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How To Ask For Rent Money Nicely (Plus A Backup Plan)

When tenants don’t pay rent on time, you are put into a difficult situation. Landlords need to take swift action to ensure that their business doesn’t suffer due to late payments, but not all landlords will be ready to move straight to eviction.

Landlords like you should always have a good grasp on what can be done to get your rent as quickly as possible. Waiting too long to get paid can be devastating, so you should always have a plan of action ready to go.

Landlords dealing with tenants that are late for the first time may want to find creative ways to ask for your rent payment before thinking about eviction. Often, the right kind of reminder can change the future of rent payments from a tenant.

Today, we’ll introduce five creative ways to ask for your rent (and what to do when those methods fail).

A Table Of Contents On How To Ask For Rent Money Nicely

  • Five Creative Ways To Ask For Your Rent Payment

  • What To Do When All Else Fails?

  • Don’t Wait Too Long To Get Paid

Five Creative Ways To Ask For Your Rent Payment

1. Offer An Alternative Payment Method

Making it easier for the tenant to pay, even if it might cost you a little bit more, is a great way to encourage a tenant to pay as quickly as possible. If your tenants usually pay via check or money order, you might want to offer Venmo, PayPal, or Zelle as an alternative.

These free services can be used easily, but they may have associated fees. Check into each of these services to see if any of them can work for you and your tenant. Not all tenants will find these to be an easier option, but some will be able to get the payment to you more quickly if they can use these methods.

2. Set Up A New Collection Date (And Stick To It)

If you know that your tenant is struggling to pull their rent payment together this month but it is the first time they are late, you may want to ease their burden by asking for it in a kind way.

Rather than asking the tenant for the money ASAP, set up a new rent due date that is a few days out. Let them know that you will expect the payment by that date, but you understand that they are a bit delayed.

Though you should expect future payments to be on time, asking tenants in this gentle way to pay their rent by a specific late date is a good way to remind tenants that you are waiting and aware, but that you are willing to be understanding for this one month.

3. Sit-Down Conversation

Has the tenant been late for rent for more than one month in a row? If that’s the case, you may want to take a different approach to ask for the payment. Rather than just calling them or sending a message that requests payment immediately, ask if you can sit down with the tenant.

If open to this conversation, ask the tenant some questions:

  • Are they doing okay?

  • Why is their rent late?

  • Is the rent due date the problem?

  • Do they anticipate this problem continuing?

By engaging in an open conversation with tenants that owe rent, you will be able to let them know that you are waiting for payment. At the same time, you and the tenant will have an opportunity to find a solution to their rent problems without having to turn to eviction.

4. Set Up Rental Payment Reminders

If you’re having a regular rent payment issue and are tired of struggling to figure out how to ask for rent money nicely, you might want to try a different approach. The most polite way to ask for payment is to ask before anyone is late!

When you send a reminder a few days before the rent is due, you can be very polite. Sending a reminder about an upcoming payment rather than a request for a late payment is always going to be a more welcome message.

Ask your tenant if they are willing to be included in this type of reminder when they sign their lease or when you implement it. You don’t want to send out this type of reminder unless they are open to it.

5. Offer A Prompt Payment Discount

Ask the tenant in question if they would be willing to set up an automatic payment method for future rental payments. If so, offer a small discount for this setup. The setup prevents late payments and rewards tenants for being more responsible about their payments.

What To Do When All Else Fails?

If none of these alternative methods for collecting rent payments work out for you, you need to quickly and efficiently move to file for an eviction.

Let’s say that rent is due on the 1st of the month. With a five-day grace period (or the applicable grace period in your area), you should be sending out a certified eviction notice on the 6th if payment has not been received. Once the required amount of time has passed, full eviction filings should occur ASAP.

While it’s okay to give tenants a few extra days to get their rent together, remember that the later they pay one month, the more likely they are to be late the next month. It’s important to always balance out being understanding with keeping your position as a landlord strong.

Evicting a tenant for non-payment can be a stressful process, but it is more stressful to not be paid for long periods of time due to unreliable tenants.

Don’t Wait Too Long To Get Paid

While you figure out how to ask a tenant for rent, remember not to wait too long. Time is of the essence. Whether you are going to ask them for it nicely or simply move into eviction proceedings, making sure and swift decisions is necessary. Be confident in your skills as a landlord, and you will succeed!

Finally, remember that the best way to avoid needing to deal with these rent payment issues altogether is to spend more time screening tenants and being sure that you choose more reliable options. The best tenants will keep up with their payment schedule, and that’s what you want to find.

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