Rent Collection Do's and Don'ts: Expert Tips for Landlords in Atlanta

Rent Collection Do's and Don'ts: Expert Tips for Landlords in Atlanta

Atlanta is a city of renters, with less than half of the residential real estate falling into the owner-occupied category. As a real estate investor, you shouldn't face a shortage of eager Atlanta renters.

However, owning property in a renter-dominated city doesn't guarantee success. Even with a large pool of applicants each year, a high turnover rate will lead to a loss of profits. In other words, you want to keep the renters you have.

How can you increase tenant retention? Start by looking at how you handle rent collection. Read on for the top do's and don'ts of rent collection in Atlanta.

Do Create Clear Expectations

Your tenants need to know upfront how much you're going to charge each month, when rent is due, and what happens if they're late. All of this should be clearly stated in your lease. Make sure to practice consistency when it comes to things like late fees or tenants may assume you'll let late payments slide.

Don't Go Overboard With Rent Increases

There are no state or local laws capping rent increases, although that is subject to change. Make sure to stay up to date on all landlord laws and tenant rights, as many Georgia politicians are vying for tighter rent control. Even without specific guidelines in place, don't increase rent by more than 10% per year, or you're going to price out your current tenants.

Do Start With Great Tenants

If you've struggled with missed or late rent payments in the past, it's time to improve your tenant screening practices. Thorough tenant screening will tell you more about an applicant's income, debt, and rental history. When you lease to reliable tenants, you don't have to track down your rental income every month.

Don't Skip Your Rental Analysis

Is your applicant pool dwindling despite the high demand for rental units in Atlanta? If so, you may be charging more than your property is worth based on things like:

  • Square footage
  • Location
  • Amenities
  • Condition and outstanding maintenance issues

Get a third-party rental analysis and adjust your rent to reflect the value and appeal of your property.

Do Make Rent Payments Simple

There's no reason that the modern landlord should be collecting rent via check or money order. It's time to switch to a digital portal that allows tenants to make secure payments online. Most digital portals will even allow tenants to set up automated payments so they never have to worry about late fees again.

Don't Forget: PMI Can Make Rent Collection Easy

As an Atlanta landlord, you should have your pick of renters and have no trouble securing a rental income. If you're having a hard time keeping your units full or getting payments each month, it's time to re-examine the way you handle rent collection. Use this landlord advice to make payments fair, consistent, and easy to manage.

Do you need more than a new rent collection strategy? PMI Atlanta West has customizable property management services that have been tested at the national level and catered to our Atlanta market. Contact us today to find out how we can help.