Sheriff’s Sale of your tenant’s assets to recoup your losses.
The Cost of Evicting Tenants
Finally, having to evict tenants is a costly and complex process. This is generally a last resort for landlords for good reason. If you have tenants who are behind on their rent, an eviction can force them to move out so that you can find paying tenants. To get an eviction started, landlords must file the appropriate legal paperwork and pay the court fees. You’ll also have to pay someone to serve the paperwork on the current tenants. Add in the cost of changing the locks, repainting, cleaning carpets, etc. to prepare the property for new tenants and you’ll see why landlords hate to evict someone.
In most cases, you’ll also have to file a Judgment against them for any back rent owed. Once again, a judgment recovery professional can track down former tenants and ensure that they pay what is owed to you. These specialists are adept at tracking down debtors and discovering bank accounts, automobiles and other assets that can be sold or taken to cover the money owed to you as a landlord. By contacting ABR Judgment Recovery, you’ll minimize the time, money and energy you have to spend and maximize your chances of getting what your former tenants owe you.