A good tenant will want to know how to pay rent consistently each month.

If for some reason, you are unable to be on hand to receive rent, that’s a nuisance for them as much as it is for your bank account. So automating the process can certainly seem appealing. But don’t get too excited yet, there are some potential pitfalls to going down the automation route.

If you have the time to meet with your tenants in person to receive their regular rent payments, that is often the simplest and most effective method.

1. Set up an online payment service

You’re busy. Why chase rent when you can automate it?

It’s 2020 and there are dozens of online services vying for your attention as a method for collecting your tenants’ rent. The major benefits are obvious: it simplifies tracking your rental income, it helps the tenant by making their rent payments simple, and it means you won’t have to run down to the apartments to receive payment.

But is it worth the hassle of setting it up in the first place?

Deciding whether to automate rent payments

The first question you should ask yourself is whether it will actually save any time at all. Many private rentals are on the same property that the landlord lives on. If you just have one or two tenants on your property, then setting up an automated process may be more trouble than it’s worth.

Ask yourself these qualifying questions to get a sense of whether it’s worth setting up an online rent payment system:

  1. How many tenants do you need to collect rent from each month?
  2. How far are they from your own residence?
  3. Do you want to visit your tenants in person to maintain a professional relationship?

If cutting out the tedium of collecting rent sounds appealing to you, then go for it!

2. Make an in-person collection

The tried and true method of meeting your tenant to collect rent certainly has its benefits. Firstly, you get to see your tenant to ensure there are no issues with the property. Second, there’s no run-around trying to deal with mailed or electronic payments falling through due to unforeseen circumstances.

Sure, it can be a frustrating and time-consuming process, but if you are within a reasonable range of your tenants then it definitely has its advantages.

Collect rent on time

3. Contract a property management company

This may be overkill for the average landlord, however it is often the easiest method for being a “hands-off” landlord. Property management companies typically offer more than rent collection, going so far as to handle tenant complaints and maintenance, even filling vacancies on your properties.

Generally speaking though, this is a service that can end up costing more than it’s worth. You should take time to investigate the services available in your area to assess whether the benefits outweigh the costs.

Payment methods to avoid

It can be risky to allow tenants to mail or drop-off their payments. If this is done, it’s far too easy for a cheque to be lost in the mail or stolen from the mailbox. Rather than wait to see if these issues arise, protect yourself from late rent payments with NaborlyShield. It truly is as easy as it sounds.


Whichever method you choose to go with, it’s a great idea to provide your tenant with a signed receipt of their rent payment. This way, there can be no question of whether you have received their rent or not—they will always have the receipts to prove it (and you will too come tax season).

At the end of the day, the landlords who stick to good old-fashioned physical rent payments will likely find it easier to maintain great relationships with their tenants in the long run.

Find yourself a tenant who will pay rent on time and stick around—see what Naborly’s tenant screening solutions can do for you.