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Question on sharing debit card & bank account info with (corporate) landlord.
Old 10-03-2022, 11:54 PM   #1
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Question on sharing debit card & bank account info with (corporate) landlord.

Hi,

Our corporate landlord has sent out a notice stating that effective Dec, 2022, all rents will need to be paid by a credit card or a debit card or bank ACH.

1. if I opt to pay rent by debit card, can I close the a/c at move-out and not have any charges go through? With my credit cards, I am aware that recurring charges do make it through even when my a/c is being closed and new card numbers are going to be issued. I would not want any charges to go through my debit card after move out, although I would obviously pay for any cleaning and move-out charges. How do debit card charges work?

2. I also have the option of opening a new checking a/c and setting up ACH transfers for rent. I will also be closing this a/c at move out. If I did this, will landlord have access to any other a/cs with the same bank, if we gave them info on one checking a/c, even if the given a/c was closed out?

This is not an individual landlord or a small Mom-and-Pop outfit. This is a publicly traded REIT so they neither know nor do they desire to get to know you as a tenant. To them we're just a number. The reason I'm paranoid is that a former community manager was caught stealing from residents' accounts and drained several. That scares me. We're stuck here until DD finishes up high school so moving is not an option yet.

Any advice for me ?
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Old 10-04-2022, 01:28 AM   #2
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I take it you mean automated credit or debit card payment otherwise you could just walk into the front office once a month and pay with a card.

I would opt for paying by credit card to get the reward points or cash back. Any charges after leaving then you challenge the payment and it should be taken off your bill immediately while the dispute is settled and you should be able to provide proof that it is an extraneous payment.
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:25 AM   #3
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As Alan said, credit cards are much safer from fraud than debit cards or ACH transfers. You can dispute charges easily, and you won't have to pay in the meantime. Then you won't need to worry about closing accounts. If they're shady, I'd read very carefully any contracts with the management, as I wouldn't be surprised if they specified that you pay their bank and legal fees for any reversed or refused payments, with no mention of erroneous or even spurious charges or specifying only *valid* charges. I've amended and initialed contracts that were sloppily written like that.
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Old 10-04-2022, 05:39 AM   #4
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We're stuck here until DD finishes up high school so moving is not an option yet.
What's the timeline for this? About how long will you be paying them this way?

To avoid fees on the credit or debit card, I usually pay directly from your checking account. I have found most large creditors prefer to draft your checking account. "Pulling" the payment gives them more control. But, I choose to set up a BillPay to "push" the payment to them. That way they have NO authority to access my funds. With BillPay, I can set it and forget it, as long as I keep the checking account funded. When you pay your last months rent, just delete the BillPay instructions, and you are done!
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:30 AM   #5
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This may not be the simplest setup but disposable virtual credit cards are a tool that are made for things like this. You can normally turn them on or off on a whim and set date and amount limits for transaction. Some Citi cards have the feature and Capital Ones program is called Eno. This is just another option to consider. They are also great for one off purchases from a questionable or not well know website.

Edit
This is also a good solution for reoccurring subscriptions that make it intentionally hard to cancel.
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Old 10-04-2022, 08:45 AM   #6
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Double check the payment requirement - there is very likely a fee from your landlord to use a credit card vs. debit, something around 2% is my guess.

You could setup a dedicated account at a new bank just for this if you like, and then close it when you leave, if you're that worried. 'access' is not a thing. ACH is a very simple network transaction requiring ABA (bank number) and DDA (account number). If they have those, anyone can send a transaction from another bank. If they don't, they can't.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:13 AM   #7
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You have many legal rights when you pay with a credit card. Bank debit cards do not have those rights. Pay with the credit card.

If there is a fee to use the credit card, Aerides advice is solid. Use a separate account at an internet bank and keep just enough money in it to pay a month's rent.

I never let anybody go into my checking account and take money out automatically. That is asking for trouble.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Safire View Post
Hi,

Our corporate landlord has sent out a notice stating that effective Dec, 2022, all rents will need to be paid by a credit card or a debit card or bank ACH.

1. if I opt to pay rent by debit card, can I close the a/c at move-out and not have any charges go through? With my credit cards, I am aware that recurring charges do make it through even when my a/c is being closed and new card numbers are going to be issued. I would not want any charges to go through my debit card after move out, although I would obviously pay for any cleaning and move-out charges. How do debit card charges work?

