When you’re deciding how to handle tenants who are behind on rent, remember that you need to follow the laws. Today, I’m telling you what I do when tenants aren’t paying, but you have to remember that we are in southern California, and many of our properties are in Los Angeles or the surrounding cities.
Rent control laws, recent court rulings, and the rise of jury trials have had a huge impact on this process. Certain signs have to be posted on your property when you’re serving a late rent notice, and only a certain amount of rent can be requested when you’re starting the legal process. Some cities will limit the amount of late fees you can collect.
At EGL Properties, we have a strict rent collection protocol. Our goal is to ensure that each resident is treated fairly, while minimizing costs and getting rent in as quickly as possible. As owners ourselves, we understand you have mortgages and other expenses to pay. Cash flow is critical, and this is a business. You have to stay professional and keep your emotions out of the rent collection process.
First, we make it as easy as possible for residents to pay rent. At this point, 80 percent of our residents pay online for free. Or, as an alternative to money orders, we also provide a bar code to tenants, which they can take to 7-11 or other convenience stores to make a rental payment. Those payments go directly into trust accounts, and the payment is recorded. For the remaining 20 percent of tenants who are not comfortable with or don’t trust technology, they can always drop off a check or send a check in the mail. It’s easy, and there are no excuses.
When residents are late, we have a system set up to track them and get them to pay ASAP. It starts with an email or a text that’s sent on the day that rent is late. Then, we make phone calls. Ultimately, if we cannot come to a payment arrangement with the tenant, legal action is taken. Our goal is to be fair and consistent and get rent in. We take the emotion out of rent collection, and get tenants to pay on time.
If you have any questions about your landlord rights when you’re collecting rent, or anything pertaining to LA property management, please contact us at EGL Properties. We’d be glad to tell you more.