Property Management Blog

What’s the Best Method for Collecting Rent?

Jonathan Maloy - Friday, January 18, 2019


Collecting rent on time is part of being a successful landlord. You can waste a lot of valuable time chasing down late rent or dealing with checks that bounce or get lost in the mail. If you want to ensure that your tenants pay on time every month, have a consistent rent collection policy in place and provide them with several options for how to pay rent.

Rent Collection Policy

Your lease should include all of the necessary details about rent payment and collection. Include information about how much rent is due, when it’s considered late, and how you expect it to be paid. When you have this information in the lease, your tenant cannot claim to be confused about how and when it is meant to be paid. Enforce this policy, and be consistent. Many landlords will allow a tenant to pay late without consequence, but that can get you into trouble. Not only are you setting a bad precedent for future rent payments, you could be violating fair housing laws unless you’re allowing all of your tenants to pay late without consequence. All tenants must be treated the same way and having written policies in place will keep you protected.

Online Rental Payment is Best

If you work with a professional property management company, you don’t even need to think about how to pay rent. Your property manager will have a software system that allows for online rental payments. This is more difficult for individual landlords to implement. Unless you own and manage a lot of properties, you’re probably not using a unique software platform. However, online rental payments are an excellent idea for a number of reasons. First, it creates an instant system of documenting when rent was paid. It also allows a tenant to pay 24-hours a day. Tenants can set up future or recurring payments, ensuring that they’re never late with rent. Online payments are also deposited into your own account immediately. While you may not have a software system that can facilitate online payments, you can offer your tenants a way to pay electronically. Let them send you the rent money through PayPal, Apple Pay, or Zelle. There are a lot of online payment platforms, and many banks will let you request and send money online. This is convenient, transparent, and it holds all parties accountable.

Other Options for Paying Rent

paying-rent-optionsMost tenants will appreciate the opportunity to pay rent online, but not all of them are tech-savvy. If you want to ensure that rent is paid on time and without fuss, provide several different options for your tenants to pay. You can explain the option of online rental payments, and also welcome them to write you a check. Remind them to drop the check off in person by the due date, or to allow for a few days if they’re going to mail it. You can accept money orders and payments by credit or debit cards. If you’re flexible, tenants will feel less stressed when rent is due, and you can be more certain that you’ll be getting paid on time. If you need help collecting rent or you’d like to turn this task over to a professional property manager, contact us at Rentals by Mark. We’d be happy to help.

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