Why Tenants Don’t Pay the Rent (and What To Do About It)

by Chris on June 27, 2011

If you’ve been a landlord for any length of time, you’ve probably heard one of these classic excuses for why a tenant won’t pay the rent:

“I forgot it was the first of the month already.”

“I can pay half now, and I’ll have the rest in two weeks.”

“I’m on vacation.”

“I had to pay my (insert any random bill here) or they would have shut off my service.”

“I decided to move.”

The common thread in these–and any excuse for not paying rent, is a lack of concern for the consequences.

If another creditor, like the cable, phone or credit card company doesn’t get paid, they can stop the tenant’s service almost immediately. But a landlord’s hands are tied by rules and regulations requiring advanced notice and grace periods before a tenant is finally evicted.

And, the tenant knows this.

There are some things a landlord can do to increase the chances for getting rent when it’s due:

Get in the habit of sending an email reminder a few days before rent is due. This is especially helpful when the first of the month falls on a holiday or weekend and during summer vacation season.

Be flexible with payment options like credit cards, e-checks or other automatic payment strategies. That way you have a chance of getting paid before everyone else and while the tenant still has the money in their account. These options don’t have to be expensive –check with your bank to find out more about automatic withdrawals.

One of the most effective ways of getting on-time rent payments is to sign up to Report Tenant Pay Habits. Tenant Verification Service is a credit reporting agency, and can report a tenant’s pay habits. If the tenant pays on time, they are rewarded with a Certificate of Satisfactory Tenancy and continued good credit. If the tenant pays late, there will be immediate consequences.

This ‘carrot and stick’ approach is a highly effective way to make your tenants realize their payment priorities.

This post is provided by Tenant Verification Service, Inc., helping landlords reduce the risks of renting with fraud prevention tools that include Tenant Screening, Tenant Background Checks, (U.S. and Canada), as well as Criminal Background Checks, and Eviction Reports (U.S. only).

Click Here to Receive Landlord Credit Reports.

Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as legal advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual legal counsel or consulting your local, state, federal or provincial tenancy laws.

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