Offering Rental Payment Options

Whether you only handle one or two properties or a multitude of units, collecting the monthly rent can be a hassle for many landlords. Physical rent collection can certainly present a myriad of challenges.

  • Wednesday, September 18, 2013

  General   Rents & Deposits   

Whether you only handle one or two properties or a multitude of units, collecting the monthly rent can be a hassle for many landlords. Physical rent collection can certainly present a myriad of challenges. Bounced checks and late payments are just a couple of the problems that typically accompany traditional rent collection. Rather than waiting for your tenants' payments to arrive in the mail, an online rent payment option can streamline the entire process. By instituting an online rental payment option, you can connect with your tenants via a specialized website.

In many cases, you can take advantage of having payments transferred directly to your bank account. By setting up a direct debit that comes straight from your tenant's checking account, the deposits can be automatically directed to your checking account. Not only does this option allow you the benefit of being able to set up either one-time or recurring payments, but you can also assess late fees if your tenant is late. Penalties can be established in whatever way you desire. For instance, either on a per-day or per-month basis, depending upon the terms of your rental agreement.

In an increasingly mobile culture, a growing number of tenants have come to appreciate the convenience offered by online rental payment options, as well. In fact, by offering online rental payment, you may find you are actually able to attract a larger number of more reliable tenants. It is not just rent that can be collected online, either. Application fees, security deposits, and other fees can also be collected through an online payment portal.

While the idea of a direct debit does appeal to many tenants, it is also important to provide a variety of options, including the option to pay by credit card or through an electronic check. By offering a variety of options, you can provide a backup plan in the event your tenants happen to experience an emergency and run short of funds when their rent comes due.

In moving forward with the decision to accept online rental payments, it is important to understand the relevancy of convenience fees. As is the case with most things in life, convenience comes at a price. In the case of online rental payments, that price takes the form of convenience fees. A convenience fee is a specific charge that is levied for the privilege of making payments through an alternative payment venue. Credit card companies have specific rules in place regarding the governance of convenience fees. If you wish to accept credit card payments, you must agree to abide by those rules. Along with ensuring that you adhere to relevant credit card association guidelines, it is also important to maintain a consistent policy.

When creating an online rental payment strategy, educating your residents regarding the payment options available to them is paramount. Through a consistent approach and open communication, you are likely to find that you and your residents are able to enjoy greater convenience and choice.

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