Essential Obligations of a Landlord

Landlords have certain essential obligations that they must meet if they are in a leasing agreement with a tenant.

Most of these obligations are derived from the local landlord/tenant laws that govern the lease.

Obligations can also be specifically put into the lease itself.

Every jurisdiction is a little different when it comes to a complete look at the essential obligations of a landlord, but here is a comprehensive general overview of what is required.

There Is a Responsibility To Provide Safety

A rental property should be safe to live within.

Landlords are responsible for creating a structure that is secure.

This may even include a general feeling of safety when tenants are home by themselves.

This means any exterior access point should have working locks.

This includes windows and all doors.

Exterior doors should also be equipped with at least one deadbolt lock.

Access to keys is also part of the landlord’s obligations.

No one else should have keys to the home.

If previous tenants do not turn in their keys, then the locks need to be changed before a new tenant moves in to occupy the residence.

It is common for landlords to give keys to Realtors or maintenance personnel, but these should either be reclaimed or be used for a generic lock that is easily replaced.

Landlords must also have their properties up to code, including carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

Outdoor areas should be free of hazards as well.

Landlords Are Responsible For Exterior Issues

Unless a tenant has damaged the exterior of the home because of direct action, landlords are generally responsible for the upkeep of a home so that it is clean and safe as well. This means taking action to fix roofing leaks, siding issues, or broken decking. Exterior concrete steps that crumble are a good example of an exterior safety issue which would need to be addressed. Landlords may put into their lease a requirement for tenants to provide property care and maintenance. This generally includes mowing, trimming, and weeding. Tenants cannot generally be held liable for tree services or specialty care needs a property may have. If a property has a fence, then it may also fall under the landlord’s care to provide safety. Damages by tenants are their own responsibility, but weather damage to an exterior item is generally the responsibility of the landlord. Pest control also falls into this category. Fleas, bed bugs, or similar infestations caused by tenant conduct are not generally a landlord’s responsibility, but roaches, rodents, and other pests may be.

Landlords Should Be Present For All Repairs

If you have maintenance personnel acting on your behalf to visit rental properties, then you are setting yourself up for a possible robbery claim.

Repairs must have a prompt response and some are required within 24 hours.

24 hour repairs are generally defined as those that adversely affect the health or safety of the rental property.

What are some examples of common 24 hour repair issues that may occur?

1. A hot water heater that begins to leak or fails to provide hot water.

2. A broken sump pump that backs up into the home.

3. An exterior lock on a window or door that fails to work properly.

Just because some repairs don’t need to be completed within 24 hours doesn’t mean that a timely response isn’t necessary.

Each jurisdiction has its own set standards of when a maintenance request must have a response.

Many fall into the 7-10 day range.

Landlords Must Store Security Deposits

How a security deposit is stored for a tenant varies from state to state. In general, however, landlords must notify tenants as to where their security deposit is being held.

Some landlords must keep a deposit in a separate account, but it can earn interest that the landlord is able to keep.

Other laws require any interest to be paid as well minus damages or cleaning.

Most landlords should also consider it an obligation to notify their tenants about obtaining renter’s insurance.

Most tenants are not covered under a landlord’s policy, so in the case of a flood, a fire, or other disaster, their possessions would not receive any compensation without renter’s insurance.

This notification limits the chances of litigation occurring.

Landlords may also be responsible for storing tenant possessions at certain times.

This may occur during a move-out, property abandonment, or even during an eviction.

By knowing what the essential obligations of a landlord happen to be in your area, it becomes easier to manage a rental property.

Check your local landlord/tenant laws regularly to make sure you stay in compliance.

Fair Housing Legislation: A Primer

The Fair Housing Act was first adopted in 1968 and covers most housing in the United States.

In 1988, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development increased its power to enforce the Fair Housing Act to ensure that minority groups are not discriminated against by landlords and real estate agencies.

Since 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act has provided protection for the disabled as well.

The Disabilities Act works in conjunction with the Fair Housing Act in certain civil cases.

So, what exactly is the Fair Housing Act, and how does it affect you as a property manager?

  • It protects minorities from being turned away by landlords and real estate companies solely on the basis of racial identity, religious affiliation, gender, nationality, or sexual orientation.
  • It disallows property owners from indicating a preference toward a certain race, religion, or gender when advertising the rental or sale of a property.
  • It makes it illegal for landlords and property managers to take threatening or intimidating actions toward prospective renters due to their race, religion, or gender.

These specifications can sound intimidating.

However, if you employ some common sense and a professional business model that is free of personal prejudices, you won’t have to worry about falling victim to civil cases in the future.

What are Your Rights as a Landlord

There are a few ways that you can optimize your property management practices to ensure that you don’t violate any of the clauses of the Fair Housing Act.

For instance, you can make sure that your tenant screening process is constantly updated.

Your right to conduct a general background check and screen tenants for credit scores, eviction records, and bankruptcy is protected by law.

You have the right to maintain a certain standard within the property you are renting out, and bad tenants can greatly affect your business by damaging your image and ratings on renters’ websites.

The courts understand this and will listen to your arguments if you are ever sued by a renter.

Staying Objective is Key

It can’t be emphasized enough that an objective and professional leasing process with prospective tenants and renters is crucial.

Developing a fair system for both property owners and renters can benefit both parties and is considered good practice.

It’s important to avoid any language in your rental listings that may appear to be discriminatory.

You can be upfront with your screening criteria as long as you do not reject renters based on protected statuses.

For example, if you prefer to rent to professionals or students, you can indicate this preference in your rental listing.

However, you can’t require that renters follow a specific religion, and you can’t mention that you prefer to rent to a particular gender in the listing or advertisement.

Once the tenant is ready to rent, use a standardized screening process that includes reviewing credit reports and criminal records, and speaking with landlord references.

Information from these reports can be used to approve or deny the tenant without resulting in discrimination issues.

Save yourself time and your potential tenant money by disclosing the non-discriminatory criteria that may disqualify them.

That way, you won’t waste time obtaining reports and references, and potential renters won’t waste money on screening and application costs.

Remember, the law permits you to screen tenants, but only to a limited extent.

Don’t make decisions based on biased judgments.

As a business person, it’s important to practice the utmost professionalism.

Once you grasp a full understanding of the Fair Housing Act and the consequences of violating it, you’ll be on your way to becoming a much more informed property manager.

Low-Cost Kitchen Renovations That Boost Rental Value

It is no secret that kitchen renovations boost property value, so it should come as no surprise that an upgraded kitchen can also help to attract tenants and boost the amount that you can charge in rent.

Unfortunately, major kitchen renovations run well over $10,000.

If you are not able to put a lot of money into your investment property, a low-cost kitchen renovation can still allow you to reap benefits now and when you sell the property in the future.

Even a minor kitchen renovation can offer a return of 82 percent on average.

Here are some ideas to get you started.

Refinish Cabinets
Instead of putting the money into getting all new cabinets, strip the current cabinets, sand them down and refinish them.

You can add a coat of paint to brighten up the kitchen, and the best part about this idea is the fact that it does not require you to do any major demolition in order to achieve your goal of a more updated kitchen space.

Backsplash
Backsplashes are a major part of the modern kitchen, and having an outdated backsplash or none at all can turn potential tenants off to your property.

Chipping away at the current tile is a tedious task, but it is one that you can complete on your own.

Laying the new tile is a do-it-yourself venture as well, and there are low-cost tiles available that still fit in with modern kitchen decor.

Overall, this is one of the cheapest ways to give the kitchen in your rental property a much-needed facelift.

Shop Smart
If there are new pieces that you need to add to the kitchen to make it look its best, shop through surplus retailers in order to snag a deal.

You will have to deal with installation on your own, but the deep discount is worth the trouble.

Many of these retailers provide the latest styles when it comes to kitchen decor, and you can find everything from countertops to islands this way.

Add an Island
Counter space is often at a premium in rental units, and more people are becoming interested in cooking their own meals at home.

That means that offering more room to slice, dice, and mix sets your rental unit apart from the rest.

An island offers an ideal way to expand counter space without actually adding a fixture to the kitchen.

Design options include wheeled islands that can be removed from the room if your tenants want more floor space, so these portable options are ideal.

Add Storage
Cabinet space is another desirable feature in any kitchen.

While adding an island will increase storage space, look at all of your options when it comes to low-cost methods of increasing storage for your tenants.

Shelving on a bare wall can be used to stack dishes, and kitchens that do not yet have upper cabinets can benefit from having these installed.

Change Up the Lighting
A modern lighting fixture helps to change the decor while better lighting the space.

