October 15, 2017 7:07 PM   Subscribe

My new landlord has told me he hates paper checks. I would love to pay my rent automatically and electronically each month. I have his routing and account number but cannot figure out how to pay him rent without one of us having to set up new accounts or pay fees. Any ACH/EFT experts in the house?

My landlord has an account through TCF Bank. I have accounts at Wells Fargo and Capital One 360. Both of my accounts have a "pay another person" option called Zelle. My landlord does not have Zelle and would have to create a new account to use this. He's also not listed in the pre-existing Bill Pay or Account Transfer options at either bank, and those options only ask for his email, so presumably he'd have to set up an account there too.

Since I have his routing and account number, is there any other option I'm missing where I could pay my landlord each month without either of us having to set up a new account or pay fees? In my ideal world, I could just set this up automatically, but if I have to log in each month and do a transfer, that's fine too.
posted by JannaK to Work & Money (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I use for my tenants.

You guys will have to set up Cozy accounts but it's better than setting up new Bank accounts. The transfers are free and can be scheduled to recur. They do take a bit in the longer side, usually 5-ish days. It was super easy for me and my tenants to get it set up
posted by polkadot at 7:21 PM on October 15, 2017

Not being obnxious but because I can't tell, have you called your bank to ask? I had a similar situation and found that my bank had a service where they would deposit externally without using a client.
posted by Miko at 7:39 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

My banks (Key and USAA) both allow me to set up external accounts as transfer-to accounts. Have you tried “Add Account”?
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:46 PM on October 15, 2017 [3 favorites]

What about Paypal? If your landlord is an individual person or two, rather than an LLC, you can use the “friends and family” option for transferring money and there won’t be any fees. Otherwise, there’s Venmo, Cash, and I’m pretty sure Western Union has gotten in on this as well.

I know he doesn’t want to set up any new accounts, but Paypal is super common and he likely already has an account. And if’s really easy.
posted by witchen at 8:24 PM on October 15, 2017

I Venmo my landlord. It's awesome.
posted by woodvine at 8:32 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

My landlord and I both have gmail accounts. I've been paying my rent directly to him fee-free via Google Wallet. Works pretty seamlessly so long as he agrees to it and neither of you are Google-averse.
posted by Ufez Jones at 8:33 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

At least the capital one 360 account should be able to do transfers via ACH, which is a direct deposit with routing number and account number - you should be able to access it under the transfers tab. It will take around three days to hit the recipients account. According to their FAQ, there is no charge for this. However, I no longer have an account with them and can't actually test this :).
posted by jaymzjulian at 8:47 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

I pay my landlord via Venmo. It's goddamn great. You both just download the app and link it to your respective bank accounts.
posted by showbiz_liz at 9:03 PM on October 15, 2017

I ACH my payments to my landlord.
posted by Nimmie Amee at 9:23 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

What about SquareCash? You pay directly from your debit card from your checking account. It's free. He'll have to set up an account, but it takes less than about a minute to do. I can give people a "cashtag" (which is basically $myname) in an email, but if you install the app on your phone, you can pay anyone via text, email, whatever. Here's the lowdown on how it works. I have both sent and received many times, and am kind of amazed at how stress-free it is.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 9:41 PM on October 15, 2017 [1 favorite]

For your capital one 360, you can your landlord's bank account as an external account (under My Accounts tab) and then set up a recurring transfer to it.
posted by drlith at 9:44 PM on October 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Others have mentioned it, but the key term here is an "external account" that you setup with your bank. Typically, it's pretty easy to setup a one-way path to transfer money from your account to the external account.

If you tell us the name of your bank, and the name of the checking account product that you use, someone can probably chime in with precise info on how to get this started. Depending on your bank, it might also be easy to schedule this to happen monthly.
posted by reeddavid at 10:57 PM on October 15, 2017 [2 favorites]

Are you near a TCF Bank branch? Perhaps a PIA, but you could take your check there every month and they'd deposit it in his account (though I'd also ask on my first visit how they could help me solve this issue I have with one of their account holders).
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 11:18 PM on October 15, 2017

Oops, I completely missed the more inside part of your question where you mentioned which bank you use.

From within Capital One 360, you can go to Your Name > Settings > Accounts > Add External Account. From there, you can add a Payments Only account. You just need the routing and account numbers.
posted by reeddavid at 12:10 AM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

If you're not averse to writing a check, mailing a check directly to his bank, payable to "his name, account number #####" (both information you already have) should get it deposited into his account without the landlord touching anything. Verify with TCF first, though, that they are OK doing so, some banks have weird rules.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:20 AM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Ugh, and you didn't mention it, but Zelle has really low limits. I wad recently nearly forced to use it and it would have taken five daily transactions to pay my rent.
posted by Mo Nickels at 7:21 AM on October 16, 2017

Are you near a TCF Bank branch? Perhaps a PIA, but you could take your check there every month and they'd deposit it in his account

Some banks won't let you do this. One I know of for sure is US Bank, so probably others.

Their policy is that they are not allowed to divulge whether or not a certain person has an account with them, and accepting a check for a deposit to someone else's account violates that policy. It is incredibly inconvenient to find this out when you have taken a special trip out of your way to do this.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 7:22 AM on October 16, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is internet banking available there? We would just set up a new payee (the landlord), and then set up a regular payment for the amount of the rent. Set the payment up so that you and the landlord each get emailed receipts of the payment each time for recordkeeping purposes (you will also have your bank statements, but I like the emails as they highlight that the payment happened).
posted by GeeEmm at 3:11 PM on October 16, 2017

Thanks all. Apparently External Accounts is what I was missing. I kept getting lost in Transfers and Send Money to a Person. It’s still not perfect, but this should work without either of us having to set up new accounts. Thanks!
posted by JannaK at 5:33 PM on October 16, 2017

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