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Accountability and Enforcing Lease Terms with Property Management Software

Landlords are the primary enforcer of lease agreements. When tenants agree to follow lease terms but end up breaking them, the responsibility falls on you to enforce the predesignated consequences.

However, conversations about accountability are rarely enjoyable. It’s your job to initiate uncomfortable discussions when tenants break lease terms and apply the appropriate fees or restrictions. The tenant is at fault, but managing accountability eats up your time and energy.

How you go about enforcing lease terms also affects tenant satisfaction. If you are unforgiving and unreasonable with your terms, you could risk tenant turnover and vacancies. On the other hand, being too lenient with your tenants comes with equally undesirable outcomes. Your tenants may report high satisfaction but at the cost of the strength of your integrity and credibility as the lease enforcer.

Property management software is the landlord’s tool for navigating accountability concerns. As a neutral third-party, software helps you enforce lease terms without being the “bad guy.”

Here are a few ways property management software promotes accountability in rental businesses.

Late Fees

Let’s say one of your tenants forgot to make a rent payment. You send them a notice that their payment is late as well as the amount of the late fee they’ve incurred. Your tenant is immediately apologetic and swears to send the payment right away. And they do—but when it arrives, it’s inevitably only for the original rent amount. No late fee.

What do you do in this situation? Do you let it go since you got the original amount you were owed? Or do you take the time and energy to track down a minor fee?

If you’ve ever been in this situation, you know how aggravating it can be to constantly pester tenants for owed fees. This is where software comes into play. Late fee enforcement is the primary way property management software helps keep you and your tenants accountable.

Property management software automatically adds incurred late fees to the accounts of all tenants late on their rent. The software then prevents tenants from paying the next month’s rent until they make the previous month’s payment in full—including the late fee.

With property management software, the frustration of tracking and enforcing late fees is off your shoulders. You can hold tenants accountable for late payments without being involved whatsoever.

Payment Records

Property management software also helps resolve disputes relating to prior payments. For instance, imagine a tenant claims they already paid a fee you are charging them. Instead of digging through dense ledgers or accounting files from previous months, this problem is a task for your software.

Property management software automatically generates accurate records each time a tenant makes a payment. These records are searchable and readily available to both you and your tenants. 

If a dispute arises, you can check your software records to verify whether or not the tenant made the payment. If they did, you can locate the exact amount, date, and time of the transaction and determine how the charge was mistakenly incurred. 

Miscellaneous Fees

Property management software also enforces the variety of miscellaneous fees you may charge your tenants. These fees could include penalties for smoking, property damage, unauthorized residents living in your units, or owning pets (or pet damage) when pets are explicitly prohibited.

Miscellaneous fees are applied to tenant accounts in much the same way as late fees are. If a tenant has incurred any additional fees, you can apply those amounts to the tenant’s regular rent bill. And just like late fees, you can restrict access to future payments until the expense is fully paid.

Lease Amendments and Addenda

What if you need to make changes or additions to your lease? Property management software is equipped for these circumstances too. If you need to change your lease, a lease amendment is in order. If you’re simply adding an extra clause or clarifying an existing one, an addendum will suffice.

Your property management software saves your previous lease templates and documents for future use. If you need an amendment or addendum, it’s convenient to log in to your software, locate the document, update it, and re-share it with tenants the same way you shared the original lease.

Remember, you can’t enforce the terms of an addendum or amendment in the middle of a term until your tenants have signed it.

Prioritize Accountability with Property Management Software 

Holding tenants accountable for their actions is a dreaded aspect of rental business management. No one likes to enforce punishments and penalties, especially when you can sympathize with the tenant. That’s why property management software lets you build accountability and tenant satisfaction simultaneously. With these features, you can keep your tenants—and yourself—answerable to lease terms. 

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