The number one rule to remember when you have tenants who aren’t paying rent on time is that it’s better to work with them than to evict them immediately. Your biggest cost as a homeowner with rental property is turnover. There are a number of costs associated with preparing the property for a new tenant, you have no rent coming in during a turnover and there are maintenance and repair expenses as well as utilities. So many expensive things happen during a turnover. We don’t want you to pay for those things, so we always recommend that you work with these slow paying tenants.
A good way to work with tenants who are late is to use constant contact. If the tenants don’t pay by a certain day of the month, we start phone calls and we drive by the property. We want to know what’s going on and we want to be sure that they haven’t skipped out. If they are still there, we want to start enforcing the rules of rental payment. Tenants know up front that we will enforce the lease. We will charge late fees and do everything we can to make sure they know we are serious about collecting rent.
When you’re working with tenants to get the rent paid without eviction, payment plans that are specific and enforced can be helpful. We have set up payment plans in the past, and most of the time they work just fine. It keeps you from feeling like you have to evict too fast.
Timelines in Texas
The good thing is that we are in Texas. In some states, it takes six to eight months to evict. Here, it can be done in 30 to 45 days. I don’t necessarily recommend that, but sometimes it’s okay to go a little longer when you’re working with a tenant because you know that if you end up needing to evict, the process can be done quickly. Eviction isn’t expensive but turnover is. So we do what we can not to evict that tenant.
The best way not to evict is with good tenant screening. We take a lot of time to do a thorough background check so we don’t have to go through this. Evictions happen maybe one percent of the time. It’s not something we have to do every day. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us at Terra Residential Services.