Many people wish to seek their fortunes in rental properties. But without a system for secure and timely rent collection in place, a lucrative career as a landlord is little more than wishing and hoping. The digital age has rocketed us past the days of sending a rent check through the mail slot. Today, there are several options available that can make gathering your monthly income simple, efficient, and safe. We’ll share a few of the most secure methods of rent collection for you to explore.
Automatic Clearing House
Tired of hearing “The check’s in the mail?” Make that check virtual. One of the most popular and secure methods of rent collection is Automatic Clearing House, or ACH payment. This system transfers funds directly from the tenant's bank account to the landlord's account. Believe it or not, ACH payments are more secure than traditional paper checks because they eliminate the risk of bounced or lost checks. Moreover, ACH payments are fast, efficient, and easy to set up. Tenants can authorize recurring payments to ensure that rent is paid on time each month. This system saves you the hassle of handling cash or checks—your bank branch may not be that close to home—and ensures that all transactions are secure.
They’re not just for splitting the bill at your favorite restaurant. Payment apps such as Venmo and Zelle can offer an easy and secure way to collect rent. These apps allow tenants to transfer money from their bank accounts to the landlord's account with only a few taps and swipes. As with ACH payments, tenants can schedule recurring payments to ensure that rent is paid on time each month. However, landlords need to ensure that they have set up secure accounts and are aware of any fees that come with the transactions. Also, not all payment apps are the same. Having to pay fees for a business account, for example, can make PayPal less than ideal for collecting rent.
Online Payment Services
In addition to those all-purpose payment apps, there are specialized online payment services, too. Comprehensive services such as RentCafe and Cozy can provide some of the most secure methods of rent collection. These services offer several payment sub-options, such as bank transfer, credit card, or cash payments. Online payment services also offer several security features, including user authentication and fraud monitoring. Moreover, online payment services provide real-time access to financial records and streamline the collection process.
Stripe and Square also offer a convenient way to collect rent payments through mobile devices by allowing landlords to accept credit card payments. These services are secure and offer quick access to financial records. Plus, tenants can set up recurring payments for rent, ensuring that their payments are made on time each month.
Standard Cash Payments
Maybe you’re a traditionalist at heart. Although it's harder to recommend in the digital world, cash payment is still an option for rent collection. However, landlords need to ensure that they have proper documentation and safeguards in place to prevent any fraudulent activities. For example, landlords need to provide receipts for any cash payments and have a reliable system for tracking cash flows. If you still distrust technology, the certainty of cash in your hand is hard to beat.