As a Birmingham and Nashville property management company, we see and process thousands and thousands of rent payments each year.
And for most of us – tenant or homeowner – our rental or mortgage payment is our highest fixed monthly expense.
If for any reason, a rental payment were to be mishandled or misappropriated and not applied to the rental balance for that month, most of us would have significant problems coming up with the funds to make this payment again…especially if there’s no clarification as to where the previous payment went!
Because of that, it’s extremely important that we handle it with care and make sure it’s accounted for when we make a payment.
But we all know that sometimes accidents happen.
So how do you protect your rent payment so that it’s always accounted for and YOU don’t have to come up with additional funds?
“I paid my rent and it is not reflected on my tenant statement!”
Although this scenario is uncommon, it is very possible that a tenant’s payment could be mishandled.
When you think about how many different payments a property manager receives from hundreds or even thousands of tenants each month, you can begin to see how this is a possibility.
So if 1,000 tenants make a payment over the course of a year by check or money order, that is 12,000 pieces of paper to be processed for payment. That’s 12,000 opportunities for a payment to be mishandled.
How can you, the tenant, protect your monthly rental payment?
Property managers and rental housing owners have traditionally accepted money orders as a means to get guaranteed funds for rent.
However, all too often we hear stories of property management companies dealing with significant amounts of rental dropbox theft and money order fraud…often totaling thousands of dollars.
The result: owners are not getting rent payments, and residents who paid their rent with a money order may be facing eviction for non-payment.
Below are a couple ways you can empower yourself and protect your rental payments.
Bottom line. The most secure form a payment is from your bank account through an electronic payment solution provided by the property manager.
This form of payment cuts out the middle man handling your money. Paying online is quick and will be reflected towards your balance immediately.
For your convenience, you can also set up a recurring payment to directly draft from your banking account.
If I, the tenant, make a payment using my checking account, the landlord now has access to my money directly at any time. MYTH!!
The landlord can not access any funds directly without an agreed upon transaction taking place between the tenant and the landlord/property manager.
At gkhouses.com, our most convenient and secure way to pay your monthly rent is to make your payment online through our tenant portal. There is no additional cost or fees for paying online using your banking account information.
If paying online is not the best option for you, any method of payment that is easily tracked and potentially cancelled is recommended..
Again with understanding, thousands of payments can potentially be processed and it is likely that 1 out of 1,000 could get mishandled over time.
If you are unable to track the payment of your rent (i.e. you haven’t paid online through the secure tenant portal), don’t panic.
One of the quickest things to do is to get written confirmation from your property manager that rent has been received. If you deposited rent in a drop box, you should always keep a receipt of the money order.
In the case you have made your payment, but your payment is not reflected, confirm with the landlord that the funds have not been deposited on your behalf, then return to where you received your money order and retrieve your unused funds. Your property manager should also be understanding to your concern and can walk you through the steps to tracking your funds.
With today’s advanced technology, it’s easier and safer now than ever to make payments online. The days of property managers and mortgage companies accepting checks or money orders will be coming to an end in the near future.
For your safety and peace of mind, contact your property manager and set up an online method to pay your rent electronically so that your check or money order will never be mishandled.