Your property is ready for move in, new tenants have been selected and it’s time to sign the contracts. Is your rent payment process set up so you get paid on time?
Collecting your rent payments from tenants can be handled in a number of ways. Remember, making the rent payment process convenient for your tenants will most likely lead to on-time payments. Below is a summary of the most common payment methods when renting to the military.
Active duty military members can utilize a limited number of allotments directly through DFAS (the organization that issues paychecks for the DoD). With this system, the set amount of money from the service member’s paycheck is disbursed directly to an assigned bank account at the same time the service member’s paycheck is direct deposited each month. The advantage of this payment method is that the rent is paid immediately when the member is paid. The money bypasses the member’s account entirely – avoiding possible negative account issues. Utilizing this option requires you to provide a bank account routing and account number to your tenants to set up the allotment.
Many landlords/property managers offer an incentive for paying by allotment to ensure they get paid on time every month, such as reduced rent, reduced deposit, etc.
Online Bill Pay
All of the major banks and credit unions now offer some version of online auto payment. In your new tenant intake process, provide tenants with instructions for setting up online payment with banks commonly used by military families – USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, etc. Be sure to review the terms and conditions for any fees associated with the payment provider.
While online and automatic options are appealing and increasingly becoming a must-have for today’s consumer, there will still be times that having an in-person payment method is essential. Both a secure drop box for checks outside of business hours and a way to process credit cards at your office offer back-ups for when online payments aren’t working or are unavailable for some reason. Technology fails sometimes, so be prepared to offer your tenants a back-up!
Gearing up for the 2017 PCS season? Don’t forget to update your listings coming available at AHRN.com!