Landlords face challenging times brought on by the COVID-19 crisis and its financial impact on the economy. While we've seen our governments and communities come through with resources to help tenants who struggle with rental payments, what can landlords do when their McKinney tenants still can't (or won't) pay? As a professional provider of McKinney property management, we know that property owners face financial challenges from income loss when their renters withhold rent.
If you have a "day" job, maybe COVID-19 social distancing left an impact on your full-time income as well. Maintaining a rental home and its expenses on top of struggling financially through this time with job loss or income reduction creates a downward financial spiral for property owners. When you can't afford to pay your mortgage, everyone loses—including your renters.
Tenants must uphold their lease agreement obligations to pay the rent every month—regardless of the economy. What can landlords do to encourage rental payments in a crisis? Maybe you've already offered a payment plan, and now you're out of answers. As experts in McKinney property management, we understand this challenging situation. Use our insight to help you survive and thrive as a landlord during this difficult time.
Please note: This article is not intended as a substitute for the great legal advice of a skilled attorney or the expert services of a McKinney property management professional. When in doubt, reach out to RentHub Property Management!
Documentation Is Your Lifeline
Call it a paper trail or digital documentation. Either way, documenting everything during a crisis will become your lifeline when handling tenants who don't pay the rent.
From conversations to emails, texts, and documents loaded into a tenant portal, property owners need to keep detailed records of everything that takes place, including:
- Rental payment reminders
- Tenant responses to reminders (or lack of responses)
- Offers to help with a payment plan
- The lease and details about penalties for failing to pay the rent
- The date of the last rental payment.
As experts in McKinney property management, we don't advise evicting a tenant during a widespread financial crisis. However, you'll need this level and detail of record-keeping to help support eviction if it becomes necessary after the crisis ends.
Choose Compassion Without Giving Up
Being compassionate is critical for landlords during a crisis. However, it's also essential not to give up enforcing the rules about rental payments.
Flexibility is the sign of an excellent landlord—within reason. It's essential to keep this in mind: the rent is still due. Helping your tenants find a way to pay the rent in a crisis doesn't require property owners to give away free rent.
Work With Them as Much as You Can
The lease agreement is the ultimate guide to the amount of rent your tenant owes. It also documents penalties for late rent or nonpayment. However, property owners have the flexibility to adjust rental payments, defer late fees, offer adjusted due dates, and work with tenants who are also willing to comply with solutions.
If a tenant still doesn't comply with rental payment—despite these compassionate options—a property owner might have to proceed with an eviction as soon as guidelines allow.
A tenant who refuses to respond to reminders, won't work with you on a payment plan, and refuses to pay the rent hasn't earned free rent. They have broken the rules of the lease agreement despite your efforts to help them through a challenging financial time. Extend your compassion as much as you can—but don't let tenants take advantage of your generosity or flexibility during a crisis.
Eviction Is Still an Option
This timing is critical, but tenants need to understand that nonpayment of rent is a valid reason for eviction. As a professional McKinney property management company, we make eviction a last resort. To resolve a nonpayment situation, offering an incentive for the tenant to move early could be an attractive suggestion that encourages them to find a new place to live on their own.
However, with a non-compliant tenant who withholds the rent and won't leave on their own, property owners can (and should) proceed with the eviction process as crisis restrictions ease. Landlords should:
- Consult your legal counsel and follow the legal process for eviction in Texas.
- When COVID-19 eviction restrictions end, gather the documentation we mentioned earlier and make your case for eviction.
- Work with a professional McKinney property manager to make navigating the process easier on you.
Eviction is stressful and can be expensive, but you don't have to do it alone! Dealing with tenants who don't pay the rent is easier and more effective with a property manager.
Whether it's managing payment plans and offering compassionate solutions or moving forward with an eviction, professional McKinney property management can handle everything for you—with or without a crisis.
Choose McKinney Property Management to Collect Rent!
The right McKinney property management has a plan in place to handle crisis rental collection. We handle tenants with compassion and the right amount of rule enforcement to maintain good relationships. It's our priority to protect your investments! Building long-term tenant relationships while making sure our owners get paid is why RentHub is the right choice to manage your McKinney properties.
Learn more about how we handle a crisis! Get your free copy of the Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook.