Collecting Rent Payments Online

Collecting rent, writing receipts, updating tenant payment histories, and sending late payment notices are all time-consuming tasks. For property management companies and landlords, online rent payment solutions eliminate the need to manually collect rent payments and manage the related bookkeeping and paperwork. Electronic rent collection solutions provide a convenient, fast, and secure method for managing all these tasks, and more. Online rent payment solutions will save time and can significantly reduce the number of late payments.

With online rent payment solutions, apartment community websites can be customized to accept online payments from tenants and the funds are automatically deposited, thus eliminating the need to prepare checks for deposit and make a trip to the bank. Landlords and managers also have the option to select multiple bank accounts to manage deposits for different properties separately. Additionally, with seamless integration to landlord/property management software, tenant payment histories are immediately updated and available for review and landlords can monitor monthly rent collection activity in real-time.

Landlords can utilize features that include tenant information updates, property information updates, and tenant email notifications. Options include email notification of rent payment and late fee schedules, late payment notifications, policy updates, and the latest property and association updates. Landlords and property management companies can also list vacancies, accept applications online, and collect application fees and security deposits electronically.

With twenty-four hour access, tenants will appreciate the convenience of online rent payment. The process is secure, easy, and takes only minutes. There are several payment options available – debit cards, credit cards, or e-checks. In addition, tenants can choose to make one-time monthly payments or set up automatic payments using credit and debit cards. Tenants receive all transaction receipts via email, as well as other property management notifications. Tenants can also update their name and phone number information, view their payment history, and send maintenance requests.

Online rent payment solutions give landlords and property managers the peace of mind knowing rent collection is efficient, easy, and secure. Manual rent collection systems are time-consuming and, depending on the number of properties involved, can take two to three days every month. With online rent collection solutions, landlords and property managers are able to spend this time on other important tasks.

Getting started is easy. Simply fill out an application and once the landlord/property manager merchant account is activated, electronic rent collection can begin. For peace of mind, security and privacy are maintained at the highest levels, protecting stored or transmitted information at all times. Online rent collection solutions are affordable and available now.

The Ideal Rent to Own

As mortgage laws get tighter and people are finding it harder and harder to qualify for their own mortgages today, rent to own is fast becoming an option that many people are turning to.

BUT what makes a great rent to own tenant-buyer or rent to own program?

Truthfully, the best and most successful rent to own tenant-buyer is someone that already has a homeowner mindset.

Young, old, single, married, families, divorced, self-employed or new to the country. It doesn’t matter which category you fall in to, rent to own could be a good option for you if you have not been able to secure a traditional mortgage as a result of credit challenges or lack of down payment. Rent to own will give you the opportunity to choose your own home, the time to repair your credit and the discipline to build your down payment while you build equity in the property BUT it isn’t a slam-dunk for everyone. Even though rent to own can work for many types of situation, here are the mindsets of the people that will succeed in a rent to own:

1. Eager and motivated to be a homeowner because they understand that real estate is one of the best ways to begin building their wealth

2. Determined to repair any credit issues that they have to deal with

3. Understands the benefits of equity appreciation

4. Takes pride in maintaining and upkeep of their home

5. Is tired of spending hard earned money on rent which only makes their landlord rich

Even with the right mindset (which is half the battle), you still need to align yourself with the right rent to own program or model. There are many options out there (Tenant first where you select your home, property first where you select a home from a list of available homes, no-money down etc.) so the best advice is to always do your due diligence on the people or company offering the rent to own and on the rent to own programs available. This is key. A great rent to own program can be defined by many things and is likely to be subjective but for me, here are some of the things you should be looking for:

1. A program where you are supported on your credit repair efforts. Two or more heads are always better than one. Even having someone you trust to bounce ideas off of or have questions answered sometimes makes the difference.

2. A program where enough of the monthly payment goes towards your down payment or option credit so that you can increase your down payment to 5% or even better, 10%.

3. You should be selecting your own home. Even though it is a “home” for your family, it should fit your needs and budget… and you should LOVE it. How likely are you to succeed if you don’t enjoy being there or being in the neighbourhood.

4. Transparency. Are all the numbers provided to you up front? Avoid surprises later by ensuring that you agree on the numbers before you commit to the property.

5. Homeowner feeling. Don’t enter into a program where you are going to be “landlorded”. One of the best things about rent to own is that you have the freedom to update the property and make it your own. You shouldn’t be micro-managed around being a homeowner.

How to Rent an Apartment With a Felony

If you are looking for an apartment, one of the things you can expect is for the management at the leasing office to conduct a credit check and a criminal background check. In the last 10 years, this practice has increased and even become controversial as some apartment offices are accused of downright discriminatory behavior. Nonetheless, the practice of running background checks has become more widespread as technology makes it easier. Today, a leasing office manager need not conduct make any phone call as all the background information on a prospective tenant is easily and readily available online at the touch of a button. If you have a misdemeanor criminal conviction, chances are you may still sail through a criminal background check because most apartment managers are actually looking for felonies and this is where it gets tricky. Can someone with a felony conviction get approved for an apartment?

