Payment Methods - Too Many Options?

I’m purchasing a good park in a small-ish town near me. The residents currently pay via check, either mailed to the owner, or simply dropped off at his door since he lives within walking distance of the park. I do not live so close and don’t necessarily want the residents mailing me checks. Below are the options I could offer, should I offer all? Any other ideas?

-Electronic payments via Innago (preferred method), they could use ACH or credit card on this app
-Install locked dropbox next to mailbox station, have my local part-time manager collect and mail to me
-Open bank account in the local bank, so the residents can deposit a check or cash directly

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I recommend having the electronic payments option and having a local bank account so the residents can deposit a check or cash directly. Some tenants don’t have bank accounts or credit cards so having a local bank for deposits is a good solution.

I also recommend having a drop box. Sometimes my tenants who are late paying their bill will deposit a partial payment which is not allowed. When they do this it prevents me from starting the eviction process because I ‘accepted’ their partial payment. These tenants typically become a problem and when they do I tell them that they can no longer deposit their payment into my account and must put the payment in the drop box. When they put a partial payment in the drop box I give it back to them and tell them they must pay the full amount. This allows me to start the eviction process if they don’t pay.

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Thanks! I wasn’t sure if too many options is a good or bad thing, but that all makes sense. Getting paid is most important!

Something online and something local (bank or paynearme/equivalent). Personally I haven’t had a drop box in years— local bank serves the same purpose.

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Brandon,
No need to reinvent the wheel. Offer pay by ACH or mail. Don’t do a drop box… too much work and hassles. Also if you pick a local bank to take deposits on your behalf- pick the right bank. Make sure you can get check images or images of the deposit slip on line. If it is a deposit slip for a cash payment the tenant has to make sure they note the trailer space they are in ON THE DEPOSIT SLIP. We actually mail pre filled out deposit slips to our Blue Sky residents. You get 30 or so of those posting over the first of the monh you have to go slow and steady to not screw it up.

Keep it simple and straight forward.
My opinion only
Roger

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In this day and age, only one of those choices is valid and that is the ACH service. We use Paylease by Zego for a similar experience, but they also allow cash payments at retail stores or mail to their NYC lockbox and the payment is automatically logged into our management system by Zego.

A drop box can lead to loss and theft and you cannot prove if a payment was on time or not. How do you know if it arrived before or after midnight?

Deposit to a local bank is a problem if you are evicting somebody and just before the court hearing, they drop $1.00 into your account. You have no way to reject the payment, and some judges may see this as you accepting payment. Also, tenants sometimes forget to put their name, unit number, or other ID on the deposit, so you cannot determine who paid or not.

One additional complication we had was a small bank had software so that if the same amount was deposited on the same day, you could only see the same check image for the fist deposit of that amount that day. For example if Joe paid $300 today, then 4 other people paid $300 today, the bank would show Joe’s check for all 5 payments. We had to call the bank each month to have them pull the archives to sort it out.

We used a local bank and drop box, but have eliminated them altogether. The last drop box we eliminated 2 months ago because the manager lost 4 money orders valued at over $800.

We strongly urge all tenants to pay on our website by ACH for the safest and cheapest transaction possible.

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Do residents mail directly to your residence? Or do you have a PO Box? With how slow the postal service is sometimes, it might take 4-5 business days before I receive the checks, so if they are late in paying, I won’t know until 4-5 days after the missed payment.

Ideally I’ll switch the majority to ACH, but I’m sure a few older residents will still want to pay via check.

I would NEVER provide a residential address of any of our employees to a tenant. Your are asking for trouble!!! How would you like your spouse or children to receive a surprise visit from an angry former tenant after an eviction hearing?

The older residents will figure it out when you tell them you don’t take checks anymore. They can ask their grandkids how to use the internet. Force the issue, and they will figure it out.

Right, hence my question above…

If u use a bank,how do you prevent a late payer from depositing a partial payment into the bank and shutting down the eviction process?

I tell them that their deposit method/location has changed and they are no longer required to go to the bank to pay. I instruct them to place their non cash payment in my drop box which is located at the park office. It isn’t 100% fool proof but it has worked for 5 years.

We have an office with a PO box. We do ACH and automatic transfers for those who sign up. You want to stay up on late payments… but the postmark is the postmark. You just have to be able to assess the late payment on to the next invoice in time.

I have 2 tenants pay through Venmo and it must be available by the end of the business day on the 3rd of the month or have to pay for the instant deposit fee.
All other tenants must deposit into the park bank account with lot # numbers on deposit slip it has been working well.