Category Archives: rent

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Are Long-Term Tenants Better Than Short-Term?

It’s an age-old question. As a landlord, tenants are your source of income, so this is a business question to consider carefully. When you sign on a long-term tenant, you’re typically committing to at least a one-year lease as opposed to the nightly or weekly contract with short-term renters.

So it’s time to think about some of the pros and cons to signing on a long-term tenant over a short-term renter.

apartment bedroom

Pro: A Steady Source of Rent

A long-term tenant can be a fantastic financial decision. Throughout the lease period you will receive monthly rent, and generally they are responsible for taking care of utilities, internet, and certain upkeep expenses. This makes planning your budget for the year much easier and can provide you with peace of mind. You won’t have to worry about gaps in income because no one decided to rent out your property for a week or two.

Con: Less Flexibility

So market values are going up and you think it’s time to increase the rent. There’s a snag, however; your long-term lease states very clearly that you will only charge a certain amount every month. If you want your tenant to pay more, you’ll have to wait until it’s time to renew the lease.

You also won’t be able to sell, use, or move the property during the period of your tenant’s lease. So any major changes will have to be put off until the end of the lease.

Pro: Tenant Screening

With short-term tenants, you don’t really have time to screen every one. Interviews, credit checks, and references seem rather pointless for someone who won’t be staying more than a week or two. That means you’re basically rolling the dice when it comes to who you’re letting into your property.

With long-term tenants, you do have the luxury of choice, and it’s frankly essential to ensure you thoroughly screen potential renters to find quality tenants. After all, this is a commitment for both of you. You can meet them, check references, ask and answer questions, and decide if this is a person you feel comfortable entrusting with your space. But it means you have a much better chance at getting a renter that will properly maintain the property, pay on time, follow the rules, and communicate with you.

plumbing repair

Con: Harder to Get in for Maintenance and Renovations

If you’ve decided you want to go with a long-term tenant, you unfortunately don’t have the luxury of just popping in unannounced to add a new coat of paint or spray for pests. It can be a logistical headache coordinating with the tenant a period of time for them to be out, moving furniture and belongings, and you might need to compensate them in some way for the inconvenience, especially if they have to stay elsewhere during the process. With short-term tenants you have far more flexibility scheduling maintenance and renovations, as you can simply get these things done in-between rentals.

In the end, it’s up to you whether a long-term or short-term tenant suits your needs. Both have their benefits and pitfalls, so think it over and determine what will be in your best interest.

rent payment

How To Encourage Prompt Rental Payments

To manage a successful property or community, it is critical that all payments are made in a timely manner whether they are meant for rent, HOA dues, or property maintenance fees. Property managers, landlords, and HOA boards have quite the task set out before them to ensure that their tenants and unit owners make payments promptly. 

Property managers wear many hats and collecting payments is one task that many would love to hand off to someone else as it can become a loathsome chore when payments are perpetually late or forgotten. Unfortunately, it is often the job of a property manager to collect payments and manage the financial affairs of the community. 

Here are a few methods you may find useful to help encourage your unit owners or renters to make their payments on time. credit card

Make Paying Easy 

Gone are the days of using “snail mail” to physically mail a bank check for rent or HOA dues. Although many property managers do still allow this method, many have moved on to more efficient and easier ways to pay rent or fees associated with the property. 

There are currently a number of secure online rental apps that many communities are using not only for security reasons but to encourage an easy and prompt way to pay rent. These apps provide notifications when payments are due and allow for digital payment, often in a few simple clicks. 

Email Reminders 

Much of our world has become automated, so remembering a monthly payment should be easy, right? 

Well, for those tenants that need a little nudge, property managers can utilize an automated email reminder in the days leading up to the rent due date. This will be an unobtrusive way of reminding that may help some get their payment in on time. software on a laptop

Reward Promptness

While rewarding renters or unit owners who consistently pay on time may not be financially possible, this is a method that many find beneficial. These rewards, discounts, or small prizes are positive reinforcement and should be a good method to get this prompt payment behavior to be habitual. 

For those who are late with payments, the opposite side of the coin may also be a motivator. Let your tenants know that while there may be a grace period once or twice, after that there will be a late payment charge added to their bill. This may be just the encouragement some may need to get the next payment in on time. 

Use Clear Communication 

Some late payers may need to be retold the guidelines of when and how to pay. Keep good communication going between yourself and your community members. Reminders are great but you may need to touch base personally by phone, text, or in-person to set expectations and communicate your rules about payments. 

Get Legal 

While this step is always the last resort, some tenants fail to make payments at all or habitually make late payments causing the property manager financial stress on their end. In these cases, it is a wise idea to catalog all late payments and let the courts know the situation so that it can be handled in housing court. 

rent payment

Handling Late Rent or HOA Dues Payments

One of the most common sources of anxiety for property managers, landlords, or members of the board of homeowners associations is handling late payments, whether rent, dues or monthly fees. While not an enjoyable part of the job, it is seemingly inevitable that someone will be late at some point during your tenure as a property manager. Knowing how to deal with this somewhat sticky situation is a critical part of the myriad of tasks for managers. 

Capital improvements such as electrical upgrades, installation of new roofs, and plumbing upgrades are just the start of what rent and dues cover for unit owners. Other services such as trash pick up, driveway and parking lot care throughout the four seasons, landscaping, and facility maintenance are among the long list of things that are taken care of from the funds. 

If rent or dues (in an HOA) are not paid regularly and on time, these services may be significantly impacted. The lack of prompt payment can, in turn, negatively impact the successful management of the entire community. In a worst-case scenario, repairs may not be able to be made or financial bankruptcy may be considered. 

Thankfully, most renters or unit owners pay their obligations on time and in full. Here are some tips on handling situations where late payments are occurring. 

Create an Established Course of Action 

When homeowners (in an HOA) or renters in an apartment sign a lease or buy a condo in your community, have a written agreement that each party signs clearly spelling out the consequences of not paying on time. 

Initially, when a late payment is noticed a friendly reminder email or phone call to remit payment can be made by the landlord or HOSA board. If this course of action does not remedy the issue a demand notice may be sent. This statement will explain what is due and that fees will accumulate as each day passes. 

Depending upon the circumstances and whether this is the first time this has happened, a property manager may waive late fees or work out some sort of payment plan. 

If all else fails, services may be limited for this unit or a lien may be filed in court against the property dwellers. 

Avoiding Court 

Most HOAs and landlords would like to spare the expenses of going to court. Therefore processes should be put into place within communities to catch late payments immediately and work out remedies that help the community continue on as well as the unit owner pay their obligations in a timely manner. 

Some communities use automated payment systems, reminder notices that are generated automatically prior to each month’s payment date, and options if hardships exist. 

For more information on setting up payment plans and how software can help your property with payments check out our website and property services