Author Topic: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic  (Read 4319 times)

rahby1us

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tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« on: November 04, 2019, 01:22:18 PM »
I own a duplex inhabited on both sides by a family. They've been there before I owned it and have expressed interest in staying for a long time. We have a very good relationship and they are pretty much the perfect tenants. I've recently moved out of state though, and don't want to tell the tenants as 1 it's not really their business 2 they might be more inclined to behave differently knowing I'm nowhere close. (i.e. lack of upkeep, getting an additional animal, etc. While they're very nice people either seems possible to me)

Anyways, I have one side, the mother of the whole crew who is about 80 YO or so who just will not come around on paying electronically through zelle or any other means. Her daughter on the other side of the duplex has been doing it for about a year and likes it much better. Last new lease i actually even made it $20 cheaper if paid electronically to incentivize them. But the older woman is stuck in her ways. The problem the becomes that I only get the checks very irregularly when traveling back to my prior state to visit family, or I have to have one of them check our old mailbox (we still own our old house and use it as an Airbnb). I know she also doesn't like the irregularity with when we're able to cash the check, i just tell her i travel all the time for work, which used to be true until the move. We've forwarded our mail, but for some reason her check never comes to our new address. With a new lease cycle coming up, what should I do? Any creative solutions?

Thought about telling her she can send it to my "property mgmt company" c/o me and just giving my new address, but might be suspicious to them that i'm using an out of state mgmt company.

Kierun

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2019, 01:57:57 PM »
Mom write the check to the daughter and have the daughter send one payment for both of them? With the $20 incentive off of both rents?

sailinlight

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2019, 01:59:05 PM »
I was overseas for several years and used https://travelingmailbox.com/ to receive rents. They scan your mail and you can print it out and scan it in your bank app. Worked out fine except mail is delayed by a few days.

SndcxxJ

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #3 on: November 05, 2019, 07:38:26 AM »
Is it possible to have whoever is prepping the Airbnb check the mail and deposit the rent check into a local bank for you?  I take care of a few rental properties for other people (family members) who live out of state and this is what we do.  The residents drop the check off to me and I deposit it into the owner's account.  This could be the cleaning person, or whoever you have between Airbnb occupants.  Give the $20 to them for their trouble if the resident doesn't want to save that money themselves.

elliha

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2019, 07:46:51 AM »
Mom write the check to the daughter and have the daughter send one payment for both of them? With the $20 incentive off of both rents?

I think I would suggest this to the tenants. Stress that you do not want to force anyone but this way would help you in so many ways and ask them if they could do this.

Proud Foot

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #5 on: November 07, 2019, 09:27:21 AM »
Could you set up a deposit only account at a local bank and give here instructions to deposit it there? It could even be the bank she banks at.

Villanelle

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2019, 07:50:06 AM »
Could you set up a deposit only account at a local bank and give here instructions to deposit it there? It could even be the bank she banks at.

This is what I was going to suggest.

If mom is old-fashioned, she can walk in to the bank and make a transfer. 

If yo are truly set on them not knowing you've moved, I'd tell them that your travel schedule is amping up and because of that, the check situation no longer works and you need to find a solution.  Suggest that mom write a check to daughter and daughter do e-payments for both of them.  (This could get confusing of one doesn't pay for some reason, but that doesn't seem unsurmountable.)  Or off the possibility of having her deposit directly to your bank, and you can even set up an account at the bank of her choice (or give a few options).  Look in to account fees, however.  I'd start with those two suggestions. 

You could also have the checks mailed to a local friend, and have the friend direct deposit them for $10 a month.  The explanation could be that with your work travel, you want a more reliable and time-sensitive deposit.  I suspect most people would be willing to do 5 minutes worth of work once a month for $10. 

