Collecting rent via po box

I assume this topic has been discussed but I was unable to come across a related post when searching. I am looking to acquire a 30 space park 2 hours from my home. The current local owner claims all residents mail payments to his po box. Being that I will not be local shall I have try to have each tenant mail to my po box or elect a greeter to collect all rents and then mail in return for a discounted lot rent? I figure the latter would keep me from chasing individual payments that we all know will arise at some point? I also feel a greeter could be eyes on the park but that could also be handled in other ways. Being the park is 30 spaces I still lean towards the soft costs of having someone handle issues and collections over the time and effort of dealing with small issues to save trips to visit the park to address them. And advice is appreciated.



If the tenants are on a P.O. Box system already – and assuming that it’s working – I’d leave it alone, and simply get a P.O. Box near your house and let them start sending rent there. You’ll still need to send them a monthly invoice with return envelope with our P.O. Box on it.

You’ll definitely need a Greeter in that park. It’s impossible to successfully operate a park without someone to act as your “eyes and ears” in the field. On a park that size, I would just give them free lot rent in exchange.

And what if I were to find out the po box situation is not working? I assume it is but if the process needed to be changed what method on a 30 space park works best? Have the greeter collect or post a drop box in which greeter has access? Thanks a bunch.


The P.O. Box plan would be my first choice since that’s the existing plan. If that fails, then I’d have the rent given to the manager, and the manager deposit it daily. This will obviously create a lot more management problems and cost, so I’d sure try to keep the P.O. Box plan in place.

Vasque -

We are dealing with this exact issue on our most recent acquisition we made last week.

The PO box system at that park is not working. Our definition of ‘not working’ is that the former owners were constantly being told ‘the check is in the mail.’ They also probably did not enforce rules strictly enough and contributed to the problem. We operate our parks with an on-site rent box next to the mailboxes. This way, there is no ‘check is in the mail’ excuse. The manager/greeter collects the rent and mails it directly to the bank in pre-printed envelopes with pre-printed deposit slips. There is no chance to transpose address or account numbers; the greeter/manager just has to write legibly enough that the lot numbers and dollar amounts appear on the deposit slip for our accountant to see and cross-check.

You can also consider a rent box as a minor investment. You will invest some money up front ($500 - $2,000, depending on how tamper-proof you need to make it), but you will then save the ongoing monthly expense of a PO box ($20 - $40). This payback is not as good as on a 1980 12x50 rented for $400/month, but it is something…! (:P)


For a park this size, it seems to be a major factor. I like the drop box situation, which seems to remove many variables in the equation to cause issues which result in time and $. The park is in a smaller town but has all city utilities which each tenant pays direct. Therefore the only expense is keeping the place cleaned up and yards mowed. There are 0 POH’s which relieves many expenses. So, the rent collection system is the top priority.

We bought a 56-lot park earlier this year that’s 7 hours from our home. After being bank-owned for 3 years, it needed a major turn-around and we didn’t have anyone onsite to collect the rent. We tried the PO box with marginal success. We ended up opening an account with a bank at the end of the street where the park is located. We gave the residents the account number and they make their deposits directly. It’s a fairly small town (and small bank), so now all they have to do is let the teller know their lot number and they credit it to our account. We can access our account online 24/7 and view all deposit slips (which the tellers usually complete, noting the lot number on the slip). So far, it’s working quite well. But this bank is also within walking distance of the park, which helps.

Some people cautioned us against giving our account number to the residents, but since it’s on every check we write, I don’t think it’s a huge risk. One of my concerns was the ability to “refuse” payments if necessary (i.e. accepting a partial rent payment when evicting for nonpayment of rent can stop the eviction), but our attorney said to just return the deposit immediately if that should happen.That scenario hasn’t been tested yet (in court).

We have a couple people who wanted to pay their bills online and the bank allows that as well. They can do a ‘one time’ payment or set it up to be recurring.

So far, it’s worked well for us, particularly because we travel a lot and it’s easy to see who’s paid no matter where we are. We still have a few people who insist on mailing their payments, but for the most part, that just didn’t work for us; we constantly heard ‘the check is in the mail’ or ‘it must have been lost in the mail.’

Very good information. Thank you very much. With your 56 space park, do you still not have a manager on site? The park I am looking at is only 30 spaces with 3 of them vacant, but does not have any park owned homes. It is in a smaller town in very close proximity to a larger populated town. The utilities are all city and tenants pay all bills direct. The biggest obstacle is getting residents to change the way an/or where payments are sent. Increasing lot rent and not accepting partial payments. And then keeping lawns mowed. There are two local folks in the town that own 3 or 4 homes in the park which I’m not sure if it is good or bad. They pay lot rent.

I use a Chase bank close to the park (I’m not). The tenants deposit their payments into my account there, I can see their deposit slips online, and I record their payment in my record book. Works great. Tenant can’t claim that “the check’s in the mail”, and I have absolute proof of their payment date. Only disadvantage is if a tenant makes an insufficient payment, say, without a late fee which is due, I can’t just refuse the payment and kick it back to them, as I could if they had mailed a check to me.


I guess I’m assuming the tenants have no bank accounts? Otherwise I would insist on ACH.

I have used a PO Box for 12 years. I get over 100 checks a month and have never had any big issues. If people say the check is in the mail and I dont get it within a few days I know they are lieing. The mail system is very accurate. Plus its usually going to be the same people who are always late that say the check is in the mail. I have had people who have sent me payments on the same day of the month for years and I can usually tell you the exact day I’ll get that check. It works like clockwork.

One time I had a great customer who had paid me on time for years tell me the check was in the mail and I had not gotten it. I knew she was an honest tenant so I told her we could wait a couple weeks to see if it showed up before canceling the check. Sure enough it had been put in the wrong PO box and I got it a week later. Thats very rare. Usually the people that say its in the mail are the same people that are always late and I know they are lieing right off the bat. If you are having problems, its a tenant problem not a postal service problem.

Frank, what kind of invoice system do you use?I am about to get my first park and was thinking of having a greeter give the tenants the invoice and I will just email the greeter the invoices for him to print.How does that sound?

I was working a temp job and receiving my paycheck by mail… I did not get my paycheck, made a big stink about it, made them cancel the check and issue another one. The original check showed up a month later. This check was mailed from one suburb to another suburb of the same major city. The post office is totally and completely unreliable and you should never mail anything of value!

We produce our invoices as a big PDF file. We then ‘dropbox’ them to our managers computer. Depending on the manager, they print them and mail or deliver them, or we log in with ‘teamviewer’ and print them. The tenants mail us the checks to our po box, and we enter them. In some cases the managers collect the rents and make the deposits, but we know that manager pretty well. 

a side note- if you are billing for utilities, you might need by state law to deliver the bill ‘x’ number of days prior to it being due. Our largest mandated lead time is 15 days- so we send out next period invoices in every park on the 13th. The law says- postmarked 15 days prior to the due date. 

Vasque,We are using deposit cards from Wells Fargo on our rental properties, works great. The bank issues a credit card looking deposit card that can only be used for deposits, they can use cash if they don’t have a bank account. We have run across other banks that offer that (for free) as well. Good Luck!Leighnae Fabian