Tenant Can't Pay Onliine, I Don't Pick Up Checks. Help!!!

87 Replies

Is there a way for the tenants to pay rent at a store?

A couple of my tenants don't have computers and can't pay online. I will not go to the property and physically collect rent and really don't prefer mailed checks or money orders. 

These are the ways I currently accept rent payments.

1. Government pays for military tenants

2. PayPal (friends and family so it's free)

3. Online on the website (Buildium)

I can tell them to deposit at the bank but don't want to give them the account number.

I've heard of "Pay Near Me" Tenants can make cash payments at 7 Eleven and Family Dollar. I don't have 7 Eleven in Phenix City AL or Columbus GA. Family Dollar may not accept rent payments specifically.

Are there any other options?

What about moneygram or western union?

Or bank wire. Most place will take a digital check. All you need is account number and routing number. 

You can also create an invoice via paypal and do "checkout without an account" or logging in and take their credit card information and complete the payment yourself. I have done this dozens of times. Good luck. Hope that helps

I just did a quick search on Western Union's site and they list a deposit option of "deposit into biller's mobile wallet". And I see that there are three WU location in Phenix. So it sounds like you're open to something like this. I assume you'd have to create an account of some sort, and then give some info to the tenant in order for them to process it, but it seems like the solution you're looking for.

@James Holland The tenants who currently pay via paypal do it by selecting "friends and family" so it does not charge me transaction fees. Otherwise i believe it's 2.75% and I refuse to pay those bs fees. I will have to give my account number for bank wire.

@Matt Devincenzo  

Western Union idea sounds good. Another option is PayLease. Tenant pays the bills at Walmart. I'll research both of them.

Thanks,

Mil

One suggestion is to use a Post office box. Make them pay with a check or money order. Try can physically hand the envelope to a Postal teller and have it immediately put into your PO Box. But of course, NEVER cash. Try probably also have to put a stamp on it even though it is hand delivered.

You can also set up a "sweep" account at many banks. You let your tenant deposit their cash into this account. At a given time each day or on a certain date the money is "swept" out of it and into a different account that you have established that has a different account number. The deposit account constantly has nothing or very little in it. It also is restricted to no check writing privileges. So very little fraud can happen to it. The money is swept out in your schedule and placed into your operating account (an account number available only to you, not your tenant).

Your tenants don't use computers and you don't want to pick up checks or have them mailed.  Why are you making it harder to collect rent? The goal is to make it easier for your tenants to pay you, not harder.  Reducing their options just increases the likelihood of excuses and late payments.

You have that issue in Columbus too huh? Lol Sorry but if they don't want to become savvy enough online to pay their rent, they should pay the extra fee to FedEx a money order to you. 

I have several tenants that deposit their rent money into my business account. It's a deposit only account. Why don't you want to give them the number? If you're worried about people having the checking account number, remember - it's on every check you write anyway.

Originally posted by @Milan Sanghvi:

I will not go to the property and physically collect rent and really don't prefer mailed checks or money orders. 

I can tell them to deposit at the bank but don't want to give them the account number.

Are there any other options?

 You can try:

a) carrier pigeon

b) catapult (check city code)

c) divestiture

Let us know what you decide!

I am going to date myself some, but we used to have these relics called envelopes (crazy little white things).. 

Google "envelope"  if you are under like 25 years old. Way back in the day, we did everything this way... 

How to bullet proof it for your unbanked tenants: give them SASE (this stands for self addressed stamped envelopes) for the entire tenancy. An unbanked tenant can just get a low cost money order or check and drop it in the mail. Easy.

For some reason this is the hard part I have seen in a few forums, you open the envelope (usually from a PO box ancient mail box device of some form).. take out the check and deposit it in your account (be as tech savvy or unsavvy as you like here)..

I have not lost one in a decade this way... The old late in the mail excuse is a tenant issue 99% of the time and not about the USPS.

If getting the mail is too hard, wait until you turn around a rough unit (getting rent checks is actually my highlight--easy and fun mailbox money; and I planned it out so the bank is next to the po box; even get free coffee (a dark beverage made from...nevermind..) Best of luck... and sometimes even in the high tech world, the low tech route works best for some tenants.

This is not legal advice but... in some places you are required to take payments in person or by mail if they are related to real estate.  If you do not accepts payments in the methods listed in your lease you cannot evict for non payment.

I have always offered depositing into my account as an option, for greater than a decade. There have always been at least a few tenants who preferred that over the mail. A couple tenants still deposit directly into my account and have for years. Both are 5+ year tenants and both usually pay a couple days before the rent is due. There is a branch about 3 doors away from one tenant. She was thrilled with that option. I regularly move money out of that account so the balance is never very high anyway.

There was one tenant who wrote NSF checks frequently and deposited them into that account. That ran up a lot of fees and became an accounting pain. They always paid the bank fees (and late fees) but this happened frequently enough that I eliminated direct deposit as an option for them. They are still my tenant (also 5+ years) but now they pay online.

Another option: In Phenix City AL - Wells Fargo Business Deposit Card. No cost for business customers*. Tenants deposit at any of the 6 WF ATMs in the area. Ditto for Columbus GA.. at one of the 4 WF ATMs there. Scales to thousands of cards. Automatic from landlord's end, easy and free on tenant's end.

This is a deposit card, so there is 0 liability for loss. If you hand out your checking account number, you may have to move funds around, etc., to 'cover' your exposure.

(* Almost... 0.2% fee for all cash deposits over $5,000  in one month)

Originally posted by @Michael Biggs:

This is not legal advice but... in some places you are required to take payments in person or by mail if they are related to real estate.  If you do not accepts payments in the methods listed in your lease you cannot evict for non payment.

Can you identify where this place is? When you say required, is this a law? Can you cite the law or ordinance?

I would let them mail the rent. Your goal is to collect rent. As another poster stated, why make it hard for them to give you money? I have my tenants send money orders or cashiers checks. My lease states the envelope must be postmarked by a certain date to get the discount (I allow $75 if postmarked by the 5th).  Collect the rent...that is your goal!

They don't necessarily need a computer to pay online. I use erentpayment.com for my tenants and at lease signing I just have them use my computer to set up recurring payments. After that they don't have to log into anything unless something changes. 

is it in your lease they need to pay electronically? If so, then they need to figure it out. If it's not in your lease then I think you sound like a brat that is too good to go collect rent. Sorry if that's harsh but that's how this is coming across. This is the kind of thing that perpetuates a negative landlord stereotype. 

Assuming it is in their lease, then they can go to the library and access the Internet for free and pay online. 

Money order, western union, or have them deposit directly into your account. I think I've basically reiterated what others have said, but those were the first three that came to mind.

I just had to bring a baseball bat to a place last night and had Big Tony and Sammy Feet on standby in case things got out of hand.  Are you kidding me with this?  Give them some addressed envelopes to your PO Box already!

I collect post dated cheques for the whole duration of the lease

it is my requirement

dishonoured cheque $50

never have late payment, do not have to go to collect them

on the first of each month just go and deposit all the cheques at once

seem to work for me