It also kinds of depends on how far you are willing to go with this.  You can accompany that conversation with a new policy that checks will not be a $50 fee, though she could still opt to pay that and/or you may not be able to do that until the lease renews.  You can tell them that it 100% has to be electronic payment or direct deposit in to your bank, or you are not going to renew (if you are willing to go that far). 

rocketpj

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #7 on: November 11, 2019, 07:02:45 AM »
I have a couple of tenants that insist on paying cash, which drives me nuts.  So every month I end up going straight to the bank with a couple thousand in cash, hoping it doesn't fall out of my pockets on the way or something ridiculous.

Cpa Cat

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2019, 07:31:16 AM »
I have a couple of tenants that insist on paying cash, which drives me nuts.  So every month I end up going straight to the bank with a couple thousand in cash, hoping it doesn't fall out of my pockets on the way or something ridiculous.

I think the suggestion of having a deposit account at a nearby bank would work best for you too. If they want to pay cash, they take it to the bank themselves.

Papa bear

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2019, 08:38:59 AM »
First world problems my friends.

The deposit the rent into your bank account is the best option.  Tenant can go to local bank and take her paper check and deposit it directly into your account through a teller.

I do not like zelle / Venmo for rent collection.  You canít decline a payment, such as a partial payment.

I was big on sparkrent before quickbooks dissolved it.  Iíve been recently using cozy with decent results.   


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rocketpj

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #10 on: November 11, 2019, 04:17:35 PM »
I've been using Wave for most of my rentals, the invoicing system works pretty well and most tenants are happy to pay through it.

As for the others, the real point is that they pay, the mode is less important to me.  If someone wants to pay me cash, or cheque, or (in rare cases) work out some kind of trade then I am open to it.  What bugs me is when they don't pay, which is the topic for another thread.

Fire2029

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #11 on: November 23, 2019, 09:24:10 AM »
Back before any of the electronic payment options I rented my house out while I was living in Switzerland.

I simply had them mail the check to my father, and he deposited it in my US bank account with the stack of deposit slips I gave him. Given the banking apps now They would probably just need to snap a picture and send it to you, or if you really trust them you could give them access to your banking app and they could deposit it for you from there.

Edit : they in this scenario is your trusted local party.
« Last Edit: November 23, 2019, 11:56:52 AM by Fire2029 »

raincoast

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #12 on: November 23, 2019, 10:47:45 AM »
I don't know about the banking options in your jurisdiction, but where I live landlords (including mine) commonly collect rent by direct bank account withdrawal. No cheques, just some authorization forms. My landlord is a huge corporation though so that may give them more options.

spartana

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #13 on: November 25, 2019, 02:36:51 PM »
This is OT but how do landlords feel about receiving cash? Or cashiers checks or money orders (do those even exist stiil)? Would that seem shady to you if your tenant wanted to do that instead of having anything linking them to a bank account? Or they didn't have any bank accounts but had money coming in from a legit job or business (or cash stuffed into their mattresses). Obviously if you lived far away that wouldn't work.
« Last Edit: November 25, 2019, 02:41:32 PM by spartana »

theoverlook

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2019, 07:37:54 AM »
I would not accept cash. (a) how do they prove they paid rent or how do I prove they didn't, (b) locally, a landlord was killed for the cash she had on hand when it became known she regularly collected rent payments in cash.

spartana

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2019, 03:00:18 AM »
I would not accept cash. (a) how do they prove they paid rent or how do I prove they didn't, (b) locally, a landlord was killed for the cash she had on hand when it became known she regularly collected rent payments in cash.
I guess you could give them a written receipt with both your signatures on it but otherwise it would probably only work it pre-paying for several months up front or for the entire lease where you could put that amount "paid in full with cash"  into the rental contract. I suppose a money order or cashiers check would show proof of payment though.


Proud Foot

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2019, 08:06:46 AM »
Honestly a cashiers check would be more trustworthy than a check with their account on it. The tenant wouldn't be able to get a cashiers check without already having the money in place and giving it to the bank who issued the check. No different than if they used their banks bill-pay function.

YttriumNitrate

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2019, 08:19:58 AM »
This is OT but how do landlords feel about receiving cash? Or cashiers checks or money orders (do those even exist stiil)? Would that seem shady to you if your tenant wanted to do that instead of having anything linking them to a bank account? Or they didn't have any bank accounts but had money coming in from a legit job or business (or cash stuffed into their mattresses). Obviously if you lived far away that wouldn't work.

