Landlords have a wide range of roles and responsibilities that require a high level of organization and attentiveness. Of all a landlord’s regular tasks, collecting rent can be one of the most tedious and time-consuming, especially if you’re using traditional rent collection methods like receiving paper checks in the mail.

Fortunately, you can drastically improve your rent collection process by implementing the use of a digital rent collection app.

Why Use a Rent Collection App?

The biggest reason to use a rent collection app is that it speeds up the rent payment process. Whereas traditional methods of rent payment can take a week or more for landlords to see the money into their accounts, online rental payment systems allow tenants to deposit the funds automatically in a fraction of the time.

If you’re a landlord who manages multiple properties, switching from collecting checks to using a digital rental payment system is one of the best ways to streamline monthly rent payments, save time, and improve cash flow.

Not only that, but many landlord apps offer additional features that benefit both tenants and landlords, such as the ability to split rent payments between multiple tenants, enable automated payments, and send reminders that rent is due.

1. (Cozy)

How it works:, formerly known as Cozy, is a piece of landlord software that allows tenants to pay rent for free using a checking account, or for a small processing fee (charged to them) if they use a credit card. The app is ideal for landlords who manage many properties, due to its many extra property management features.
Payment model: Free, or $2.99/month for faster payment processing.
Hidden fees: Additional fees for some advanced features.
Transaction time: 5 business days, or 3 business days for the paid plan.
Other features: Vacancy listing, rental application processing, tenant screening, renters insurance.
Best for: Landlords who want a free and simple payment service

2. Rentler 

How it works: Rentler is a property management tool started by a group of landlords in Salt Lake City with over 1.3 million users across the United States. Their main focus is secure applications and screenings and online payments.
Payment model: Free.
Hidden fees: Processing fee may apply.
Transaction time: 2 business days 
Other features: Rentability report, legal forms and listing features - these are paid features though
Best for: Landlords who have only one rental property

3. Venmo

How it works: Venmo is a free cash transfer app that can be used to pay just about anything, including rent. In order to collect rent using Venmo as a landlord, you have to sign up for a business account and become an authorized merchant.
Payment model: Free, but has payment processing fees.
Hidden fees: 1.9% + a fixed rate of $0.10 to accept rent payments.
Transaction time: 1-3 business days.
Other features: None.
Best for: When you have multiple tenants in one rental unit.

4. Hemlane

How it works: Hemlane is a property management software platform that offers a variety of features such as online rent collection, tenant screening, maintenance management, and lease creation. Hemlane is web-based and can be accessed from any device with an internet connection. It also provides real-time financial reporting and analytics to help landlords stay on top of their property’s performance. 
Payment model: $30 - $60 USD per 
Hidden fees: None.
Transaction time: 3-4 business days.
Other features: 
Best for: Landlords with up to 100 units who are looking for an all-encompassing landlord software  

5. Rentec direct

How it works: Rentec direct is another property management software program that provides an online rental payment system. Tenants can pay rent using an echeck or credit card via the tenant portal, and landlords can track and enforce payments as well as collect late fees when rent is overdue.
Payment model: Free.
Hidden fees: None.
Transaction time: 3 business days.
Other features: Accounting/reporting for landlords, property marketing, tenant screening, online leasing, and renters insurance.
Best for: When you need a range of services such as maintenance requests, tenant screening and payment history

6. TurboTenant

How it works: TurboTenant is a rent collection app that allows tenants to pay rent using a credit or debit card. However, the app charges tenants a payment fee of 3.49%, no matter which payment method they use. While this may make it less appealing to tenants, there are lots of extra features that make it a powerful property management program for landlords.
Payment model: Free, or $4.92/month for additional support, expedited rent payouts, and other included features.
Hidden fees: None.
Transaction time: 5-7 business days.
Other features: Rental application processing, tenant screening, rental listing, and rental advertising.
Best for: Independent landlords with up to 100 properties

7. ClearNow

How it works: ClearNow is a rent collection app that’s been around since 2000. It automatically withdraws rent from tenants’ bank accounts and transfers it to landlords’ accounts when rent is due (rent cannot be paid via credit or debit card). ClearNow charges a fee for each payment processed. The cost varies depending on the frequency of transactions.
Payment model: $14.95 for the first monthly payment and $2 for each monthly payment after that.
Hidden fees: $4 if you want to receive bi-monthly or semimonthly payments.
Transaction time: 3 business days.
Other features: Tenant screening and financial reporting.
Best for: When you need an app for rent collection only

8. PayRent

How it works: PayRent allows tenants to pay rent via e-check or credit card. The app charges a very small fee for e-check payments and a slightly higher fee for credit payments. In addition to allowing landlords to easily collect rent, PayRent provides them with payment tracking and reporting tools.
Payment model: 0.25% fee for bank transfers and 3.5%+$0.30 for credit card payments.
Hidden fees: None.
Transaction time: 3 business days.
Other features: Payment tracking and reporting, rent reminders, and the ability to allow partial payments.
Best for: If you need an app that can accept partial payments

9. Buildium

How it works: Buildium’s cloud-based property management software lets tenants pay their rent by setting up automatic recurring payments via bank transfer or credit card. The app charges a different fee depending on which payment method is used. Buildium also includes a full suite of property management tools for landlords and is suitable for those who manage a large portfolio of many different rental properties.
Payment model: Starts at $50/month, plus $1.00 per incoming bank transfer and 2.95% per credit card transaction.
Hidden fees: None.
Transaction time: Approximately 1 business day.
Other features: Automated payments, landlord accounting/budgeting/reporting, tenant screening, lease management, insurance management, and much more.
Best for: Landlords with more than 50 rental units

The Bottom Line

An online rental payment system greatly improves the process of collecting monthly rent payments for landlords, as well as making it faster and more convenient for tenants to pay rent.

However, using a landlord app for rent collection doesn’t protect against unexpected loss of rental income due to damages that make your property uninhabitable or that require you to pay for damage done to a tenant’s property. To protect yourself against such loss of rental income, consider Honeycomb landlord insurance