Online Rent Collection

13 Replies

With the Corona Virus pandemic going around I'm curious how many of you collect rent via online methods.  I am a relatively small owner of a 4 unit & a 2 unit that I manage myself so I don't have the scale to build a website like a larger investor/property manager.  I've had several inquiries when collecting application fees if I accept venmo or cash app which I do not.  I'm wondering if anyone uses these options or paypal to collect rent and if so has it been something a majority of tenants use or do they still drop off some sort of physical payment?  I am very cautious with using any application or facebook due to the security risks involved but was considering paypal as an option. 

Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.


I have used successfully for four years father a negative experience with

check out - competitive fees, many added features, including listings, applications, credit monitoring, transmittal of leases, maintenance requests, etc. 

I know quite a few people that use cozy as well! Check it out. Otherwise PayPal or Venmo (a transfer app owned by PayPal) are two other popular Safe ways to transfer money. 

I use Cozy (  I have a small amount of units like you.  It is free.  It takes a bit of time to get the rent deposited from when the transactions starts and you can pay a bit to accelerate that.  I count when the transaction starts for my tenant.  In other words if Cozy  emails me that the rent transaction is initiating on the 4th, I count that as paid before the 5th which is my requirement even though it might be the 8th before the deposit is in my account.  I have talked to Cozy about this and once a transaction starts it cannot be stopped by the Tenant unless they contact their bank directly and work with them which could be difficult.  Cozy also allows you to post a copy of your lease and track maintenance requests.  I also like that tenants can buy renter's insurance through it.  I require renters insurance and all my recent tenants have purchased through Cozy so they must make it easy.  Cozy then sends me a message that the tenant has purchased insurance.  Good luck!

Cozy, Zelle or Venmo. All are free and easy to use. I personally wouldn’t use PayPal, which can incur fees plus it’s too easy for the tenant to dispute later on which can result in having the rent clawed back.  

Thank you Nic that was some great advise. I started requiring renters as well so for them being able to do it all at one place is great!

Theresa there is a way for them to transfer directly into your bank account but not sure if I want to go this route. 

Hi Kevin,

Here's what we do.  We prefer Venmo.  It's free and simple.  Venmo is owned by Paypal, so it has credibility.  Tenants are only charged if they use a credit card.  We used to use Cozy but it takes several days to receive the money.  The tenant can transfer the money on the 1st and we wouldn't see it until maybe the 5th or later. 

Secondly, tenants can send us a check.  If they use billpay, they can set it up and not have to pay for the envelope or stamp.

Lastly, We allow tenants to come to our house and drop off rent in a lockbox.  At the beginning of the month, we check it often, but we do ask tenants to text us when they drop off payment.  (I set up a Ring Video Doorbell as an added layer of security.  It was $65 on ebay and took me 15 minutes to set it up.  I signed up for the $3 monthly fee to have the video history stored.  Highly suggest!)

Thanks for the additional input. I know I don’t plan on using Venmo as it is easy to hack. Maybe they have done some upgrades to security but my sister had a really bad experience with it. 

We are also using Cozy for 14 units. We have been for over a year now. The biggest down side is the wait for the ACH to process.4 to 8 days has been our experience.  But it has made it 100 times easier to collect late fees because it automatically shows up in there account similar to there credit card bill if they are late. We also like the maintenance call tracking. 

We used several in the past but started using Okupied some time ago and we love it. It's an iPhone app and super easy to use. We like it because of a few reasons: it has a robust expense management which makes it easier to track expenses and capture receipts with your phone, supports next day payments so when my tenants send a payment i get it in my bank account within 1 business day, but most of all, it is a dedicated mobile app.  I am a part time rental units owner and i like the ability to handle the business on the go.  Like someone said, it saves time and time is money. Others you can check out are TenantCloud and Buildium, but for us they were too complex. Hope this helps.