COVID-19 has turned the world upside down. Here in the United States, nearly 36 million Americans have lost their jobs. Many people are now unable to meet their monthly expenses, including their rent payments.
As a property manager, you’re responsible for ensuring your team has a plan in place to assist tenants during this time. That includes managing late rent payments.
There are many things to consider when figuring out how to deal with a tenant’s late rent payments while you’re focused on the many aspects of property management.
Managing late payments during a crisis isn’t a comfortable thing, but it’s necessary. These tips will help you collect rent on time, while ensuring your tenants feel secure in their decision to choose your property as their home.
Most states have passed a temporary hold on rent payments. You can help your tenants prepare for the future by providing them payment options that allow them to make the smallest payments feasible, each month. When the temporary rent hold has been removed, tenants will not be completely delinquent on rent and can continue to make timely payments.
A property management system with a reliable notification feature can help you maintain seamless communication with tenants, and set up reminders for rent payment.
Eviction bans can put your property at risk of non-rent payment from tenants. To prepare, research county or state housing assistance programs and apply for them now. Not only will you be insured, but you will provide your tenants an extra layer of security as well.
You should understand that many people are currently out of work. They also may be apprehensive about pulling money from savings to pay rent during these uncertain times. Taking advantage of assistance programs will give you the flexibility to keep your property functioning despite late payments.
If you’ve shut down amenities during the crisis, you can make up for it by discounting rent. Lower rent might make the difference between on-time and late payments for some tenants experiencing hardship.
If you are unable to give an immediate discount, you can offer a reduced rate for thos who re-sign. This is a gesture of goodwill to your current tenants, and increases your chances of keeping your units occupied in the future. You’ll likely be able to hold on to some of those renters who were thinking about downsizing or finding a cheaper rental until the uncertainty passes.
You probably have tenants who paid up to a month or two in rent as their security deposit. If they are unable to make rent, you can offer them the option of forfeiting that security deposit. They can remain current in their payments with an agreement that they replenish the deposit when they are able to.
It’s a hard time for everyone. Be considerate, put your tenants first, and work together to identify solutions. Help them navigate these hard times without the stress of losing their home, and you won’t just retain these tenants for a longer period of time.
You will build a positive reputation that will outlast the pandemic.
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