While it will not improve a completely outdated kitchen, it can help to spruce up a kitchen that just needs a little boost.

Now that you know that there are ways to increase the rent you charge for your property while improving property value, it is time to get started.

Whether you choose one or several of these suggestions, a small renovation can go a long way when it comes to attracting tenants.

 

Residential Lease Documents Explained

A properly completed residential lease, with all of important components, is essential to a proper landlord/tenant relationship.

It’s in the best interests of all parties for everything to be laid out in writing, so don’t hesitate to ensure that all items are covered.

Remember that each law covering leases will have subtle differences in each state, but the bulk of what’s in a good document applies across the board.

Search state databases for information about what needs to be included.

The information below will help you understand the substance of generally accepted lease agreements.

Rental Agreement or Lease

The primary difference between the two is that a rental agreement is a month-to-month document, while the lease covers a set period of time.

Should a tenant remain after a lease expires, things convert over to a rental agreement based on the final terms of the lease until a new lease is signed or the tenant moves out.

The obvious advantage of a rental agreement is that it allows either party to terminate it on a 30-day notice.

The downside for landlords is just that — there’s more long-term advantages to a lease that implies a time frame.

Of course, that means getting it right and covering all aspects of a lease in important.

Prominent Sections in a Residential Lease

The first section is always the personal and/or business information for both the landlord and the new resident, followed by the physical address of the property as well as any extra details.

If the premise includes furniture or something else in addition to the structure it would be noted here.

The amount of rent will be in another section, along with any security deposits and/or last month requirements.

This information may be be broken down into sections called “terms” and “payments.”

This is where you likely see language detailing late charges and how they are handled included.

The date late charges will be implemented needs should be listed as well.

Further down the lease document will be sections detailing rules about occupants. It’s important to include specific language that limits the amount of time a guest can stay (normally 15 days) to avoid extra residents who aren’t on the lease.

There should be sections outlining pet policy that are clear and concise.

Parking regulations are also important if there is any shared parking or if a landlord wants to limit the number of vehicles that can be parked on the property.

Sections Referring to Termination and Maintenance

The maintenance section details who is responsible for what when it comes to property upkeep, trash disposal and routine repairs.

Utility services can be paid for by the resident or landlord as prescribed in this section the lease.

When it comes to termination, the section should contain specific language that spells out what kind of actions can result in the lease being terminated is important.

The effective dates of the lease should be included here and the options for renewal as well.

Many office supply stores and online services can provide a lease template.

What you want to be sure of is that you are using the correct lease for your state and that it covers all the necessary categories.

Make sure any lease you choose is up to standard as it isn’t something to cut corners on.

How to Read a Credit Report

An individual’s credit report is one of the most important tools landlords should be utilizing to help ensure their properties are rented to the most qualified candidates in the market.

Along with employment and past references, credit is a critical decision making tool, but it’s not as effective if it’s not completely understood.

This sample offers a nice layout and helps with the explanations that follow.

 

Tradelines

This is the area on the report where you will find information on accounts and how long they have been open.

The trade term “seasoned tradeline” indicates one that has been open for a long time.

Usually, the longer an account is open, the more positively it influences a credit score.

There are companies that will essentially sell tradelines that are meant to boost the credit rating.

While the practice may seem unethical, it’s not illegal.

It’s one reason landlords should be wise to look beyond just the credit score.

Tradelines will start by listing the lender and the loan type, such as credit card, car loan, or line of credit.

Next, the report will list a designator and then the industry the credit falls under.

Last, it will list the current status of the account, which is the most important section — you want to rent to people who are current on their credit obligations and rarely late.

Collections

As you might assume, this section will provide alerts regarding any accounts going to collections and whether they are still open or have been resolved.

If a person had  an account go to collection but has paid it off, it will still be listed in the Collections section.

An update in August 2014 changed the way medical bills reflected on credit reports, lessening their impact, which is a big help for consumers who were hit by enormous medical bills and were simply unable to pay them.

But remember, if a person walked away from routine obligations such as cell phone payments or a credit card, they probably aren’t the best candidate — though context should also be considered in such situations.

Context

It’s important to look at any credit report through a lens that takes into account some level of context, which is what the new rule on FICO score reporting is meant to provide.

However, it may be years before the changes are fully implemented, so it’s helpful if those who are reading credit reports understand context too, and not just with regard to medical bills.

