As Property Managers, arrears can at times, be a time-consuming task. One that seems to include the same tenants, the same conversations and sometimes, the same outcomes day in day out.
So, what can you do differently to get you different results? I know that it’s tempting to stick with the devil that you know. However sometimes we need a different approach.
These following processes may be worth a review:
- Whilst a zero arrears policy sounds great in theory, explain your arrears policy at the lease signing is the best approach. Of course, there is no point in explaining how tough you will be in you don’t actually follow those actions
- Diarise everything, including your follow up. This way, when you start hearing the same excuses you are one step ahead. This also allows you to remind the tenants of the payment promises they make to you. Keep them accountable too.
- If you can, a conversation is always the best option, but in reality it’s not always easy to talk to the person you are chasing for arrears. An SMS to a late payer is more likely to receive a response rather than a call or email. For those habitual late payers, get in early! An advance SMS notice to remind them that their payment is due, before it’s overdue, just might be the reminder they need.
- Payment plans are a positive approach, when you tenants are genuinely struggling. Again, accountability is key here, but show you are willing to help them in tough times.
- It’s important to check your state’s legislative requirements and issue notices on the dates required. If you have a Landlord who is determined not to allow you to issue those notices, make sure you advise them of the reasons why they should and then follow it up in an email, just to cover your office.
Of course, one the most important, and often overlooked area of arrears is communication with your Landlords throughout the arrears process. Keep in constant contact to advise them when the tenant falls into arrears and ensure that they don’t receive a nasty surprise on their monthly statement. And to throw a positive call in the mix, it’s also great to give them a call when the rent has been paid up to date.