How to Set Up Rent Drop Boxes
To avoid theft from happening, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure your drop box is properly set up and secure.
Step #1: Install a Chute
The reason why a thief can access a drop box is that they are a basic box with no angles inside of it. They can put something sticky onto a flexible tube and fish out items one by one. Consider installing a chute with angles in it, kind of what you'd see on a postal box, and you'll make it more difficult to get items out without opening up the box itself.
Step #2: Have Your Box Inside a Locked Property
Instead of having your rental drop box out in the open, consider installing it inside your property management office. Cut the chute opening through the exterior wall and then have a lock on the box inside in case someone manages to force their way through the door to access the drop box. A chute doesn't have to be very big to accept most check sizes and the bigger checks can be folded to fit and smaller chutes tend to be more secure.
Step #3: Start an Online Payment System
Instead of forcing tenants to pay by check or secured funds, consider setting up an online payment system or even a pay by phone system that can be accessed 24/7. This will let your tenants pay when they've got a moment and avoid late fees at the last second because they can immediately submit their rent. The only down side to this is the credit/debit card processing fees that come with an online system, though this could be off-set in some areas with a 1.5% upcharge.
Step #4: Eliminate Money Orders
Money orders are extremely easy to alter and they are really hard to trace, especially when compared to a personal check. Discourage the use of these when using the drop box system and you'll automatically create a safer environment.
Step #5: Partner With Off-Site Vendors
One of the most creative ways to utilize a drop box system for rental payments is to partner with different businesses throughout your community so that people can drop off their rent as they are doing their errands. Although this may create a small hassle for your property manager, you may just find your rental payments are made on-time more often because there are more visual reminders for tenants to pay their rent.
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