How to Collect Rent Online: A Helpful Guide for Landlords

Having your tenants pay rent on time is the single most important aspect of running your landlord business. You probably already know by now the importance of tenant screening to ensure you pick a great tenant who can afford to pay rent on time. However, are you making the rent collection process easy and safe for both you and your renters? Collecting rent online is becoming increasingly popular as contactless payments become the new norm. Fortunately, landlording can generally be a contactless and low-maintenance business anyways – collecting rent online will continue to help you create a seamless virtual rental process. Continue reading as we guide you through why you should consider online rent payments and how to collect rent online.

Types of Ways to Collect Rent Online

You might be asking, what’s the best way to collect rent online? While there are several rent payment options landlords have used for decades, as the property management business becomes more virtual and distant, switching to online options makes sense.  However, with many apps and programs out there, it’s important to determine what will work best for you and your business. Here are the most common ways to collect rent online:

1: Online Property Management Software:

If you already use software to collect rental applications, screen your tenants, and market your property, then it makes sense to also collect your rent through the same platform. Rent payments through this way are often extremely easy – both you and your tenant will only have to set up the process once and from there you can set up automatic payments. Additionally, collecting rent through property management software is secure, fast, and there is no handling of cash or checks – the money will be directly deposited into your account.

2: Money Transfer Apps:

Another common method many people use is a money transfer platform, such as Venmo, CashApp, PayPal, or GoogleWallet. These apps are linked to bank accounts or debit cards and are popular among younger renters. While they are simple to use, the downside is you will have to transfer the money from your platform account to your actual bank account which can take a few days. Unfortunately, money transfer apps aren’t deigned to do much more besides transfers. This means you are missing out on other helpful features such as automatic reminders, automatic charges, and storage of receipts and documents. Additionally, with money transfer apps there are usually limits on how much money can be transferred. This means tenants may have to complete several transactions to pay the full rent amount – these platforms aren’t built for paying rent and might end up causing issues with getting paid on time. 

Why You Should Switch to Online Rent Payments

If you want an easy process that is not only ideal for your business, but also easy for your renters, collecting rent through a property management system is your best bet. Having a system where everything is in one place for your rental property business will ensure you are organized and efficient. Here are some of the perks of using an online rent payment system:

  • Secure and reliable
  • You can collect additional payments such as security deposits and late fees 
  • Automatic reminders to tenants
  • Easier for tenants 
  • Free for landlords and free for tenants if they opt for ACH payments (bank transfer) – paying with a debit/credit card will include a processing fee
  • No contact or collection necessary

How Online Rent Payments Work

If you’ve decided to switch your rent collection method over to an online property management system like TurboTenant,  it’s very easy to get started so you can see the rent come in on time every month. If you already have a landlord account, you can easily start accepting rent payments. With TurboTenant’s rent payment system, setup takes less than five minutes once you answer verification questions and securely connect your bank account information so rent can be directly deposited. You’ll be able to see the status of the charges you send out in one place, and you’ll be notified once your renter pays or if they are late on their payments. Also, you will be able to keep the important payment information, receipts, and documents all in one place in your account so you can easily reference or double-check payments in case a situation arises – the best part is collecting rent online is free for landlords and will save you time.

Online rent payments are also easy for your tenants. The only steps they will have to take are to set up their payment information securely and choose if they want to pay for their rent via bank transfer (ACH), debit card, or credit card. They’ll easily be able to pay with one click either on their laptops or phones and receive reminders if they have unpaid charges.

Overall, switching to online rent payments will enhance your rental business for the better. It will save you time, worry, and is an enticement for many tenants – online tools have allowed the rental process to ultimately become completely virtual and collecting rent online is another easy step that will contribute to your success as a virtual landlord. Start collecting rent online today.

FAQs About Collecting Rent Online

Do you have to have an online lease to collect rent payments online?

No, you do not have to have an online lease to collect rent payments online. If you have a paper lease, it’s always good to scan it and keep a digital copy, however, you can collect rent online as long as you specify that’s how you will be collecting it in the lease agreement.

What if some tenants want to pay online and others don’t?

While some renters, most likely those who are in older generations, might be unfamiliar with online rent payments, you can easily explain to them and show them how to set up their payments securely. You should stick to one method of rent payment collection for all your tenants so you can stay organized. However, if you do end up accepting a different form of rent payment for a specific renter, you can still keep track of of offline payments and document them in your TurboTenant account.

What about collecting rent payments during an eviction?

If you are going through the eviction process, make sure you do not accept rent payments from a tenant – accepting even a small payment could impact the proceedings and stop the eviction process altogether. 

Is there a fee for me to collect rent online?

There is no fee for landlords to collect rent online – it is free to set up rent payments. The only fee involved in the rent payment process is if a renter chooses to pay their rent with a credit or debit card which comes with a processing fee of 3.49%.H

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