When it comes to managing outstanding tenant balances and evictions, you need a process in place. This process will often depend on the tenant you’re working with and their unique situation. At Realty Solutions, we’ve noticed that tenants will fall into one of three categories when they’re behind in rent:

They want to stay in place and are willing to pay and work with you.
They are facing an unusual financial or emotional hardship.
They are frequent flyers who work the system to their advantage.

Today, we’re sharing our process with you for how to handle those tenants when you’re collecting rent on your New Jersey rental property.

Standard Rent Collection in New Jersey

We have a standard automated rent collection process which includes specific actions on each day of the month. Our process is in writing, which keeps our entire team on the same page. We use the same language, and there’s never any confusion in our process.

Our standard rent collection process has rent due on the first of the month. On the fifth day of the month, we use our system to generate standard emails to tenants who have not yet paid rent. Then, on the 10th day of the month, they receive another system-generated email. If they still have not paid, our property managers will send individual texts and serve a Pay or Quit Notice.

On the 20th of the month, our property managers will need to decide if it’s time for eviction. Usually, it is. We don’t want to wait longer than the 20th day to begin the eviction process.

When residents don’t pay and they don’t communicate, things get trickier. The way we proceed depends on the type of tenant we’re dealing with.

New Jersey Tenants Who Want to Pay Rent

When a resident is willing to pay rent but slightly behind, we can set up a payment arrangement. This may be a tenant who is one month behind but interested in catching up. These residents will have a short payment plan that extends over no more than two months. We don’t file for eviction and we work with them.

Sometimes, there’s a bit of financial coaching involved. We help them find ways to pay rent, whether it’s paying twice per month or aligning their due dates with their pay periods. We’re committed to helping good residents figure out how to pay rent. This helps build relationships and it helps owners see how we are working with residents to get those payments coming in.

New Jersey Tenants Facing Hardships

Sometimes, residents are facing financial or emotional hardships. These situations are slightly different because the residents may need a longer payment plan. We can work with them when they’re able to show the hardship and they have a proven history of working with our payment plans. We will work with that. Our goal is to be compassionate to the situation, but also proactive in protecting our owners and their property. Sometimes, payment plans go longer than we’d like, but we are always working hard to close the loop.

New Jersey Tenants Who Are Frequent Flyers

Frequent flyers are very good at paying late every month but getting the money to us before there’s a lockout or a court date. For these tenants, we know they understand our rent collection process and our eviction process, and we stick to it. We don’t bypass our process or work on payment arrangements with people who are actively trying not to pay rent. We give them every opportunity to pay before evicting, but we do not waiver from our process.

In our experience with New Jersey property management, we’ve found that when it comes to collecting rent, you need communication, compassion, and standard procedures.

We’re happy to share our standard rent collection process with you. Contact us at Realty Solutions.