How to Stop Using Checks for Rent: Use Venmo or Direct Deposit

We started using Venmo for collecting rent in 2016 when we had 5 tenants in 1 apartment who had a lot of trouble paying their rent on time.screen-shot-2016-12-07-at-3-01-57-pm

Here are the Pros of using Venmo:
  • You don’t need to chase checks around.
  • It’s really easy for our tenants to use, including older tenants who have not used it before. We did have to help 1 tenant set it up, and after that she had no problems.
  • We send payment requests, tenants fulfill them, and we can easily see what payments are incomplete on the first of the month. Reminders are just a click.
  • Tenants can pay through an app on their smart phones or on a computer. It’s amazingly easy.
  • There are no fees for bank to bank transfers, but there are fees for paying with credit card.
  • You can set up multiple bank accounts to transfer money in and out of through one Venmo account.
  • Our tenants who use Venmo very rarely pay late. Our tenants who do direct deposit into our account often pay late.
  • You hear a cha-ching sound when you get paid. It’s awesome.
Cons:
  • If someone makes an accidental payment, they are not protected like they would be with a bank transfer. That is why it is important to friend the correct users before making any payments.
  • Not everyone is comfortable with it.
  • There’s a weekly send limit of $2999. This can be problematic when landlords are refunding large security deposits for multiple apartments at the same time.
  • In New York state you must offer a tenants a payment option that is not online. That is why we also allow people to deposit money directly to our bank account. We give them the account number of a special Tenant Deposit account that we empty regularly.
  • As of Dec 2016, Venmo cannot be used outside of the US.
Here’s the language we use in our lease:

“All payments will be made with Venmo to (exact Venmo user name) or paid directly into the landlord’s account another way agreed on by both Landlord and Tenant. Checks are only accepted in cases where direct deposit or online payment is not possible. (Note: There is a $2999 weekly send limit per person with Venmo.)”

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