I specifically write it into the lease that payments must be made my electronic transfer. I'm less concerned with potential shadiness of cash/check payment than the extra monthly hassle of A) depositing the check, and B) waiting to see if the check arrives on time. Like Papa Bear, I use Cozy with good results so far.

Villanelle

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2019, 12:18:11 PM »
This is OT but how do landlords feel about receiving cash? Or cashiers checks or money orders (do those even exist stiil)? Would that seem shady to you if your tenant wanted to do that instead of having anything linking them to a bank account? Or they didn't have any bank accounts but had money coming in from a legit job or business (or cash stuffed into their mattresses). Obviously if you lived far away that wouldn't work.

I specifically write it into the lease that payments must be made my electronic transfer. I'm less concerned with potential shadiness of cash/check payment than the extra monthly hassle of A) depositing the check, and B) waiting to see if the check arrives on time. Like Papa Bear, I use Cozy with good results so far.

Don't most banks now have mobile deposit?  It takes me about 90 seconds to deposit a check from the comfort of my living room.

I still pay rent by check.  It's an automatic payment sent directly from my bank to my landlord.  He was fine with that, and it seemed easiest to me.  If he had wanted to give me his routing info so I could set up an electronic transfer, I would have happily done that, instead.  But hen he asked how we wanted to pay, I asked if setting up an auto-check worked, and he said it was fine. 

YttriumNitrate

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2019, 03:40:05 PM »
Don't most banks now have mobile deposit?  It takes me about 90 seconds to deposit a check from the comfort of my living room.
Probably, and I even walk right past my bank on my way to work, but I still don't want to have to deal with paper checks when I can set something up once and not have to think about it again for years.

electriceagle

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #20 on: November 28, 2019, 02:00:38 PM »
This is OT but how do landlords feel about receiving cash? Or cashiers checks or money orders (do those even exist stiil)? Would that seem shady to you if your tenant wanted to do that instead of having anything linking them to a bank account? Or they didn't have any bank accounts but had money coming in from a legit job or business (or cash stuffed into their mattresses). Obviously if you lived far away that wouldn't work.

Never ever accept cash.

Landlord: "I'm evicting tenant because he didn't pay rent"
Tenant: "But Judge, I gave him cash. He just didn't give me a receipt. My best friend over here saw me pay. I want a long, extended eviction process."
Judge: "I don't really believe tenant, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because eviction is a hardship. Untangling this will take six months instead of one."

As for the check issue, there are virtual mail receiving services that will get your mail, scan it, and email it to you. They will also forward checks to your bank. They are good for out-of-town landlords like the original poster and people who share a mailbox with roommates and want their mail secure.

malacca

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #21 on: December 07, 2019, 01:51:53 PM »
I don't take checks. I make the tenants deposit them into a local bank. I have one account for each property. And I have some over 80 year old tenants (in the summers).

spartana

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Re: tenant will only pay with check, not electronic
« Reply #22 on: December 08, 2019, 09:13:05 AM »
This is OT but how do landlords feel about receiving cash? Or cashiers checks or money orders (do those even exist stiil)? Would that seem shady to you if your tenant wanted to do that instead of having anything linking them to a bank account? Or they didn't have any bank accounts but had money coming in from a legit job or business (or cash stuffed into their mattresses). Obviously if you lived far away that wouldn't work.

Never ever accept cash.

Landlord: "I'm evicting tenant because he didn't pay rent"
Tenant: "But Judge, I gave him cash. He just didn't give me a receipt. My best friend over here saw me pay. I want a long, extended eviction process."
Judge: "I don't really believe tenant, but I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt because eviction is a hardship. Untangling this will take six months instead of one."
I guess if you had some kind of signed receipt saying they paid and you got it from both of you then you'd be covered. But that sounds like a major PITA that requires you to meet with a tenant each month in person.