Rent Collection Simplified?

I’ve heard it from other landlords for years, and I’ve lived it way too often.  The first of the month comes and goes, and your mailbox sits empty.  Nothing.  Nada.  Zero.  Zilch.  You call, email or text your tenant and either get an excuse or no response at all.  Collecting rent can be tough at times.

I’ve eliminated the “no stamp/no envelope” excuse by leaving pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes at the end of each month with each of my tenants, along with a tenant letter, including reminders such as seasonal tips, maintenance suggestions and veiled threats.  (LOL)  Seriously though, the letters are a good way to keep my tenants on their toes and inform them of apartment checks, too.

I recently learned of an efficient way to help my tenants get their rent to me on time.  Some banks (Chase is one of them) provide “Deposit Only” cards.  I asked for details and found it’s simple for both tenants and landlords.  I assign a four-number pin to the card and give it to my tenant.  They can go to an ATM and deposit their rent 24/7 by inserting the card, punching in the pin number and inserting the money, which goes directly to my account.  (Thus eliminating one more excuse … the “I got off work after the banks closed” excuse.)

Each card has a different set of numbers on the front, so if you have several rentals, you’ll have to take note of which card goes to which rental, but this is a small inconvenience for the huge advantage of receiving rent in a timely manner!

I’m all about shortcuts and time-saving tips.  This one is a gem and I thought I’d pass it on.  Check with your bank; maybe this little card can save you time and money, and eliminate stress.  I’m all about that, too!   🙂

Collect Rent the Easy Way

Collecting rent is always an issue, with every landlord at every level.  (Show me the money!)   Many landlords I know make personal trips to their rental properties on a weekly, bi-weekly or monthly basis — whenever rent is due — just to pick it up in person.  And somehow, they go home empty-handed way too often.

Sometimes the tenant isn’t even there . . . purposely gone for the day?  Also, the excues are endless:  the employer screwed up the paycheck, the tenant was sick a few days durng the pay period so the check was short, the car broke down so the rent money went to the repair shop, the kids were sick and required expensive antibiotics, yadda yadda yadda.  I’ve heard it all, and I’m sure some of the excuses are valid . . .

The question is, how do you save yourself those repeated, needless trips, especially with the price of gas these days?  My solution has been to give all my tenants pre-addressed, pre-stamped envelopes to send their rent.  Another solution is to set up automatic deposit into your account from theirs, if they have one.  (Some lower-income tenants do not.)

The only reason I go down there to collect rent is when my tenant is “on the chopping block” and it’s a case of “pay up or leave, or be evicted.”  That trip is worth my time.

So . . . back to the excuses.  Some are valid.  Maybe most are.  You’ll never know.  But what you do know is this.  You’re into real estate investing to make money, not to provide people with free housing.  When they don’t pay, you must make a written plan — signed by both of you — for them to get caught up quickly.  If they default on it, eviction is filed immediately.  (That’s part of the written plan.)

Unfortunately, you can’t run this business with your heart.  It just doesn’t work.  Trust me — I tried it, and I nearly ran myself into the ground!  My nonpaying tenants were content, but I was going broke . . . what’s wrong with that picture?  Hmmm . . .

Make your rent collection as easy as possible and remember, if they pay, they can stay.  Otherwise, it’s time to end the relationship.