If a potential renter has a lower score because of medical costs going to collection, it’s not by itself an indication of risk when it comes to paying rent on time.

Another situation where a little leeway is good is if a person is coming off of a divorce.

If the shared bills have had to go to collection and your applicant can show they are otherwise quite responsible, that’s worth taking into consideration.

Employment

This section tells the reader about the place of employment, but you need to be aware that it’s one of the most inaccurate sections of credit reporting.

Frequently, employers aren’t listed at all, or the reporting agencies list people working someplace when in fact they haven’t for years.

Employment is best verified outside of the credit report.

Errors

The high confidence everything from banks to employers and even dating sites place on credit scores might make you assume they are correct, but the truth is that credit reports can often report errors.

If a report is telling you something about a potential renter but that person has evidence to the contrary, it’s probably an error.

Many people don’t find out their credit reports have mistakes until they have their credit run, so it’s possible they were completely unaware.

How to Verify Contractor License

In most jurisdictions, a contractor must be licensed as a business and in their chosen specialty.

This specialty license is issued by the Department of Labor and Industries or similar agency, and a number is assigned to the contractor.

Most contractors are required to publish this number in all public communications.

To verify the contractor license to see if it is current and there are no registered complaints, simply ask to verify the number with the government agency.

This can often be completed online. If your jurisdiction doesn’t require a specific contractor’s license, there are some other ways to verify their credentials so greater confidence in the company or individual hired can be had.

1. Ask For Their Certificate Of Insurance.

Contractors must be insured in every jurisdiction in order to conduct business.

This is because they are making a change to a property in some way.

Whether acting as a handyman or a specialized contractor, the Certificate of Insurance will verify their coverage and the presence of a surety bond if needed.

2. Ask For a Physical Copy Of The License.

If a contractor has been licensed to complete work, there will be a paper license issued.

It is required to be displayed in a prominent location and accessible for inspection.

Although you won’t have a contractor take this license off their wall and take it to your home, you can visit the contractor’s office and ask for a copy of the license to verify its validity.

3. Create An Inquiry.

If there isn’t a way to specifically request a license verification, then you may be able to create a local inquiry to get the information that is needed.

This is typically through the state licensing board, but it could also happen through a local trade union as well.

Be aware: this process may require a specific written request that cannot be submitted online and it may take up to 90 days to complete.

Knowing how to verify a contractor license is generally pretty easy.

Get the name of the contractor, find their assigned number, and conduct an online search through the appropriate government agency.

If that option is not available, then use these additional options to get the information needed today.

5 Golden Rules to Create Model Tenants

After investing in your rental property, your tenants become your most valuable asset.

They help determine your staying power in the real estate business, and therefore serve as valuable additions to your property’s value.

Selecting good tenants is a difficult role for most landlords, but not because of the caliber of tenants.

There are many decent potential tenants waiting on the right housing opportunity.

The problem lies with the approach to finding the right tenant.

1. Property Appeal—“Like Attracts Like”

Before you can find the right tenant, you need to invest in your property.

When your property looks immaculate and is located in a desirable part of town, it will attract the kind of tenants you want.

Conversely, if it looks “run down,”  it’s unlikely you’ll find the model tenant you are looking for.

Since “like attracts like” in the real estate industry, landlords with well-maintained properties are more likely to attract tenants who are willing to uphold the same standards of house maintenance as you are.

2. Lease Agreement—“Your Word is Your Bond”

Like a marriage contract, the terms set out in your landlord-tenant agreement are legally binding.

To foster a long lasting future with the ideal tenant, start the relationship off on the right footing; draft a lease that is reasonable and respectful of the needs of both parties and be sure to review the document in full with your prospective tenant.

Even after the lease agreement is signed, differences can arise.

Experts strongly recommend that both parties attempt to resolve any issues with each other before seeking outside help.

Probably the most important advice to resolving landlord-tenant disputes is for both parties to read the lease agreement and become familiar with each other’s obligations.

3. The Rental Business—“It’s a Business Relationship Not a Friendship”

Communication is at the core of any great relationship; however, it’s a very different dynamic when a tenant thinks of you as a friend.

With friendships, special privileges and concessions are expected and that can compromise your business investment.

Be courteous and professional.

Keep your relationship on a business level, communicating clearly any new arrangements to be implemented and ensuring terms are understood before documenting.  

