There are several different forms of payment a landlord can accept for rent payment. Some payment methods, like certified check, cashier’s check, money order, or online payment, offer more security because they are easy to verify. Other payment methods such as cash, credit card, direct deposit, or personal check come with more risk as they are difficult to track and record and could come under dispute. Regardless of accepted payment methods, the decision is always at the discretion of the landlord and payment expectations should be clear and agreed upon from the beginning.
Let’s take a closer look at credit card payments and whether or not they should be accepted towards rent.
Credit card payments come with pros and cons. Typically if a landlord accepts credit card transactions, they will be responsible for paying a transaction fee to the issuing credit card company. Not only this, but a tenant can report a rental payment transaction as fraudulent to their company, which will then suspend payment to the landlord until the dispute is resolved. Tenants could rely on credit cards during financial difficulties and float rent payments on limited lines of credit. This can quickly lead to a landlord dealing with an eviction situation after thinking that the tenant is unable to meet rent requirements.
Of course, with a tenant background check, a landlord can qualify a candidate’s credit standing, rental and eviction history, and criminal records. Turbo Tenant’s property management software can provide these background checks for free, and integrate the checks with rental applications, online marketing, and management tools. With Turbo Tenant’s software solution, background checks are instant as soon as candidates fill out the application. This means users can find the right tenant in a timely manner with full peace of mind. What’s more, Turbo Tenant allows for property management from anywhere, allowing landlords to track applications, access background checks, and accept tenants.
There are many positive reasons as a landlord to accept credit card payments as rent. For many adults, paying bills can be unpleasant. Making it convenient for tenants to pay rent each month by accepting credit cards means higher tenant satisfaction and on-time payments. Credit cards are fast and guaranteed; when a transaction is processed, a landlord receives funds into their account within a few business days. The payments are guaranteed, since unlike checks, they cannot bounce and therefore no time is spent chasing payment. So long as there is a lease agreement in place, there isn’t much concern for a dispute since it could be mitigated easily and quickly. Do note, however, that because it can take a few business days for a landlord to receive the funds into their account, credit card transactions need to be issued with processing days in mind so as to not make a late payment.
Tenants like to integrate daily conveniences into their lives. Being able to set up a monthly ACH payments on a credit card means that they don’t have to think about monthly payment obligations. This is also advantageous for landlords because regardless of their geographical position, they can still collect full rental payments from anywhere.
Landlords have built in marketing with tenants, meaning renters often talk to friends and colleagues about their living situations. If a tenant is pleased with the lifestyle conveniences offered by their landlord, they will speak favorably and even recommend their landlord to anyone in need of housing. Accepting credit card payments is a great way to stay on track technologically with what matters to the right demographic.