The One Thing I Want My Landlord to Change

I really like my landlord. I live in a tight rental market dominated by student housing. The unique challenges and joys of renting primarily to college students leaves some property managers and owners overwhelmed, particularly during turnover and at the beginning of leasing season. Finding a landlord in such a busy market who has the time, will, and resources to give individual attention to residents whose needs differ from the primary tenant pool can be a challenge. After moving several times in seven years I’ve found a wonderful, walkable apartment in a mixed-use neighborhood.

The maintenance people were so friendly their smiles froze.
The maintenance people were so friendly their smiles froze.

My landlords are excellent, always available by phone and email, and are so quick to respond to maintenance requests that they sent a maintenance crew to my apartment during the Georgia Snowpocalypse of 2014 to fix a broken door sweep. I like my landlords so much I turned in my lease renewal forms two months early and I’m committed to renting from them as long as possible. There’s really only one thing I would love to see them change.

Please let me pay my rent online!

I am so tired of writing checks! The only reason I have a checkbook is to pay my rent each month. My checkbook is so old I couldn’t legally drink when I bought it. Using checks as legal tender is unpopular among all demographics. According to a recent survey by GoBankingRates, 38% of all American consumers never use personal checks to pay expenses and another 16% use them only once a month (probably to pay their rent.) The younger the demographic, the more drastic the shift away from check writing. According to the Bill Payments Money Mindset Index, a survey of the financial habits of Gen Y, 21% of Millennials have never written a check at all.

There’s a reason the most famous movie about check fraud is a period piece.
There’s a reason the most famous movie about check fraud is a period piece.

I appreciate the ability to pay by check, but I’d rather it be one of several options. Paying online not only saves me a trip to my property management office, but it streamlines the billing process for me and my landlord.

Tenants appreciate more than one payment option

Giving tenants more rent payment options makes them more likely to pay on time. Allowing online payments gives residents more flexibility during travel and family holidays, and ensures that you get paid on time no matter where your residents’ schedules take them. College students appreciate the ease of online payment, particularly during the summer months when many of them travel for internships, study abroad, or visit their hometowns.

Or as dated as this unfortunate example of quality mid-90s home entertainment.
Or as dated as this unfortunate example of quality mid-90s home entertainment.

With online payment there is no need to hold post-dated checks and hope they clear. Lacking an online payment option could be a red flag to potential tenants that the rest of your management services are as dated as your billing practices.

Online payments save property managers money and time

Migrating your property management services online is the most efficient way to handle payment processing. Processing checks by hand takes time, and the margin of error is significant. Accepting online payments takes away the hassle of repeated trips to the bank and filling out deposit slips, while also centralizing your rental income records. RentPost software includes online rent collection capabilities in four of our packages, available at several price points to serve your particular needs.

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Elizabeth Hayes

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