I am going to be using cozy.co to do background/credit/eviction history checks for my rentals going forward. I was wondering if anyone on here had experience with it and how they actually go about it. I know and like that the applicant pays Cozy directly for the cost of the checks, so I don't have to handle the money.
Do you have the tenant fill out a paper application first and then if that passes, have them go to Cozy to fill out the application there and pay for the checks?
Do you just tell everyone to go to Cozy and fill out the application, but not to pay for checks until you tell them to?
Or do you just tell everyone to go to cozy and fill everything out, pay the fee and you'll get back to the one you choose?
My problem with the 3rd (and easiest for the landlord) method is that could end up being quite a few people who don't have a chance of qualifying that end up paying a non-refundable background check etc fee.
So if you use Cozy.co or a similar platform please let me know how you actually proceed with applicants that you do showings for.
There is an option that you can choose to have a link on your add to have all prospects go thru the screening process or you can opt to send requests from your cozy site to certain tenants who inquire about the property and there won’t be a link for everyone to use. Go to the help page and then screening section and it should talk you thru.
I’ve been quite happy with their screening setup.
So Mike, do you forgo using paper applications at showings, and just direct them to the site or send an email with the link?
I use Cozy for every tenant that is even remotely interested in the unit. Period. All the info you get off cozy is much more valuable that anything they write down on the paper application, plus tenant tend to only tell you the good things and lie about the bad. If they are not willing to get a credit and background check then they do not qualify to be in my unit. If they won't get these done than that is a Huge red flag! They must be hiding something that will eventually come out to light. If they say these are an extra financial burden then they are already in poor financial strength and I don't want them as a tenant. Besides if they apply and I give the unit to a more qualified tenant then I tell them they can use the Cozy background and credit check for the next place and landlord they apply with. They own the reports I just need the results to get the best tenant into the unit. If they don't want to go through the procedures to apply that I have made then they won't abide by the procedures and rules I have in the Lease agreement. I also use Cozy for all online payments, this makes it easy for the tenant and Landlord. It is much better to wait for the good tenants than it is to rush to fill an empty unit and force an eviction of a bad tenant. Trust me on this one!!!
Hi Drake, good to hear from you. I fully understand the importance of good screening. I was more looking for the mechanics of it. So applicant calls, passes phone screening, do open house or schedule showing, tell them to apply via cozy. You send them a link and wait for results, while having potentially other applicants do the same, is that about right?
Any thing else you do?
Sorry Donald I just saw your question. Yes I have started to just use the electronic screening and no paper for the application. I am still doing lease agreements on paper with my own “version” and I also do the collecting rent thru cozy which works pretty well too. Sorry for the delayed reply..
My hybrid cozy process:
1. I send a .pdf application to the electronic inquiry instructing them to either bring it with them to the showing or email it back. Depending on the tenant, they may wish to hold onto their personal info until they see that I and the unit are real. I think I would. They don't get to see the unit without it. This allows me to cut down the no show tenants and remove the curious neighbors/landlords. I also stack my showings 3-4 deep so the potential tenants can see how in demand it is and off set any potential no shows. Review all rules and requirements as we view.
2. I call references and the previous landlord. If they qualify and want it I have the tenant send me their credit karma .pdf report.
3. I then send the tenant to cozy.co to fill out an application with only the required info and do a background check.
4. All good- I send them a .pdf sample copy of the lease and policies for review. We meet in person to go over rules and the lease. I have them fill out w-9, lead paint form and lease and take the deposit. I send them the link to set up cozy payment.
5. Wife and I go out to dinner.
Updated about 1 year ago
(also Cozy is having a webinar this Wednesday which might provide some guidance/ideas)
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