General Landlording & Rental Properties

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Demetrius Pettway
  • Contractor
  • New York
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Ways to accept rental payments from tenants

Demetrius Pettway
  • Contractor
  • New York
Posted Jun 8 2022, 03:15

So i am getting ready to close on a duplex which comes with a tenant in one unit. My plan is to househack it and live in the bottom unit. Any advice on how I should collect rent? Are there websites I could use to help collect? Please advise, thank you. 

Upstate New York, New York

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Elizabeth Shelby
  • Investor
  • Kissimmee, FL
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Elizabeth Shelby
  • Investor
  • Kissimmee, FL
Replied Jun 8 2022, 04:20
Not quite sure it’s technical or a blonde thing this morning, but I will try again.  Cozy have merged with apartments.com, there’s also PayRent.com, rentecdirect.com, avail.co. They all have similar features.
Good luck with your new venture.

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Bjorn Ahlblad
  • Investor
  • Shelton, WA
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Bjorn Ahlblad
  • Investor
  • Shelton, WA
Replied Jun 8 2022, 06:51

I only care that they pay. Checks in a lock box, ACH, just no cash and I don't do the websites.

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Replied Jun 8 2022, 09:33

I have my tenants deposit into a separate account I have set up for my rental.  They have to have it in by the first of the month and on the 5th it's late and the fines kick in.  It's $50 late fee and $25/day until paid in full.  If you just make a $50 "late fee" for example, it doesn't nothing to encourage them to pay it all.  Whereas, a daily fine "encourages" them to pay up.  It's always worked for me! and I don't have to deal with "the check's in the mail" or other such nonsense!

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Patricia Steiner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Hyde Park Tampa, FL
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Patricia Steiner
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Hyde Park Tampa, FL
Replied Jun 8 2022, 12:07

My clients and I (as an investor) only accept electronic payment of rent - Zelle, Paypal, CashApp.  It avoids the whole "lost in the mail, I sent it, excuses for late payment."  Our tenants actually prefer it as well.  I would recommend it to you so that you can preserve a boundary between your personal life and that of the "way too convenient" landlord.

Hope this helps...

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Replied Jun 8 2022, 12:39

I use TenantCloud. There are a lot of other options available like Rentredi, Avail Zillow. Make sure to do your research before signing up for one of them as they all have different features. TenantCloud allows your tenants to send you ACH payments every month for rent and you link your bank account and it goes straight to your account. 

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Melissa Oberti
  • Investor
  • Fresno, CA
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Melissa Oberti
  • Investor
  • Fresno, CA
Replied Jun 8 2022, 12:47

Look into Innago as well.  I just started using them for my 5 bedroom rental that I am renting out by the room.  It has only been a couple months but I like it so far!

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Hannah Atherton
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Portland, OR
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Hannah Atherton
  • Real Estate Broker
  • Portland, OR
Replied Jun 8 2022, 12:50

I use Zelle. I concur with having a separate bank account for this. You can have a bank account that's for the mortgage and rent. You and your tenant will pay that account each month and your mortgage will come from that account. Zelle is supported by most banks and transfers happen instantaneously. Apartments.com gave me problems, so I just shifted away from it and set reminders for myself to make sure rent is in. Set autopay for your mortgage for the 8th or so, which gives plenty of time for rent to get sorted out. Good luck!

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Mary Smith
  • Rental Property Investor
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Mary Smith
  • Rental Property Investor
Replied Jun 8 2022, 13:37

I would definitely recommend collecting rent online, using a property management software. We use Innago and it works perfectly for rent collection and invoice tracking.

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Adam Wigdorski
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Buffalo, NY
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Adam Wigdorski
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Buffalo, NY
Replied Jun 8 2022, 15:15

@Demetrius Pettway

Cash

Check

Ach transfer

Zelle

Venmo

Apartments.com

Zillow

Google online rent collection

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Mo Maktari
  • Investor
  • Tampa, FL
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Mo Maktari
  • Investor
  • Tampa, FL
Replied Jun 8 2022, 15:46

I personally use Zelle. Honestly any form of electronic payment is the most secure way to collect any form funds. I agree with most about have a separate bank account for both the mortgage, rent, expenses, etc for any rental/real estate transaction. Doing this will GREATLY benefit you come tax time.

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Jasmine Delves
  • Denver, CO
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Jasmine Delves
  • Denver, CO
Replied Jun 8 2022, 20:44

I'd use property management software rather than the likes of Zelle or Venmo. That way, you don't have to accept partial payments and can set up automatic reminder emails (before or after the rent due date) and also automate late fees.

The other benefit is that you can then take advantage of additional features like tenant screening, receipt scanning and financial report generation. 

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Drew Sygit#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Birmingham, MI
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Drew Sygit#2 Managing Your Property Contributor
  • Property Manager
  • Birmingham, MI
Replied Jun 9 2022, 05:23

@Demetrius Pettway what professional companies do you pay cash to or come to your house to collect?

So, in your lease require rent payments at your bank or via Zelle to a business account.

REFUSE CASH! Nothing good will come from accepting cash and if you accept it once, tenants will expect it every time!

Do NOT PICK UP RENT! Again, if you do it once, tenants will expect it every time!

