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Rent Collection

11 best rent collection apps for landlords

Managing rental properties can be time-consuming and stressful. Tracking income and expenses, preparing for tax time, managing tenants, and of course, collecting rent – it all adds up. And as your portfolio grows, so do these challenges.

Traditional methods of rent collection such as cash and cheques are slow and insecure and make it harder for both landlords and tenants to stay on top of these regular payments. Not to mention they’re outdated.

As a landlord then, having an effective and modern tool for collecting rent from your tenants isn’t just a nice-to-have, it’s a must-have.

Below we outline 11 of the best rent collection apps that landlords can use to modernize and streamline their rent collection process.

What makes a good rent collection software?

Collecting rent online shouldn’t be a hassle. But to make it easy and affordable you’re going to need the right tool. The best rent collection apps should, aside from enabling your tenants to pay online directly into your bank account, allow your tenants to:

  • Set up automated recurring payments so they can set and forget,
  • Transfer their deposit
  • Easily pay any additional tenant payable expenses owed throughout the tenancy,
  • View upcoming and recent payment history.

And it should allow you the landlord to:

  • Block partial payments,
  • Set and control the rent due date,
  • Automate and collect late fees,
  • Email invoices, rent reminders, and receipts to tenants.

Ideally, payments will use the secure ACH transfer network which as standard will mean transactions will take between 3-5 business days to process and come with a small transaction fee, generally less than $2.50 per transaction.

Other good features to look for are whether or not the rent collection service is integrated into an income and expense tracking system (like Landlord Studio) so you can begin automating your bookkeeping, saving your time, reducing manual data entry and potential errors and making tax time easier than ever before.

Best landlord rent collection software overall

1. Landlord Studio

Landlord Studio’s Online Rent Collection feature is designed specifically for use by landlords. It allows you to automate the entire rent collection process and manage all your rental property income and expenses in one place.

Tenants can set up automatic payments and log in at any time to review their payment history or initiate an online transfer. Payments are made directly into the landlord’s bank account.

It’s fast, secure, and easy, and paired with other Landlord Studio features makes late rent payments a thing of the past.

There is a small transaction fee associated with payments made through Landlord Studio (between $1.25-$2.50 per transaction depending on your plan).

Landlord studio dashboard

A few key benefits of using Landlord Studio to collect rent include:

  • Tenants can easily set recurring rent payments,
  • Payments received are automatically reconciled and tracked in Landlord Studio,
  • Payments go straight into your bank account,
  • Block partial payments,
  • Collect deposits as well as any tenant payable expenses,
  • Live tracking of payment processing,
  • Connect and receive money into multiple bank accounts,
  • Automate receipts and invoices,
  • Easy in-app setup,
  • Includes access to additional property management features, providing an end-to-end solution.

Make late rent a thing of the past and try Online Rent Collection with Landlord Studio today.

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Rent collection apps that only collect rent

The best rent collect apps do more than just allow you to collect rent. They offer a suite of complimentary tools to help you find and manage tenants, track income and expenses, manage property maintenance and more. This section lists a few purpose built tools that focus primarily on rent collection.

2.PayRent

PayRent is a rent collection software that allows tenants to pay via credit card or bank transfer. For credit card transactions they charge 3.5% plus $0.30 and for bank transfers, they have a $5 transaction fee.

One of the features they offer allows tenants to report their rent payments to credit bureaus so that on-time rent payments can also help them increase their credit. Which they argue increases the likelihood of on-time rent.

Payments can take up to seven business days to process depending on the subscription plan you choose. They have three plans, free, $19 per month, or $49 per month. Each plan will have the same transaction fees for tenants, despite the increase in monthly fees for the landlord.

3.PayYourRent

PayYourRent started out life as a rent collection only service but has expanded its offering with features like tenant screening. Tenants can use the PayYourRent app to submit payments online and they also enable tenants to submit on-time payments to credit bureaus.

Landlord pricing starts from $9.95 per month and they have fees of $2.50 Per ACH transaction and 2.95% + $0.20 per credit card payment.

4. ClearNow

ClearNow is designed for rent payments only. The landlord pays no set-up fee but there are charges based on how often rent is paid. For example, if you collect rent once a month the first transaction fee is $14.95 and $2 for each additional debit. If you collect rent twice a month each transaction costs $4.

