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For many landlords, enforcing terms and issuing penalties are tasks they’d rather not have on their plate. Holding your tenants accountable to the lease terms is necessary to sustain your rental business. Unfortunately, it’s very unlikely that all your tenants will follow the rules perfectly.

While rent and property rules are tenants’ responsibilities, you are responsible for penalizing those tenants who don’t observe them. However, you don’t have to do it alone.

Property management software is a trusted and efficient tool for managing lease terms, enforcing fees and penalties, and keeping everyone accountable.

With property management software, you can enforce the rules while also avoiding being the “bad guy” with your tenants.

Here are a few ways you can hold your tenants accountable with property management software.

1. Late Fee Infrastructure

Rent is your tenants’ biggest responsibility. If tenants don’t pay rent on time, they should be penalized for breaking the lease agreement.

This is where late fees come in. It’s straightforward to build a late fee infrastructure into your property management software. Whether you charge a flat fee, a percentage of the owed amount, or a combination, your software can accommodate that structure. 

You can even restrict tenants from making future payments until they’ve covered last month’s rent plus the late fee. This solves the familiar problem of tenants who finally cover their late payments but neglect the late fee.

Instead of tolerating excuses or risking decreased tenant satisfaction, let your software handle enforcing late fees. With property management software, all your tenants are subject to the same rules, period. You don’t even have to be involved.

2. Automated Reminders

Before rent is officially late, most tenants appreciate a reminder. Maybe you send regular rent reminders each month by hand or automate them on your email. Any regular message, including rent or late fee reminders, can be automated on property management software.

Automated reminders are a hands-off approach to accountability. A friendly reminder is a courtesy to tenants who have busy jobs and lives. Most of the time, a late fee warning is all it takes to get a renter to remember to submit their payment. It’s a quick, painless, but appreciated step you can take to remind tenants of their responsibilities.

3. Accurate Records

Accessible payment records are also a way to hold your tenants accountable. With property management software, tenants can see exactly when and how much they paid each month. These records are automatically generated after each payment on your software’s digital payment portal, and they remain saved in a leger on the tenant’s account.

Let’s say a tenant has a dispute about a payment. They claim to have paid a certain fee, but you haven’t received it. If you manage your business manually, it would be more difficult to prove that the tenant didn’t pay the fee, especially if you accept cash or check payments. Even if you don’t have it recorded, there’s a possibility the payment was lost or misplaced.

This situation isn’t an issue if you use property management software. Digital payment portals retain information about each payment submission, so both you and your tenant would be able to see instantly whether the payment was submitted and received.

4. Accessible Leases

Lease documents are available in much the same way as payment records. A popular excuse for rule-breaking is that the tenant didn’t know the rule. If the lease agreement is accessible on the renter’s computer or smartphone, tenants can no longer use the “I didn’t know” excuse.

Leases (and addenda or any other forms) are saved on each tenant’s property management software account. If a tenant has a question or concern about their agreement, they can consult the original documents at any time. This way, tenants can keep themselves accountable without your involvement.

Prioritize Accountability with Property Management Software

No rental business can thrive without accountability. When tenants don’t adhere to the terms of the agreement, landlord-tenant relationships can break down and lead to disagreements, vacancies, or even evictions. Property management software helps you avoid these challenging outcomes by facilitating accountability. Accessible leases, payment records, reminders, and late fee infrastructure all contribute to healthy and effective rental business management.

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