A felony conviction is deemed much more serious than a misdemeanor and can actually result in a denial of an apartment or other housing where a criminal background check is conducted. There are many kinds of felonies but apartments are mostly concerned with those that involve:

  • Violence
  • Sex
  • Drugs

These three types of felonies are deemed serious enough for an apartment management to deny you housing. But is there hope? If you are currently looking for housing and have a criminal felon y conviction, the first thing you need to do is come clean beforehand. Do not wait for the apartment manager to pull the record but rather, inform him or her of the existence of the record. This can be even more effective when you write, in your own words, the circumstances surrounding the conviction. In many cases, this gesture can cause you to be approved.

Another way to gain approval would be to come with a number of references. These should be people who are reputable in the community, such as the local sheriff or fire Marshall, the local pastor or bishop, elected official or other prominent character. These references should state that they know you and that they attest to the fact that you are now a responsible individuals and the episode that surrounded your conviction is a thing of the past and is not likely to recur.

Finally, if you have a felony conviction, many apartments are willing to overlook it if it something that happened in the distant past. They tend to frown at recent convictions and will be lenient on cases that occurred years ago as long as there has not been any recent incidences.

People with felony convictions can also secure housing by approaching private landlords. While some do conduct criminal background checks, many do not.

Finding Places to Rent an Apartment in Chicago With Bad Credit, a Broken Lease Or a Criminal Felony

Chicago is the third largest metropolitan in the United States and as such attracts thousands of people each day. The city is also a formidable financial center making it a magnet for people seeking economic and career opportunities. Chicago has many different apartments which are excellent for any purpose and for any family size. If you are shopping for an apartment rental in Chicago, it is best to be armed with the necessary information required. One of these is to know your credit score because Chicago apartments will conduct credit and rental history checks not to mention criminal background checks as well. So where can one rent an apartment in Chicago if they have a prior broken lease, less-than-adequate credit or a criminal record?

There are many different localities within Chi-town where this is possible. The following areas have different apartment leasing homes that cater to applicants with an unflattering rental history, tainted credit or criminal past:

  • Downtown Chicago
  • Southside
  • Center City
  • Southwest
  • Bridesburg

One challenge that many people who have a poor rental background or less-than-perfect credit is where to locate apartments that are willing to work with them. This is because many second-chance apartments in Chicago do not advertise that they work with people with imperfect credit. This leaves applicants to guess which can be a costly and frustrating exercise indeed.

Techniques of find bad credit apartments in Chicago

One way to find second chance apartments in Chicago is off course the Internet. This can also be tricky because not all websites are straightforward and apartments rental regulations are constantly being revised.

Another option is to contract an apartment locator. Usually if you tell them what the issue is they can look for an apartment for you which can cater for people with previous issues such as broken lease agreements, bad credit or criminal pasts.

Important information to bear in mind

It is essential that you understand that even if the apartments are willing to work with impaired credit and/or an imperfect record as far as renting, they will still request that you fulfill a few requirements:

  • Have a job for at least six months prior
  • Be earning at least 3 times the rental amount
  • Not be convicted of violent crime or crime against minors
  • If felony, it has to be at least 5 years old

Sometimes the apartments will also require a hefty deposit and may hike their rent. But again these requirements vary from apartment to apartment and locality to locality.

Are you looking for apartments in Chicago which will approve you despite a previous broken apartment lease agreement, sub-prime credit or a criminal record?

How To Negotiate A Rent Decrease With Your Landlord During A Recession

Recessions are difficult. A tenant may have accepted a lease arrangement in good faith with the expectation of continued income, but then find circumstances change. Rent that once was easy to pay can suddenly become difficult, or even impossible, to pay. As a result, many renters consider asking for a rent decrease in such trying conditions.

Considering asking for a rent decrease is not the same as asking for or getting a rent decrease. It takes a combination of honesty, planning, courage and desperation to be able to successfully negotiate a rent reduction. If you need to reduce your rent, there are some essential tips on how to approach your landlord with your request.

Landlords often find that it is preferable to grant a rent decrease instead of forcing an existing tenant to move and then to incur the expense of finding a replacement tenant. Tenants who are able to negotiate a rent decrease also are spared the time and expense of looking at other rentals.

While no landlord wants to hear a tenant say that they are unable to pay the rent as previously negotiated, during extended economic recessions, landlords often are willing to be flexible for existing tenants. If you are unable to pay your rent, it is preferable to be upfront with your landlord, so be prepared to approach them as soon as you are aware of your situation.

When meeting with your landlord, explain why your income has dropped. Your employer may have cut your hours down, reduced your wages, or both. Avoid being emotional about the situation; discuss this in a logical manner with your landlord. Experienced landlords will have weathered economic downturns before. The chances are good that they will understand and perhaps even appreciate you coming to them as soon as you are aware of your decreased income.

Particularly during lengthy recessions, it may be useful for you to ask about rental rates for similar units in your area. Providing current rental rate comparisons to your landlord may give you an additional bargaining chip.

If your research shows that other tenants in your area are paying lower rates for similar units, this can be helpful in negotiating a lower rent. Landlords will generally desire to keep some income coming in rather than losing all of the income from your rental unit.

Be sure to negotiate directly with your landlord. If the complex uses a management company, negotiate with the highest ranking person available to you. Have proof available as to the reason your income is reduced and be sure to remind them that you have always paid your rent on time in the past.