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  • Collecting Late Fee's!

    Hello All.

    One of our facilities is having a problem with late fees lately. Too many are being waived and customers have now became comfortable with paying their rent late.
    All rent is due on the 1st of each month, and we do give a 6 day grace period before a $15 late fee is applied to their account.

    Besides getting the managers on board with not waiving late fees, I was thinking of sending out a mass email to the tenants to remind them that rent is due on the 1st of each month.. and basically that we are no longer waiving late fees.

    Do you think the email is unnecessary, and we should just try to get the managers on board.. or do you have any wording suggestions that I could send out in an email?

  • #2
    You can send out an email but in reality the managers have created a monster, as I said will happen when this is done, many times. If the agreed upon lease is just followed then you don't have to think about it. You will get thrown back in your face, "why did you credit before and not now".
    "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Well, def get managers on board. I'm of two minds, one, 'Too bad so sad', but from the customer service perspective, "WE value you as a tenant. Our policy is one late fee waived, PERIOD. Your last late fee waived was May, 2018. Please note this for further payments." or something to that effect. I don't think sending out an 'all call' is necessary. If they continue to complain, tell manager to forward the tenant to you. (or whomever wants to handle the whining)
      I was born to be wild, but only until about 9:00 pm.

      Comment


      • #4
        We also have warehouses that we rent. The tenants knew we put the fees on the after noon of the 6th and they would come in that morning. Then the property managers figured out how to post late fees automatically. They were posted the morning of the 6th. There was a lot of commotion and upset tenants because no one said they would be posted early.
        We created this mess because the property managers didn't enforce the rental agreements. I would send an email that late fees will no longer be waived if payment is late.
        Also maybe raise the fee if you can.. In Washington we can charge $20.00 or 20% of the rent, whichever is smaller.
        I don't have that problem here at the mini storage because I don't waive fees and the tenants know it.
        Janice - Maxi-Space Storage and Business Solutions

        Comment


        • #5
          If you have the owners backing, go in there with the amount of money the manager has waived over the last quarter. Ask the manager if they know what that money equates to. Let them know that going forward, every late fee that is waive, will count dollar for dollar against any incentive/bonus. The only exceptions to this will be 1st time late fees. That will usually wake your manager up.
          Chasing Perfection to catch Excellence

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          • #6
            I don't have the problem at the facility I manage what-so-ever, and that is all because I never started doing it. I will waive their late fee one time, and I let them know when I waive that late fee that it is the one and only time I will do it. I think instead of sending out a mass email, I am just going to focus on getting the managers on board. Late fee's may only be waived one time, and after that there are none allowed. As for their current customers who always get late fee's waived they can contact me! This has gone on too long.

            Thanks for the input

            But, Jlemke if I do decide to send out a mass email, I'm not even sure how to word it:

            Dear "Customer",

            This is a friendly notice that we will no longer be waiving late fees. We email a courtesy invoice two weeks before payment is due.

            Please remember rent is due the 1st of each month. We do give a 6 day grace period before a $15 late fee is applied to the account.

            You are more than welcome to pay online at our website, or mail in a check... (something like that).

            ???
            Any other ideas?

            Comment


            • #7
              "In the past the facility had waved late fees for numerous reasons and that practice will now cease. If a legitimate reason is given, for a first time late fee credit, then that is handled on a case by case basis, one unit at a time. Moving forward there will be no late fees waived without prior approval".
              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by psconroe View Post
                I don't have the problem at the facility I manage what-so-ever, and that is all because I never started doing it. I will waive their late fee one time, and I let them know when I waive that late fee that it is the one and only time I will do it. I think instead of sending out a mass email, I am just going to focus on getting the managers on board. Late fee's may only be waived one time, and after that there are none allowed. As for their current customers who always get late fee's waived they can contact me! This has gone on too long.

                Thanks for the input

                But, Jlemke if I do decide to send out a mass email, I'm not even sure how to word it:

                Dear "Customer",

                This is a friendly notice that we will no longer be waiving late fees. We email a courtesy invoice two weeks before payment is due.

                Please remember rent is due the 1st of each month. We do give a 6 day grace period before a $15 late fee is applied to the account.

                You are more than welcome to pay online at our website, or mail in a check... (something like that).

                ???
                Any other ideas?
                That is a great way to word the email. Then get the manager on board. I only waive the fee if they pay the day it is put on. We go by anniversary dates here so mine are due all the time.
                Janice - Maxi-Space Storage and Business Solutions

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi pcsconroe,

                  In my opinion, I think finding out the source of the problem should be the first step. If you can isolate the waived fees to one particular manager and they aren't "getting on board" you can remove the ability to waive fees for that particular manager (depending on your software).

