From Collector: Know the House Rules

10/10/2017 2:11 PM

What you need to know when handling landlord-tenant accounts.

NewsCollector Magazine

Property management debt is a unique collection niche that requires you to have a firm grasp of industry-specific terminology and flex your customer service skills in order to have effective conversations with consumers.

In the excitement of moving into a new apartment or home, renters may overlook key pieces of their lease or rental agreement. Likewise, when the time comes for them to move out, they may not fully recall the obligations to which they initially agreed, Collector magazine editor Anne Rosso May reports in the October issue.

In your collection conversations, you’ll likely be discussing past due rent, damage fees, lease terminations and even utility bills, so the more you understand these things, the more helpful you can be.

In addition to following federal debt collection laws such as the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, you should also be familiar with applicable state laws, such as those governing security deposits, Rosso May reports.

An important note: if the consumer believes she does not rightfully owe the debt, that’s a dispute, which triggers both Fair Credit Reporting Act and FDCPA requirements for specific actions.

Property management debt often requires significant skiptracing resources as consumers may have relocated, Rosso May reports. You’ll need to work through the emergency contact information for the consumer or call relatives to try to get a new address.

Read Rosso May’s article for more tips on collecting property management debt, customer service skills and liabilities in the October issue of Collector magazine.

In the next featured article in From Collector, read about four big communication trends to keep an eye on—and tips to handle related compliance challenges.

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