Updated March 7, 2022
How many of your tenants pay their rent with a paper check? Despite the many bills that most people pay online, some people still prefer to write and deliver or mail a check every month for the rent. Even as we consider moving from a “yellow” risk phase to a “green” risk phase as a state, it’s our perspective as expert property management landlords, that paying by paper check is still risky.
We know the current financial crisis has made it challenging for many residents to find the income to continue paying their rent. Offering a payment plan helps struggling tenants with their monthly rental payments—but what happens when social distancing is the barrier to turning in the rent on time?
If your “offices” as a landlord are remaining closed to follow social distancing guidelines, and tenants can’t get to the post office, your pen-and-paper residents suddenly find themselves without a way to get a check to you. We know how hard this can be on your income! Based on our experience as property managers, here’s what we recommend to make it easier for tenants to pay the rent.
Please note: This article is not intended as a substitute for the great legal advice of a skilled attorney. It’s designed just to help property owners get a little footing during these troubling times for our community. If you need direct legal counsel, reach out to your allies at Reeder Asset Management.
Social Distancing Doesn’t Affect Online Payments
Now is the ideal time to prioritize an online payment system for your rental properties tenants. An online portal gives all residents direct access to their accounts and rent payment tools—24/7. They can:
- Schedule payments ahead to avoid missed payments
- Log in and pay the rent at the last minute
- Work with a payment plan to schedule installments
- Check their account to confirm payments are up to date.
There’s no need to drop off a check with you or make a trip to the post office to put a check in the mail—or worse, simply not pay the rent. Tenants can stay safely at home while paying the rent electronically. If you have an online portal system as a landlord, it’s an excellent time to remind tenants and encourage them to use it.
If social distancing has caused a drop in your residential properties rental payments because tenants don’t have a way to pay online, now is the time to upgrade your payment processing.
Make It Appealing
As a provider of property management landlord services, we know that you can encourage your renters to turn to a new payment platform—but it might take the right incentive. Some tenants might choose not to pay online to avoid processing fees. However, without those fees, they might be more willing to try paying through a portal.
- Offer a short-term, no-fee incentive to tenants for converting their rental payments from writing a check to using a credit or debit card or ACH online.
- Once they try the new system for a few months, tenants will see how easy and convenient it is to pay the rent through a portal.
- Chances are, your residents won’t want to return to paying the rent by check. Your online system will save time, reduce late payments, and help you process funds into your bank account faster!
Go a Step Further With Property Management
The best way to help tenants pay the rent during social distancing is to hire an experienced property management company. Helping your tenants transition to an online portal and rental payment system is easy with a property manager in place to handle everything.
You probably already use software to help with your landlord tasks. What if you could exchange what you pay for that software, the time you spend chasing down late rental property payments, and the time spent depositing checks for free time? Property management makes that happen!
Property Management Makes Payments Easier
The best property management doesn’t end at rent collection. Property owners experience many benefits from property management—including more profits.
Your property manager:
- Sets up your online portal and works with tenants to use it as their primary way to pay the rent
- Provides hassle-free management services for property owner peace of mind
- Screens and places quality tenants into your rental home
- Handles all maintenance—24/7, 365
- Creates leases and renewals
You don’t have to worry about finding ways for your tenants to pay the rent if they can’t deliver a check. Your expert property manager handles that for you! Your partners in property management already have a plan in place to stay prepared in unexpected situations—just like COVID-19.
If you don’t have a hassle-free experience managing your investment properties, you’re working harder than you need to! Property investing should be a passive way for property owners to grow their wealth. Choose a property management team that protects your income—before, during, and after a crisis—even when social distancing makes it challenging for tenants to pay the rent.
We understand how to deliver a frustration-free experience for our property owners because we’re property owners, too! Reeder Asset Management has the local experience and property management expertise to get the results you need from your portfolio. Get our free resource, the Collecting Rent in a Crisis Handbook, to learn more about how we handle rent collection in tough financial times.