If your tenant is not paying rent, you need to establish a collections process. In collecting rent, there are certain things you can and cannot do when you’re collecting late rent.
Property Management Houston: Late Rent
Always be consistent with your collection process. Whatever you do this month needs to be done next month too. Set up a procedure and be consistent. Call every month at the same time if rent is late, or send notices or statements; just be consistent and accurate.
Three Day Notice
In Texas, you have to do some things when filing eviction if it’s necessary. One of the most important parts of collecting rent is sending a Three Day Notice when rent is late. This is required by the Texas Property Code. Send that notice after a tenant is officially late and the grace period has passed.
Always communicate when a tenant isn’t paying rent. Call tenants and let them know what they owe and if there is a late rent payment fee. Tell them what can potentially happen if rent is not paid. Normally, you’ll want to negotiate this quickly and easily. If it looks like the tenants will not pay rent, you may need to consider eviction. In Texas, this is pretty straightforward. You can file the eviction by sending certain documents to the courts and paying the court fees. In Houston, there are a lot of services to help you or you can do it on your own as an owner.
Using Eviction as a Collection Tool
It’s important to do this because the eviction process is a collection tool to utilize that can keep tenants on track. If you aren’t willing to do this, the tenant will continue to pay late and create bigger deficits. If it gets too far out of hand, getting payment will be less likely. Don’t be afraid of the eviction process. It’s not terribly costly and if your tenants do catch up with rent and expenses, you can cancel the eviction and it doesn’t go on their record.
Going to Court
Utilize your eviction process and continue communicating. Let your tenants know they can get out of the situation by paying rent and catching up. If you still cannot get rent from the tenants, you need to go to court and remove your tenants. Having an attorney is helpful in these cases. The tenant and you will have to discuss the situation in front of a judge. The main focus will always be on the unpaid rent. The judge will make a determination and you can move forward.
Take these steps to collect rent efficiently. If you have any questions about a late rent payment or Houston property management in general, please contact us at ELDA Management Services, Inc.
Please note: We are not attorneys or in the legal profession. Always consult an attorney for advice on any legal matters such as eviction.