Even the most qualified tenants can break the rules. If you’re a landlord or rental property manager, you’ve likely encountered a few of these problem tenants.
You should expect and prepare for tenants who violate lease terms. Whether it’s skipping rent, missing a late fee, or something else, rule-breaking should not be tolerated. If you ignore these transgressions, tenants will learn they can get away with breaking other lease terms.
Instead, use property management software for violations management. With the right software, you can define and implement penalties for late rent and other infractions.
What’s more, property management software for landlords also allows tenants to view digital copies of their lease at any time. This way, you can be completely transparent about the rules and the punishments for breaking them.
Here are a few steps and tips for tracking violations and fees with property management software.
Establish Rules and Guidelines
Before you can penalize tenants for rule-breaking, you must clearly define what the rules are. It’s expected that you lay out rules and guidelines in the lease agreement.
For instance, what exactly is a late payment? Is it “late” if the tenant submitted the payment, but the funds haven’t been withdrawn? Or are payments “late” if you haven’t received the funds by the due date?
Be sure to clearly define what “late” means, along with any terms you’ll use to enforce penalties. It’s also smart to list and describe property rules (with their respectable penalties) in a rules sheet included in your welcome package at move-in.
Now that you’ve determined your rules, it’s time to assign penalties. Fines are the fairest way to enforce rule-breaking, although more severe infractions might require eviction notices or other action.
Additionally, minor, occasional infractions are less serious than recurring problems (like frequent late payments), which should be penalized consistently and promptly.
Although penalties are necessary, the way you enforce them could damage your landlord-tenant relationships. You need a way to discipline bad behavior consistently while maintaining strong relationships with tenants.
Property management software is the solution to this predicament. With this tool, your software can do the work of assigning fees and fines without your direct involvement. Your tenants will know they can’t make excuses to the software, and therefore their rule-breaking will never be excused or unnoticed.
Late Fee Infrastructure
Late fee infrastructure is built directly into property management software platforms. You can prevent late payments and penalize reoccurring offenders by configuring your software to automatically assign fees to tenants’ accounts when applicable.
Late fee infrastructure on property management software is also highly customizable. For instance, you can designate whether your late fees are a flat fee or percentage-based fee (the fee depends on the amount owed).
You can also customize a grace period. Grace periods give tenants a few days of cushion to receive paychecks and transfer funds.
Property management software is flexible and customizable to your rental business’s specifications. Your software handles the day-to-day challenges of enforcing fees, but you are ultimately still in control. If fees need to be waived or delayed, you can still do so manually.
Your other property rules might involve fines as penalties as well. For instance, you may assign fines after routine inspections if you find property damage, general uncleanliness, another person living in the unit, unregistered pets, or smoking if these behaviors are prohibited.
Property management software also accommodates these fines. You can implement them as separate charges incurred on a tenant’s monthly bill, as well as split fines between roommates in individually divided leases.
Maximize Accountability with Property Management Software
Tenants who signed a lease have agreed to the rules and the penalties. If a tenant breaks a rule that is clearly stated and defined in the rental agreement, you can and should enforce the penalties.
With customizable late fee and fine infrastructure, property management software is the best enforcer of lease terms. Always objective and prompt, property management software gives you the freedom to pursue other goals with the peace of mind that rules and penalties are fairly enforced.
click here for more articles.