Philadelphia Rental Property Late Fee Management Tips


Tenants that pay rent late can be a burden to a property owner. Property expenses continue, regardless. Property tax, mortgages, and utility bills all continue and a property owner doesn’t have the luxury, that some tenants feel they have, to pay their obligations late.

As a Philadelphia Property Management Company, we are at the frontline in respect to tenant rent payments. In fact its rare that a property owner ever knows or is affected by a late rent payment as it’s our problem to resolve and not theirs. That said, late rent payments are rare for us these days as our tenant selection abilities have evolved as we have evolved as a property management company.

Read More: Philadelphia Landlord Tenant Court

But it happens and we have some tips to share.

Tips from a Philadelphia Property Management Company on Managing Late Paying Tenants

1) The Lease. Of course, this is obvious; but how late rent payments will be handled needs to be very detailed in the lease. Not only will detailing it help with your legal ability to collect; but the more detailed you are, the more the tenant will see late rent payments as something you take seriously. Don’t be afraid to mention your late rent fee policy twice.

2) Rent is Late on the 1st. For the most part, a grace period is required; but its important to adopt the attitude that the rent due date is on the 1st day of the month, and not by the grace period. Otherwise, many tenants will come to about the grace period date as rent day.

3) Start Eviction Based on the 1st of the Month. In Philadelphia, to evict someone from your property; you 1st must begin the process by posting a Ten Day Pay or Quit Notice. We post this almost immediately for a few reasons. One is, if we will eventually get to an eviction we want to start that process the very moment we can so our property owners can get back to collecting rents ASAP.  The 2nd reason is that it shocks the tenant and conveys the message that rent is due on the 1st and now they are placing themselves at risk. The third reason is that rent is due on the 1st – pay your rent!

4) Set your late fees consistent with Philadelphia Property Landlord Laws. This is the most important tip here. Not only do you not want to cross Philadelphia legally; but they are also fair-minded. As should all Philadelphia property owners be. If you are forced into a courtroom, you do not want to be found to be unreasonable. In fact, as a property owner landlord, its important to be viewed as having extremely reasonable, fair policies in regard to your tenants.

5) Consider a Property Management Company. At Grow Property Management we are well-equipped at tenant selection. We get far more applications for rental properties than can be gotten otherwise. That allows higher rent; but also we get to select from a far larger amount of potential tenants.

We also, have an ever-evolving system of tenant selection, background, credit and criminal checks; that a landlord can’t have.

And we have systems that manage our tenants. We simply don’t have the problems a landlord will have going it alone.


Joe White

Joe White is a Philadelphia Property Manager and Real Estate Broker. He is the owner of Grow Property Management and has been involved in the management, sales and purchases of Philadelphia area rental investment properties since 2008. He is an author and works as a real estate investment consultant and construction manager.

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