Collecting Rent Online: Is it the future?

Online shopping, travel reservations, movie tickets and even online bills. Could paying rent online be next? If the past has taught us anything it’s that people throughout the world love the Internet and frankly, can’t imagine living without it. So it only stands to reason that soon landlords will join the fray and begin collecting rent online.

Online rent collection portends to be a huge boon to landlords in so many different areas. Online payments are electronically processed and arrive in your account almost instantly. In addition, once the funds arrive they are instantly accessible. There’s no more waiting for checks, money orders or cash and best of all, you eliminate many bookkeeping and accounting functions which your bank now provides.

The first step in collecting rent online is to establish and account to receive your rent payments. A business account is your best bet as there’s no chance of your personal information being revealed. Once you have the mechanism to receive funds in place it’s time to make your tenants aware of this option. Flyers or letters are probably your best best. You’ll want to extoll the benefits of paying rent online to your tenants. Benefits such as the ease, the lack of hassle, no loner having to remember when the rent is due, and the relief of writing one less check and then accounting for it. Rent payments can be automatically programmed to be transferred to the landlord’s account on any date the tenant sets. Tenants who opt for this option literally don’t have to do a thing. It’s all taken care of electronically online.

You should also provide your tenants a form which they complete signifying their willingness to participate in online rent payment. You will then collect these forms and turn them over to your bank so they can prepare for rent payments form these tenants.

Of course, you may encounter some “old school” tenants who prefer to write a check which they receive back once cancelled. Your goal as a landlord is to do your best to convince these late adopters that they should, in fact, join the majority and switch to online rent payment. Ask these hold-outs whether they shop online, order theatre tickets online or even pay their utilities and other bills online. If so, then paying rent is no different, Their bank statement will show the deduction and the landlord’s will show the credit. All without writing a single check, buying a money order or walking around with a large amount a cash.Once you, the landlord, has received yeses from all your tenants, collecting rent online will put you in the category of some of the most progressive businesspeople around, And that, certainly, is  a good thing.

Rent: Credit Cards Accepted

In today’s turbulent economy there are times when credit cards come in handy. Obviously you can pay for many purchases–online and off–with them, but did you know that a new trend is emerging for landlords to accept credit cards for rent?

There are quite a few ways to pay one’s rent. Be it a residential space or a commercial one, most landlords are happy to accept checks, money orders, cash and even recently online payment. Online payment allows the tenant to pay their rent online the same way they pay their utility bills, cell phone bills, insurance payments and various other purchases.

The new trend sweeping the landlord/tenant relationship is paying rent via credit cards.

Credit cards offer quite a few benefits for both the landlord and the tenant. Like online payments, your credit card company keeps track of your payments; when the payment was sent and how much. What’s more, rent received via credit card are funds immediately available. The one downside is that should there be a problem between the landlord and the tenant, the tenant can dispute the charge. This will result in the credit card company or bank freezing the funds until the issue is resolved.

The upside is that a credit card payment for rent can be made from anywhere in the world with just one phone call to your landlord or management company. Many people these days have premium credit cards which allows them to charge large sums like rent payments without any difficulty. Something important to note here is that the merchant—the landlord–will have to pay a fee to the credit card company, usually 3 percent to 5 percent depending on the credit card. The landlord may attempt to pass this fee onto the tenant/cardholder as part of their rent. Whether tenants will accept this increase in rent is yet to be seen as rent paid by credit card is still in its infancy.

Some tenants/cardholders have secured premium credit cards with the specific intent of using that card strictly for paying rent. This makes keeping track of rental payments and any additional charges that much easier. What’s more, should the card be lost or stolen, one call will cancel the card and a new card will be shipped to the cardholder quickly; sometimes even over night. And, of course, like almost all credit cards, the cardholder is only liable for up to $50 of merchandise purchased if that.

Paying rent by credit card may be just the ease and convenience landlords and tenants have been looking for. Less paperwork, less chance of error and less reliance on bookkeepers and accountants. So next time the first rolls around consider asking your landlord or tenant if they’re amenable to accepting rent payment via credit card.