December 03, 2019
5 Ways to Keep Tenants Accountable
Retaining great tenants and filling any vacancies quickly with high-quality renters are two main goals for property management companies. Sadly, not every applicant qualifies as a great tenant. Some might pay late, others might disturb the quality of life for other residents. It’s up to you to keep your tenants accountable.
Here are some key initiatives to keeping your renters answerable to their actions.
1. Screen Them
The first step in accountability is not letting potentially bad tenants slip by. Get permission to run a background/credit check and then call employment references.
Don’t ever skip calling previous landlords. Sometimes, people ask their friends and family members to act as fake references for them. Be sure to ask the landlord questions about the property that only a landlord would know, like number of units in the building or amenities. Fake references often don’t do their homework and know things like number of units in a building. Another trick is to run the phone number in Google.
2. Clearly State Tenant Responsibilities
When signing the lease and getting the new tenant set up, spend a few minutes to go over exactly everything that the tenant is responsible for. Don’t bury these responsibilities (yours and theirs) in the fine print.
If you have rules about paint colors or when to put out the garbage etc., educate your renter. Open communication and mutual understanding is the best start to a relationship. Also provide a copy of the lease and property rules in the tenant portal, so it is always available for reference.
3. Track Payment History
Keep tenants accountable for paying the rent on time with a tenant portal. Residents can log into the portal, view the rent amount owed and due date, and pay directly online with electronic funds transfers, debit, Visa and MasterCard. Whether they choose one-time payments or automated monthly withdrawals, you no longer have to deal with lost or bounced checks.
Your property management system can also automatically apply any late fees, which help avert future late rent payments. You can also send payment reminders ahead of time and escalating collection notes when payment is late.
4. Report Rental Payments
A huge incentive for tenants to pay on time and abide by the rules of the lease is to report your rent payments to major credit bureaus. No one wants to see their credit negatively affected. When you sign up for rent reporting with the credit bureaus, you offer a very real, very tangible consequence of late and missing payments. And, for the great tenants, this offers an easy way to build good credit that can help them get loans and more favorable terms.
5. Manage Tenant Relations with Your CRM
Property management software, ultimately, is a CRM. It’s how you communicate with your tenants (and your owners), and manage every aspect of the lease lifecycle, from move-in to move-out. It expedites tenant applications and screening and can even ensure that your tenant has rental insurance. If you need to keep tenants accountable, you need to have visibility into payment history as well as a record of repairs, maintenance and inspections. You need a centralized view of all communications and tenant-related data, including things like noise complaints. Working with a number of hacked together tools like email, Excel, Word, etc., will not allow you to do this effectively. You need a CRM to keep tenants accountable.
How Property Vista Helps
Property Vista offers online tools and dashboard tools to help you make smart, informed decisions that will increase revenues across your portfolio. All our property management software solutions are easy to use, mobile-friendly and scalable. Learn more about our suite of property management software and see pricing here.