Want to Avoid AIMCO? Here's what they run
Those who may be upset by AIMCO's Direct Debit plan should avoid renting the following apartments:
Aimco | Apartments | Apartment Home Search Results
Park Towne Place
Chestnut Hill Village Apartments
The RiverLoft Apartments
More about what AIMCO is doing:
Giving landlords access to tenants’ bank accounts
I'm trying to get my tenants to use direct debit-type services to pay their rent as well. It is so much easier for me to manage administratively, and it is indeed "greener". Plus I have some tenants that actually prefer it because then they don't have to remember to send the rent check every month. Also their reliance on the Philly USPS to get their check to me on time is a crapshoot. So the general idea of electronic payment is sound.
That said...I don't see how it is legal to require it for existing tenants or renewals. Requiring it for new tenants doesn't seem all that outrageous to me since they can easily just choose to live somewhere else if they don't like it. But I'm sure it breaks some kind of law around what constitutes legal tender and appropriate payment for services.
I am appalled also by their refusal to take on any liability for something going wrong...I would expect that the bank or the landlord should be on the hook somehow if too much is withdrawn. Also there should be a clause to allow the tenant to forward the payments to escrow rather than the landlord in the event that they wish to use the "withholding rent" tool.
I can't find any other source, but what are the electronic payment options? If it is ACH debit only, I can understand the frustration. If they allow you to use your bank's billpay, then I don't see the issue.
Your typical bank billpay service is not actually an electronic transfer. It is simply a process where the bank cuts a paper check and mails it for you. It does nothing to solve the problem of bad USPS service or eliminating paper. Back when I first moved to Philly and rented for awhile, I set up an automatic billpay every month for my rent but one month my bank lost the check and it never made it to my landlord. They paid for all the late fees, but the aggravation I had to go through with the landlord meant I swore off bank billpay for good.
That said, the ACH option that is mentioned in the article is what I consider a "pull" option, where the landlord pulls money from your account. There are also "push" options that some banks (especially internet-based ones) offer...one of my tenants pays me this way from his ING account. Paypal is another common way to do this. But the tenant's bank has to offer this, and not many do.
A few other third-party options that I've come across that are specific to payment of rent are www.erentpayment.com and www.rentpayment.com, but I'm sure there are others. I'd also assume that some of the more expensive rental property management software packages (www.appfolio.com for example) have some options around that included as well.
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