The company restricts when payments can be made which could be restricting for some landlords and tenants. They do offer the option for tenants to report rent payments to Experian.

rent collection app

Rent collection with property management software

Choosing the best rent collection app between property management software can be difficult. Among the things to consider are pricing plans, scalability, transaction fees and how the tools work together. We always recommend trying before you buy to ensure the platform does everything you need it to.

5. Avail

Avail is a property management software owned by Realtor.com. Their primary feature is their rental listings service but they offer a fairly full suite of tools including tenant screening, and of course rent collection.

They have a limited free plan with fees of $2.50 per transaction or you can upgrade to their full plan which costs $5 per unit per month – though ACH fees are waived. In addition to rent, tenants can use the system to pay a security deposit and other move-in fees. They also have the option of reporting online rent payments to TransUnion to build their credit scores.

6. Rentec Direct

Rentec Direct comes with a reasonably solid suite of tools from simple accounting to tenant screening. Their software starts at $35 a month but online transactions are free unless tenants pay by credit card, in which case you’ll incur a 2.95% charge.

7.Stessa

Stessa is a free platform owned by Roofstock that focuses on financial management. They make their money through financial services and to use their rent collection system you will need to open a cash management account with them. ACH transfers take the standard 3-5 business days.

As a property management software, they lack some of the functionality that other software in this list has such as property maintenance management, rental listings and tenant screening.

8. Buildium

Buildium is a property management software aimed at larger portfolio landlords, property managers, and enterprise customers. Pricing plans start at $50 per month and they have additional set-up fees. Landlords can create recurring rent payments and one-time payments, and tenants can pay online using various payment options.

Incoming EFT transaction: $1.00 || Outgoing EFT: $0.50 per transaction || Credit Cards: 2.95% per transaction

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Payment Apps: Paypal, Venmo, Zelle

We’ve talked about rent collection software, and property management software, but what about using a digital wallet such as PayPal, Venmo, or Zelle for online payments?

These software generally allow for fast, free money transfers between family and friends, but do they work for landlords?

Well, in spite of being “free,” money transfer apps have some serious limitations and often come with high costs for business transactions.

9. PayPal

It can cost you up to 3.49% + a fixed fee to collect rent using PayPal.

10. Venmo

The cost of accepting rent payments using Venmo is 1.9% + a fixed rate of $0.10.

11. Zelle

It costs nothing to use Zelle for business transactions as long as Zelle is partnered with your bank. Prices can also be dictated by your bank or credit union.

Find out more about the limitations of payment apps in our article The Best Way to Collect Rent From Your Tenants.

While it may seem easy and convenient to let tenants pay rent using an online payment app, there are high costs involved if you are a landlord and want to use these systems for business purposes.

The high payment processing fees though are just one of the reasons to avoid peer-to-peer payment apps. Some important weaknesses include:

  • No payment protection: It is easy to pay the wrong person using a digital wallet. Although instant transfers seem like a convenient option, you could lose money if the tenant makes a mistake. Additionally, these payment platforms will generally side with the customer should issues occur. It could take months to claim owed money.
  • You can’t block a partial payment: One of the worst things about using a digital wallet for rent collection is that your tenant gets to choose when and how much they send you and there is no way for you to control it. This means they could decide to only pay some of the rent or delay eviction proceedings by depositing small amounts in your account. Blocking partial payments is standard on the best rent payment apps like Landlord Studio.
  • Tenants can’t set up recurring payments: Most payment apps don’t allow tenants to set up automatic monthly rent payments. This increases the risk of late rent payments, interfering with your cash flow and rental income.

More than just a rent collection software

Choosing the best rent collection app for your rentals can be a challenge. Get you started towards making the best decision for your rental property management by trying out Landlord Studio for free. Landlord Studio is a property management and accounting platform designed by landlords for landlords.

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“Track income and expenses, screen tenants, set automatic reminders, and more with Landlord Studio.”

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Property Management SoftwareRent Collection

Ben Luxon

Ben is the editor and lead writer for Landlord Studio. He has worked with real estate professionals all over the world and written educational articles on tech, real estate, and financial growth for sites such as Forbes, TechBullion, and Business Magazine.

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