2. I also have the option of opening a new checking a/c and setting up ACH transfers for rent. I will also be closing this a/c at move out. If I did this, will landlord have access to any other a/cs with the same bank, if we gave them info on one checking a/c, even if the given a/c was closed out?

This is not an individual landlord or a small Mom-and-Pop outfit. This is a publicly traded REIT so they neither know nor do they desire to get to know you as a tenant. To them we're just a number. The reason I'm paranoid is that a former community manager was caught stealing from residents' accounts and drained several. That scares me. We're stuck here until DD finishes up high school so moving is not an option yet.

Any advice for me ?
Do you have a lease? What does the lease agreement say?

If there is no surcharge for credit card, using a virtual one tied to a rewards card is the way to go.

If there is, and I had to debit/ach, I would set up an account just for this purpose and use debit, but make sure to use an account w/o debit overdraft fees (i.e. you would want the debit to be declined).

Having said the above, I have used ACH on things like precious metals purchases.
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Old 10-04-2022, 09:55 AM   #9
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I would caution against using a bank debit card unless your card has a Visa logo on it (provides fraud protection). That said, using your bank's Bill Pay app (which is an ACH transfer) is the easiest way to pay and to stop paying once you move out.

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Old 10-04-2022, 10:11 AM   #10
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How do you pay your rent now? ..if you want to be completely comfortable use a CC..apply for a new CC and use it only to pay your rent. You might be able to find a card with a cash bonus attached rent money would probably be enough to activate the bonus.You can use the bonus cash to defray any fees charged by the landlord.


When you move make sure all bonus points and cashed have used up. Cancel the rent payment and then cancel the card completely...
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Old 10-04-2022, 10:13 AM   #11
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You might want to check out "Privacy.com" if you fear that they will not honor a request to stop charging a card or otherwise.

I use them for a couple of subscriptions that I fear may be tough to cancel when I no longer want them.

Privacy.com basically gives you virtual credit card number(s) that are linked to your bank account(s) The virtual cards can be disabled by you at any point down the road. No need to actually cancel a real card.

They appear to make most of their money from the spread between CC fees (received from merchants) and debit card fees (that they pay out).

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Old 10-04-2022, 10:20 AM   #12
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Using a debit card is far riskier than a credit card.
Give someone access to your debit card, and they can by mistake or on purpose drain your bank account empty, and then you have no money while the bank investigates.
If the bank thinks it's your fault, you don't get the money back.
This causes extreme hardship.
There was a news item yesterday about this, some lady has people around the world emptying her account via debit cards (must be copy cards), yet the bank refuses to refund her.
A credit card would not have this problem.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:57 AM   #13
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What's the timeline for this? About how long will you be paying them this way?

To avoid fees on the credit or debit card, I usually pay directly from your checking account. I have found most large creditors prefer to draft your checking account. "Pulling" the payment gives them more control. But, I choose to set up a BillPay to "push" the payment to them. That way they have NO authority to access my funds. With BillPay, I can set it and forget it, as long as I keep the checking account funded. When you pay your last months rent, just delete the BillPay instructions, and you are done!
+1

Better to push payments to them rather then letting them pull payments from you.
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Old 10-04-2022, 12:20 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Safire View Post
Hi,

Our corporate landlord has sent out a notice stating that effective Dec, 2022, all rents will need to be paid by a credit card or a debit card or bank ACH.

1. if I opt to pay rent by debit card, can I close the a/c at move-out and not have any charges go through? With my credit cards, I am aware that recurring charges do make it through even when my a/c is being closed and new card numbers are going to be issued. I would not want any charges to go through my debit card after move out, although I would obviously pay for any cleaning and move-out charges. How do debit card charges work?

2. I also have the option of opening a new checking a/c and setting up ACH transfers for rent. I will also be closing this a/c at move out. If I did this, will landlord have access to any other a/cs with the same bank, if we gave them info on one checking a/c, even if the given a/c was closed out?

