I am planning to close on a duplex deal very soon as an out of state investor. The property is currently leased out till May of 2018. The PM company that initially managed them, also belonged to the seller and they do not wish to continue managing once sold. Here are my questions.
Can I amend the payment clause in the contract and require that tenants pay rent using an online service?
Should the tenant be required to pay the CC fees if they choose not to do auto deductions?
How to best handle a tenant that does not trust banks or does not have a checking account to allow for auto deductions?
What online services are others using out there that only allow for full payment.
Should tenant be made aware of new property ownership/management changes?
Should letter include the changes and instructions to knew payment options combined?
We don't want check and definitely no cash since we or out of state. Looking to get some insight and lessons learned from others. Thanks guys
Usually with enough notice you can make some changes to the lease, you would have to check your lease to see what limitations there are, if any. I just purchased a 12 unit property and sent everyone a welcome letter that explained basic items for working with my moving forward, like rent payments and maintenance calls. The tenants had to pay directly to the previous owner, but I have everyone pay directly to the bank. They can either set up an ACH, mail it in, or take it directly to the bank to deposit it. I do not use CC for payments, however, using CC is an added service and if they choose to not do auto-pay, I would make them pay the convenience fee. If a tenant likes to pay cash, have them go directly to the branch of your bank to deposit the rent. If you don't have a bank that has a branch in the area of the property, have them mail it in (get a money order), but ensure they know that the post mark date is not the date used for determining late payments, it is the date that the rent is in your hand that is the date used for payment of rent. But also let them know mailing money orders is not the most reliable way to pay because it can get lost and they are still on the hook for the rent. Finally, always let them know of new ownership and set the stage that you are professional and are willing to work with people, but don't let them take advantage. If you have a process you want in place, they can get on board, or go somewhere else....most people get on board.
Unfortunately since I am out of state and the previous owner collected the rents door to door, having them continue that way would have me traveling to that location monthly just for rent. I don't have much choice but to introduce the changes