San Diego Property Management Blog

An Informative Landlord's Guide to Rent Collection

An Informative Landlord's Guide to Rent Collection

Did you know the average salary for a landlord in San Diego, CA is $72,671?

If you’re looking to take in that kind of income, you’ll need to learn the best practices. That’s where we come in. Use these tips in our landlord’s guide, to make rent collection as simple as possible. 

Be Clear with Your Rent Collection Policy 

Your rent collection policy should include all of the necessary information for you and your tenants. In the case of issues like missed rent or late rent payments, the first place to turn is the rent collection policy. In this policy, clearly outline the following information: 

  • The cost of rent 
  • The day the tenant must pay rent
  • The last day to receive a rental payment before it is late 
  • Fees associated with late, missed, or incomplete payments 
  • How habitual late, missed, or incomplete payments are handled 
  • How rent is collected (cash, check, debit/credit, money order, money lending app, etc.) 

These are just a few of the key items to mention on your rent collection policy. You may also mention deposit amounts, charges for damages, or fees for pets. It should go beyond merely stating the day you collect rent. 

Many states have a cap on how much can be charged in late fees. In California, late fees must be a reasonable estimate based on how late the rental payment is and the cost to the landlord. Additionally, landlords in California may charge up to $25 for a bounced check payment and up to $35 for any subsequent bounced check payments. 

Offer a Variety of Payment Methods 

The days of writing checks or carrying cash are gone. In fact, an estimated 20% of Americans don’t even know how to write a personal check. Therefore, offering a variety of payment methods will make your property more accessible to a wider audience.

One of the most versatile methods is online or e-payments. Services like PayPal, Venmo, Zelle, Stripe, and so on are secure but informal options for collecting payments. Additionally, a property management partner can help you collect tenant payments and keep excellent records. 

Consider Alternative Payment Schedules 

Not all prospective tenants earn a salary or biweekly paycheck. The income of self-employed workers, freelancers, and contractors often varies from month to month and even week to week. Most gig workers put aside money for bills, but it can be more difficult to make ends meet when one’s income is not consistent.

An option to offer workers in the gig economy is an alternative payment schedule. This can include biweekly options or the ability to pay 30 days in advance to cover the next month. 

Get Rent Collection Help from an Established Property Management Leader

Penny Realty, Inc.’s property management team is full of experienced professionals that will help you as a landlord. You can check out our marketing plans and advice on everything from property inspections to rent collection. Take a look at the rest of our site for more San Diego property management services!