4. Property Maintenance—“Happy Tenants are those who are Routinely Maintained”

Happy tenants are extremely important to your real estate business, and good tenants are happy tenants.

The way you keep them contented is by keeping your property in good shape.

Fix leaks, replace old fixtures and fittings, and inspect the home annually.  

You may want to keep a list nearby of good plumbers, electricians and tradesman to refer to when needed, if a problem were to arise.

5. Negotiate on Some Terms—“Yield to Understanding”

Don’t be too rigid with house rules that you scare away good tenants—be flexible and negotiate.

You may hate having pets on your property, but if a responsible tenant wants to move in with a family cat, there is little harm in making revisions to accommodate that request.

As long as all newly negotiated terms are in writing, your leniency will stand to benefit your relationship in unexpected and fruitful ways.

Many landlords find that being pet friendly makes them stand out from the crowd.

Often they attract good tenants who are happy to pay more rent for pet accommodation.

Model tenants reliably tend to their obligations.

They pay the rent on time, take care of your property and are respectful neighbors in the community.

The bond you help create with your tenants can only strengthen your investment.

Protecting Vacant Properties From Vandalism

Most rental properties undergo a vacancy period at some point, whether they’re between tenants or yet to be rented.

Vacant property is a frustration and concern for landlords because the owners aren’t earning income during this time, and the house becomes at risk for potential problems like vandalism.

A study by the US Department of Justice revealed that 4.4% of homes in 2005 were vandalized.

Vacant homes tend to be more likely to be affected, but there are a variety of ways to protect vacant properties from vandalism:

Keep the Property in Great Shape

A vacant property should have the yard maintained regularly, as this appeals to potential renters and unit also signals that there are people frequently moving in and out of the property.

Property owners should tend to the grass and gardens, keep sidewalks shoveled in the winter and remove leaves from the gutters.

Add a few personal touches, such as welcome mats or seasonal flags, so the property does not appear vacant.

Leave the Lights On

Lighting is another important factor in keeping vandals away.

The small cost of keeping utilities on between tenants allows the lights to be kept on, deterring vandalism, and makes it easier for potential residents to tour the property.

Outdoor motion-activated lights flooding the yard and a few interior lights create the illusion that the house is occupied.

Install a Security System

Installing a security system can be pricey, but compared to having vandals destroy a home, this initial investment can actually save you money in the long run.

According to the FBI, property crimes in 2012 resulted in an estimated loss of $15.5 billion.

Future tenants can also use a monitored security system, adding to the property’s value and giving landlords an additional feature to promote.

Monitor the Property

Security systems are valuable, but nothing beats a real, live person.

Landlords need to visit the property often and not on a predictable schedule.

Potential vandals may watch the property for a few days before the actual crime takes place, so the landlord making random checks is an important deterrent.

Stop by at various times to make adjustments to which lights are on, check that all the window latches are locked and note any projects that may need attention.

Also, gather up mail or flyers at each visit and ask the showing agent to assist in getting rid of these flyers as well.

Junk mail building up is a shining beacon to those looking for vacant properties.

Ask the Neighbors

Neighbors living near a vacant property are probably just as anxious to see the property filled as the landlord.

It’s always a good idea for the landlord to make positive connections in the community, so let the neighbors know of your plans to find a new tenant and ask if they can assist in watching the house.

Leaving a business card with contact information is a good idea so your information is readily available.

Vacant properties are not the stuff of landlords’ dreams, but they are a natural part of the business.

Signs of activity, security systems, lighting and personal visits help prevent vandalism to vacant properties.

Landlords should remember that marketing strategies, well-written rental ads and a presence on rental websites are important in making sure that the property does not stay vacant for long.

Four Must-Haves for New Landlords

You’re ready to take on your new role as a landlord, and you’re motivated to be successful.

Equipped with the right tools and mindset, you can successfully manage your property, ensuring that your place remains well maintained and your tenants are pleased with their new abode.

These four must-haves will make your tenure as a landlord easier and more successful.

1. Detailed, Signed Lease

Get everything in writing before you hand over the keys.

A well-executed lease clearly outlines the rental agreement between you and your new tenants.

Should questions arise, both parties can defer to the lease to find clear answers.

Thus, a thorough and detailed lease is essential.