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Marcus Auerbach
  • Investor and Real Estate Agent
  • Milwaukee - Mequon, WI
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Marcus Auerbach
  • Investor and Real Estate Agent
  • Milwaukee - Mequon, WI
Replied Jun 9 2022, 05:34

We set up ACH automatic transfers through our bank. A number of websites provide that service as well for free, they just keep your money a bit in exchange. I also agree with Drew - never accept cash and under no circumstances pick up rent - that is just so backwards!

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Alexander Valletto
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Cleveland, OH
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Alexander Valletto
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Cleveland, OH
Replied Jun 9 2022, 05:43

I've been using Zillow to collect rent payments. Very easy to set up and it's free. I found my tenant using Zillow as well. 

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Jeff Willis
  • CA & NV
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Jeff Willis
  • CA & NV
Replied Jun 9 2022, 06:05
Quote from @Hannah Atherton:

I use Zelle. I concur with having a separate bank account for this. You can have a bank account that's for the mortgage and rent. You and your tenant will pay that account each month and your mortgage will come from that account. Zelle is supported by most banks and transfers happen instantaneously. Apartments.com gave me problems, so I just shifted away from it and set reminders for myself to make sure rent is in. Set autopay for your mortgage for the 8th or so, which gives plenty of time for rent to get sorted out. Good luck!

Something to keep in mind: We have problems with Zelle in So Calif. There is a $2000 daily limit on most sending accounts and that will not cover the rent. The renters have to do multi Zelle transfers (on each day). 

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Manuel Encarnacion
  • Los Angeles, CA
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Manuel Encarnacion
  • Los Angeles, CA
Replied Jun 9 2022, 06:30

@Demetrius Pettway

Congratulations on your deal! I opened up another checking account with my bank. I started using cozy a couple of years ago for property management and payments. Cozy merged or was bought out by apartments.com. I created a new rental property within the site and set up ACH transfers to go directly to the new checking account. When the you select your tenants you invite them to use apartments.com via email from the website as a payment method and a way to contact you regarding issues with the property.

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Igor Avratiner
  • Investor
  • Philadelphia, PA
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Igor Avratiner
  • Investor
  • Philadelphia, PA
Replied Jun 9 2022, 09:32

Zillow and Apartments.com have good tenant payment portals. You can create an account and it's no charge to you. The tenant registers and makes a payment each month and the funds get deposited in your bank. And of course, all of the digital payment options like Venmo, Cash app, Apple Pay, Zelle, etc work fine. Good luck and congrats! 

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Terry Miller
  • Akron, OH
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Terry Miller
  • Akron, OH
Replied Jun 9 2022, 09:39
Quote from @Patricia Steiner:

My clients and I (as an investor) only accept electronic payment of rent - Zelle, Paypal, CashApp.  It avoids the whole "lost in the mail, I sent it, excuses for late payment."  Our tenants actually prefer it as well.  I would recommend it to you so that you can preserve a boundary between your personal life and that of the "way too convenient" landlord.

Hope this helps...


And unlike many options in the past (and unfortunately a few in the
present), options such as Zelle, CashApp, etc. are free of fees. Why
promise a landlord a check or money order from cash in your account when
you can just send it electronically, free of charge, unless you don't
have all of the funds?

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Carini Rochester
  • Investor
  • Rochester, NY
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Carini Rochester
  • Investor
  • Rochester, NY
Replied Jun 9 2022, 13:20

I use cashapp. I had a tenant ask about using Zelle. Zelle goes directly into my checking account instantly. With Cashapp, I have to transfer to the checking acct with about a 2-3 day lag time. So Zelle is a little better!

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Mackenzie Grate
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Ulster County, NY
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Mackenzie Grate
  • Real Estate Agent
  • Ulster County, NY
Replied Jun 10 2022, 07:11
Quote from @Claudia Daydia Day:

I have my tenants deposit into a separate account I have set up for my rental.  They have to have it in by the first of the month and on the 5th it's late and the fines kick in.  It's $50 late fee and $25/day until paid in full.  If you just make a $50 "late fee" for example, it doesn't nothing to encourage them to pay it all.  Whereas, a daily fine "encourages" them to pay up.  It's always worked for me! and I don't have to deal with "the check's in the mail" or other such nonsense!

 My property manager collects it using Appfolio. But if I were managing on my own, I'd use Zelle directly to the property's bank account. 

I just linked @Claudia Day's comment to note that every town and jurisdiction can have specific rules and caps on how much you can charge in late fees. While this works for Claudia, it may not be allowed everywhere, so double check your town's rules first.

Good luck! Excited for you!

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Adam Wigdorski
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Buffalo, NY
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Adam Wigdorski
  • Rental Property Investor
  • Buffalo, NY
Replied Sep 12 2022, 20:02

@Mackenzie Grate

So looks like your from ny. The way you do things how did you find the loophole around nys law not being allowed to charge a late fee of 5% rent not to exceed $50?

Or you just don’t care lol

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Melanie Thomas
  • Real Estate Broker
  • San Antonio
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Melanie Thomas
  • Real Estate Broker
  • San Antonio
Replied Sep 13 2022, 09:02
I would recommend a PM software and electronic only payments. This way you can easily create tenant ledgers and have a portal type access. It will reduce the amount of potential inquires you receive such as rent amount, late fees, notice fees etc...

Good luck :)