This is not an individual landlord or a small Mom-and-Pop outfit. This is a publicly traded REIT so they neither know nor do they desire to get to know you as a tenant. To them we're just a number. The reason I'm paranoid is that a former community manager was caught stealing from residents' accounts and drained several. That scares me. We're stuck here until DD finishes up high school so moving is not an option yet.

Any advice for me ?
We pay our monthly condo fees using ACH transfers from our checking account. You should be able to initiate those transfers from your bank without giving away debit card information or your banking information directly to your corporate landlord. Ask your landlord for their account information for ACH transfers from your bank.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:42 PM   #15
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I take it you mean automated credit or debit card payment otherwise you could just walk into the front office once a month and pay with a card.

I would opt for paying by credit card to get the reward points or cash back. Any charges after leaving then you challenge the payment and it should be taken off your bill immediately while the dispute is settled and you should be able to provide proof that it is an extraneous payment.
i may be late to the party but in a conversation with our CC issuer I learned that placing a "stop payment" order with the card issuer is an option. you might check with your issuer to see if that's an option.
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Old 10-04-2022, 07:47 PM   #16
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+1

Better to push payments to them rather then letting them pull payments from you.
i 'spose but we've been paying all of our regular monthly bills via ACH debit for many, many years. the ONLY problem we've had was one utilitty provider failed to pull the monthly bill amount. IMO ACH is very safe.
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Old 10-04-2022, 11:18 PM   #17
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Hi Everyone,

Thank you for all your responses.

Our current lease (expires next April) does not specify HOW rent is to be paid, only that it is due on the 1st and considered late by the 3rd. This notice - in the middle of the lease term - is completely out of the blue. My one kid in high school is in senior year and graduates next June. We intend moving next October (after renewing lease in April for 6 months to enable her to finish up the school year), so we'll be paying by the new method for a year.

I emailed the LL again about this new method and the property manager responded saying we'll have to sign a lease addendum specifying our new method of paying rent, and that if we don't, they won't renew in April. UGH... so it looks like we have no choice.

Right now, online Bill Pay at Wells Fargo takes the money from our checking a/c and sends them a cashier's check on the 22nd of each month without fail, to reach them by the 30th. We've never been late or missed a payment but I guess they simply don't want to deal with "PULL OUTS" or paper checks anymore. So it looks like my option is only to use the ACH. I did look into the suggestion of using a credit card but - per the LL's online system - the 3rd party charges a fee of $75 on top of our already large rent, so not my cup of tea. I was looking at banks that are offering bonuses for opening new a/cs and came across SoFi bank.

https://www.sofi.com/banking-2-dr/

Is this a legit bank? Would they run a credit pull that might impact our credit? We'll simply use this checking a/c (if we open one with them) to pay rent.

Any advice / feedback here? Thank you all so much again. Much appreciated.
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:06 AM   #18
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Hi Everyone,
Right now, online Bill Pay at Wells Fargo takes the money from our checking a/c and sends them a cashier's check on the 22nd of each month without fail, to reach them by the 30th.
Check with Wells Fargo again to see if the Property Management company is in their list of billers. Bill Pay IS actually ACH, the fact the WF is sending a check maybe because you asked for a cashier's check.

Or they have no arrangement to send payments using ACH with the Property Management company. If they have a relationship with the Property Management co, you can find out how to change your instructions to e-check.

If they don't, find a bank or credit union that does. Seriously.

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Old 10-05-2022, 10:17 AM   #19
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Check with Wells Fargo again to see if the Property Management company is in their list of billers. Bill Pay IS actually ACH, the fact the WF is sending a check maybe because you asked for a cashier's check.

Or they have no arrangement to send payments using ACH with the Property Management company. If they have a relationship with the Property Management co, you can find out how to change your instructions to e-check.

If they don't, find a bank or credit union that does. Seriously.

- Rita

This seems easy and safe enough...
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Old 10-05-2022, 10:43 AM   #20
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1)If you setup a new dedicated checking account to fund this, I suspect that you will want to verify that all the "overdraft protection" features are disabled.

Banks can be very persuasive of new customers to enable overdraft "features".

2) Perhaps find an account that offers a promotion ($) for new customers. Also don't overlook brokerage accounts (ie Fidelity Cash Management etc.) in that these accounts often look very similar, on the surface, to bank accounts (ie supporting ACH w/d's).

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