Draft an ironclad lease that includes the following information:

  • Names of all occupants
  • Start and end dates of the lease
  • Detailed fees, including monthly rent, security deposit, pet deposit, and cost of vacating early
  • Expectations for landlord and tenant regarding interior and exterior maintenance
  • Restrictions, from pets or long-term guests to cars parked on the street
  • Expectations when the tenant moves out, whether the tenants need to fill holes in the wall, clean carpets, or hire a cleaning service

2. Reliable Maintenance Services

Part of your responsibility as a landlord is to maintain the house. Your lease should outline those repair and maintenance activities, and you should be prepared for these inevitable problems to arise.

If you don’t plan on tackling the repairs and maintenance yourself, have a trustworthy team on call when a problem arises.

A general handyman can be helpful for sporadic and unexpected problems, such as a door that won’t latch when closed.

You’ll also want a trustworthy plumber in case a toilet runs or kitchen leak occurs.

Call your electrician when an appliance zaps out or lights unexpectedly blink.

Finally, if your lease states that you’re responsible for lawn maintenance, you will want to find a lawn care company to mow the grass and weed any planting areas.

By having a team of contractors on hand, you can quickly address any issues as soon as they occur.

Your tenants need working appliances and lights and functioning plumbing, and it’s your responsibility to promptly address any repairs.

3. Efficient and Open Communication

You can excel as a landlord if you are accessible. It is essential to maintain open lines of communication, and the communication starts with you.

Provide your tenants with a phone number and email address so that they have multiple ways to reach you.

Ask for the same contact information from them.

When you hand over the keys, ask your tenants how they prefer to be contacted – by phone or email – for any housing-related questions or concerns.

Respond to voicemails and emails promptly, ideally on the same day you receive messages.

Even if you cannot take care of a repair the day your tenant reports it, your efficient response to the problem shows that you’re willing and able to help.

4. Property Insurance

Even though you aren’t living in your rental, you still need to protect it.

Property insurance is available specifically for landlords and allows you to protect your investment in case of damage.

Landlord insurance is available on all property types, including duplexes, single-family homes, and row homes.

Landlord insurance coverage varies depending on your policy, but you can choose policies that cover everything from vandalism and natural disasters to personal injury and loss of rents.

Best Payment Options Landlords Should Accept for Rent

Regular, on-time rent payment is critical in ensuring your business remains profitable and running smoothly. Sometimes, however, rent isn’t paid – from lack of funds, travel, or just forgetfulness. Offering a variety of options might be a good solution to helping your tenants stay on track.

Let’s first start with the old standbys – check and cash. While these can save on processing fees, they do present a few important drawbacks:

CHECK PAYMENTS

A check is a secure and convenient way for tenants to pay in advance and not have to meet you in person. However, if the tenant does not have the funds in their account, you can’t collect and they get fined, further compounding their ability to pay.

CASH PAYMENTS

While there is no fee required, no chance of a bounced check due to insufficient funds, and it might be easier to manage for tenants without a bank account, accepting cash payments for rent is not a widely accepted practice for several reasons:

The payment isn’t traceable so discrepancies cannot be proven, tax season may be more difficult, and it will require you to make time every month to meet with one or more tenants for collection and to deposit the cash.

In addition, many tenants prefer not to deal with cash or checks. Providing additional options is essential for attracting their business.

Offering the option to pay by ACH, credit, or debit cards can help you avoid the issues mentioned that come with cash and check, but there are a few other benefits as well:

ACH PAYMENTS

Some banks will allow ACH transfers, but often landlords will use a property management platform to request and accept rent payments, especially if they would prefer the tenant covers the additional cost to pay online. Your tenant can set up their bank account online and the funds are transferred from their bank to yours so that you can avoid physically handling cash and checks.

But just like payments made by check, you may receive a NSF (non-sufficient funds) alert from the tenant’s bank if they do not have the funds to cover the payment.

CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS

Some tenants welcome the opportunity to pay by credit as it could buy some time if they are short on cash one month.

Others will find this an attractive option because they can rack up substantial rewards points this way.

Offering this convenience can go a long way in helping a potential tenant choose your property over another.

DEBIT CARD PAYMENTS

A debit card might be a good middle ground between a check and a credit card.

There is no extra verification period (like for an ACH payment). The funds are transferred quickly and the tenant doesn’t need to have a credit card, just a bank account.

This offers convenience to the tenant and, therefore, more confidence for a landlord that payment will be made on time.