                  I'm hoping the email will do the job, but depending on how severe the issue has become it may help one month and be forgotten the next. I would be friendly, but clear in the email regarding your policies so your managers can cite the email as needed. It may help to print out a copy and post it in the office as well.
                  Kevin Kerr
                  Self Storage Software by Storage Commander
                  Kevin@storagecommander.com
                  Direct - 951.867.4732

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    As a transient self storage owner I would fire this manager immediately. I call this "going to the other side of the counter". The manager is now on the tenants side not the owners side. It is a managers job/duty/obligation to collect all rents and fees associated with the storage unit. If they are waving late fees what else are they waiving???
                    A global email to all tenants and a post card re-stating the rules is a good idea.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I agree wholeheartedly that late fees should most times not be waived. I have had occasions where I have asked the owner to waive something in a specific instance. Also though, check into the fee's being waived. For me on certain months if we are closed on Monday the 5th of xxx month, we will waive the fee if the payment has hit our drop box before opening on the 6th. I have had months where it appeared I waived many where in reality it was just pure natural business being done. These customers had legitimately had their payment in on the 5th but, I was not there to credit it. Therefore, a need arises to waive fee. Second example. I sent out notices to tenants about increase. For whatever reason notice was overlooked. Customer sent in payment but not increased amount. I will talk to the owner to remove fee, Contact customer and explain new fee schedule and everyone moves on. Granted these instances are customers that have 100% on time payment record for all past transactions. All I am saying, is check with the manager there may have been a need to take the fee off. Especially in the case of firing someone. The best way to talk to the manager or managers is to let them know how this affects the business and the figures. Chances are they have no clue it has become a large amount of profits lost. The problem (so long as it is the problem) should be corrected immediately.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        When I first took over the 2 facilities I manage there were no late fees in place . I sent a 30 day notice to all tenants advising that late fees would take effect . . For tenants that complained about it - my response was this . “Rather then increasing everyone’s rent due to increased costs to our business as a result of late tenants we choose to enforce these fees “ The tenants seemed to appreciate that explanation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Get the managers on board as was stated is the first step. I wonder if someone who never got their late fee waived "why did you waive others? If I knew I could have been late" and that is the me ( friend of an attorney ). I would just write an email stating:

                          As a reminder all rent and charges are due on the 1st of the month. If you haven't signed up for email bill reminders that are sent 2 weeks prior to the due date of the 1st please contact us so we can set that up for you. The $15.00 late fee will be added on the 6th of the month if payment isn't made by 6pm on the 6th. (Since we live here we often get payments in the drop box at 9 or 10pm & I tell customers I am not waking up at 12 midnight to post your payment. Our office is open until 6pm) We make it easy to pay on our website, a check or money order in the mail or your smiling face in person. Please do not hesitate to contact us at this email address or by phone at XXX-XXX-XXXX during business hours Monday-Saturday 9am-6pm (whatever yours are).

                          In the letter you can also state that manager's are unable to waive late fees. I also put a letter on the door.

                          Tarponjumper Managers sometimes waive late fee because they feel sorry for the customer but if the manager is friendly and good at his/her job it doesn't seem like a termination situation, especially without a warning.
                          The future depends on what you do in the present.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One time our management company took me to task for waiving 12 late fees. I was puzzled b/c I didn't remember waiving 12 (2 at the very outside and legitimate reasons for it). I went into Site Link to investigate, and the mystery was solved. We'd had a tenant who usually paid by the year and was invoiced that way. He was moving so instead of paying the next year when it came up, he paid two months and was going to move out, so I deleted the future charges. Unbeknownst to me, that counted as waiving fees. Once everyone was clear on what happened it was fine. But yeesh, I was terrified that I'd screwed up royally.
                            I was born to be wild, but only until about 9:00 pm.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Tercelet1 View Post
                              I agree wholeheartedly that late fees should most times not be waived. I have had occasions where I have asked the owner to waive something in a specific instance. Also though, check into the fee's being waived. For me on certain months if we are closed on Monday the 5th of xxx month, we will waive the fee if the payment has hit our drop box before opening on the 6th. I have had months where it appeared I waived many where in reality it was just pure natural business being done. These customers had legitimately had their payment in on the 5th but, I was not there to credit it. Therefore, a need arises to waive fee. Second example. I sent out notices to tenants about increase. For whatever reason notice was overlooked. Customer sent in payment but not increased amount. I will talk to the owner to remove fee, Contact customer and explain new fee schedule and everyone moves on. Granted these instances are customers that have 100% on time payment record for all past transactions. All I am saying, is check with the manager there may have been a need to take the fee off. Especially in the case of firing someone. The best way to talk to the manager or managers is to let them know how this affects the business and the figures. Chances are they have no clue it has become a large amount of profits lost. The problem (so long as it is the problem) should be corrected immediately.
                              Or you could tell them to pay before the 5th. If I get the excuse that someone paid on the last due date and it is "MY" fault I did not post it, well I just tell them that I don't work 7 days a week and they should have paid earlier in the grace period. Nothing to see here, move on.
                              "Never let the inmates run the asylum!"

                              Comment

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