If you have read any number of my posts on this site you would have undoubtedly realized that I am a very process oriented person, therefore our rental properties are handled in a very process oriented manner. Equally important to the "new tenant process" (from my last post) is having a process for your tenants once they have moved in. You want to be sure that when the inevitable repairs and late rent payments occur that you are prepared for those situations. There are of course other things that can come up but missing rent and repairs are certainly the most common. If you haven't already, I would encourage you to read my post about the professionals every landlord should know. They will be critical to you in these situations.
Our tenants know that rent is due by the first of the month and is considered late if received after the fifth. So we typically go to our P.O. Box twice, once on the first and then again on the fifth. Payments that have not come by the fifth will receive a late notice informing the tenants that they have five days to "pay or quit" and that a late fee is now applicable. If we still do not receive rent by the thirteenth day the situation is handed over to our attorney to move forward with the eviction process. You will need to look into the requirements in your area for how long you have to wait before requesting a court date to begin eviction. Once it has reached this point the cost to the tenant rises significantly due to late fees, attorney fees, and court filing fees, so we try to avoid it getting to this point when ever possible. Our attorney then receives a court date and goes before the judge on our behalf to start the eviction process. If at any point the tenant pays a portion of what is owed, I would send them a "Notice of Partial Payment". This is to let them know what we received,what is still due, and most importantly that partial payments do not stop the eviction process.
Repairs are something we take very seriously and try to have rectified as soon as possible. After all no one would buy broken merchandise and we certainly don't expect our tenants to pay for a "broken" rental property! We have become particularly fond of home warranties during our time as landlords and they have been instrumental in making repairs easy and affordable.
When a tenant reports an issue, all we have to do is call the home warranty company and place a claim. We give them the tenants contact number (with their permission of course) so that the repair company can contact them directly to schedule a convenient time to complete the repairs. Once the job is done we simply get a bill for the deductible which is typically $50 to $100 depending on the company and program you choose. Having a home warranty adds to the expenses of owning rental property but it has saved us THOUSANDS....literally. All it takes is one AC unit to go bad...Of course there are times when repairs are required that home warranties do not cover, in those cases we have our go to handyman.
That is our process for existing tenants in a nutshell. If you have questions or thoughts feel free to leave a comment!