Since the passing of the Cares Act in March of 2020, most property owners have been managing increasing delinquency through national or local (or both) eviction restrictions. Without the threat of timely eviction, landlords are left without their most effective tool in their delinquency control toolbox. While these restrictions certainly make the collections process more difficult, there are ways to mitigate their impact.
KEEP DELIVERING NOTICES
Even if you are not able to proceed with an eviction, you should continue to deliver notices for nonpayment of rent (subject to legal limitations). This practice ensures that once the eviction moratorium(s) is lifted, you will be ready to begin the eviction process. It also provides a monthly reminder to the resident that they still owe their outstanding balance.
CHECK FOR SKIPS
Many residents who have fallen behind in rent decide to leave without notice and this has not changed during Covid. If you are not routinely checking for skips, looking for utility shut off notices, etc… you may have an abandoned apartment on your delinquency list that could be turned and leased.
HELP YOUR RESIDENTS OBTAIN THE ASSISTANCE THEY NEED
There are many government and charity programs created for those who have lost income due to the pandemic. Many residents are not even aware these programs exist or how to access them. Helping residents who are in need obtain assistance is a win for everyone. These programs often provide multiple months of rental payments and will clear up outstanding balances. It is important that you comply with all landlord program requirements.
Some rent is better than no rent and payment plans are a way to receive some rent. With uncertainty around evictions, a well thought out payment plan provides a way for residents who have fallen behind to limit their balance owed and provides a path to potentially avoid eviction once the moratoriums are lifted.
While the delinquency mitigation strategies listed above are generally well known by professional property managers, they are often not utilized when the eviction option is on the table. Putting a renewed emphasis on these strategies can have a significant positive impact on property delinquency while the eviction moratorium(s) continues.