What to Do When the Holidays Leave Tenants Strapped for Cash
The holidays can be magical and exciting. Time with loved ones, baking, shopping, feasting, watching movies, and keeping with traditions. But, when all is said and done – and the holidays are once again behind us – the reality of your new financial situation will come to the surface. Holidays are not cheap and many times will leave tenants strapped for cash.
For tenants – many of whom may live paycheck to paycheck – this can lead to some dire situations. With bills continuously due and rent that needs to be paid, what do you do when you over-spent for the holidays?
If you are a landlord, you have undoubtedly encountered this situation with a tenant before. So, how do you handle tenants strapped for cash after the holidays? We’ve got some suggestions for you when the tenants of your Atlanta rental property are strapped for cash when the rent is due after the holidays.
Allow an extended grace period
If you can, allow your tenants a grace period that may be slightly extended from the norm. In other words, if you normally allow tenants the first 3 days of the month to pay their rent, consider allowing them the first ten instead – this one time only.
It is not always possible, but if you are in a position to be accommodating, then do so. For those tenants who reach out that they are struggling to get their rent payment together, consider giving the option of paying their rent in two payments throughout the month – or any other type of arrangement that will work for you.
Provide notice in writing
Send a letter – or personally deliver one – advising that you are aware the rent is late. In the letter, provide the exact details of what you will or will not accept. This includes information on the extended grace period and if you are willing to break up the rent into smaller payments throughout the month. However, it is imperative that you clearly notate in this letter that this is a one-time holiday gift to your tenants. That way, when February hits, things will go back to business as usual without any confusion.
For those tenants who are not willing to make an arrangement with you for their rent and have failed to pay, you may want to send notice of the extended grace period – and that if rent is not paid during that time, you may proceed with terminating the lease agreement and they will need to vacate the premises.
Basically, there are two ways to face the situation of a tenant that is strapped for cash after the holidays: 1. You can be understanding and work with your tenant to overcome their financial mishap, or 2. You may keep going, business as usual, and follow your normal procedure for late rent payments. As the landlord, the choice is yours. The above are merely suggestions for those who choose to bend for the sake of their tenants.