Is Your Tenant Not Paying Rent? – A Guide to Collecting Rent in Vancouver

One of a landlord’s biggest fears is that the tenant they place won’t pay rent. To effectively earn money off your Vancouver investment property, you need to collect rent consistently and on time every month. We’re sharing some rent collection tips today.

Set Boundaries and Expectations Early

Move-in funds are collected before you hand over the keys, and they usually include leasing or pet fees, the security deposit, and the first month’s rent. If the second month arrives and the tenant is ducking and diving to avoid you and is nowhere to be found when you try to get in touch and let them know rent hasn’t been paid, you know you have a problem tenant. The best thing you can do is rectify this early. Either have a sit-down conversation or agree to part ways. Otherwise, you’ll more than likely be chasing the rent every month.

Be Prepared to Communicate

Let’s say you have a tenant who has been in place for many months and all of a sudden the rent isn’t being paid. A lot of times, that tenant is a little nervous and scared to tell the landlord that they have a problem. But, if you reach out and contact the tenant to try and find out what the problem is, usually you can rectify it. If the rent is going to be late, set a date for the rent to be paid.

You also should give an appropriate Notice to Pay Rent or Vacate. Even though you are giving the tenant a certain number of days to catch up, at least you will have the notice in place just in case the tenant decides not to pay the rent.

Stay Firm and Be Consistent

Once you get the late rent, you also need to talk to the tenant about how this does not change the date of when the rent is actually due. For example, the tenant’s rent is due on the first of the month and now the tenant is going to pay a certain month’s rent on the 15th of the month. You need to let them know that the next month’s rent will still be due two weeks later. Sometimes the tenants think that they will now automatically move the rent due date to the 15th. That is not the case.

Do not waive any late fees otherwise tenants will expect that each time they are late. You need to hold firm with the date that it is due. Also, when you do give the Notice to Pay or Vacate, they are probably going to get upset and call you. Make them understand that you trust them to pay the rent by the date that they said. Then they can trust you that you won’t file the eviction.

Rent collectionThe goal is to ensure your tenant doesn’t get into the habit of being late on rent. This will become a problem for you if you have to chase them every month. Set the terms and expectations immediately. You may have a situation where it’s a job loss or something that’s causing the problem, and if it doesn’t look like they’ll regain their financial footing, you may have to talk about terminating the tenancy.

If you have any questions about rent collection, please contact us at SunWorld Group Property Management.