A tenant background check will help you choose tenants who have no criminal records or who have a stable job. However, this resident screening is not a guarantee that the tenant will pay rent on time. For this reason, you have to have a plan of action in case you are lucky enough to welcome a tenant who always fall behind on payments.
Start on the Right Footing
Needless to say, no landlord would want to welcome a tenant who does not pay rent on time. So early on, during the signing of the lease agreement, make sure to clarify the due date to your tenant. Spell out the mode of payment you prefer, the specific date (and time, if need be), and the late fees you charge for payments not made on time. You may also want to require them to call you when they cannot pay on time for you to decide whether or not you will waive late fees. If it is their first time, or is not a habit already, then there is nothing wrong with being considerate. However, make sure to firmly stress to them that this is the only time you will consider, otherwise this may become a precedent and would make them think that it is okay to be late in paying the rent.
Make Him Pay the Price for Being Late
If the late payments and alibis keep recurring month after month, it is time for you to remind them whos boss. Since you own the property, you call the shots and that you can enforce the late penalty on each day that the payment has not been made. No tenant would like the idea of paying extra so this will be a deterrent for them to fall behind on rental. Since you are making extra money, this extra charge will also assuage you of the stress of not getting the rent on time.
Make Him Pay or Shoo Him Away
If despite the late penalty your tenant continues to fall behind in payment for 2 to 3 days, then you have the right to send out a 10-day notice to pay rent within 10 working days or else they have to vacate the property. Make sure to keep a copy for yourself and consider service times for delivery of the notice. This notice will usually prompt tenants to pay up, but if they dont, you can file for repossession after 10 days.
Turn to The Powers That Be
If after implementing the first three steps rent is still late, inform your tenant that you will report this delinquency to any or all of the various credit bureaus and tenant databases. This will hopefully spur them to cough up. If they still dont, then act on your threat. Take note that to do this you have to pay to sign up for this service. You may also opt to use websites that offer free landlord software where you can post and skim through tenant records using landlord database.