Apps Aim to Take Sting Out of Rental Process

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But forget applications and follow the money—online rent payment is standard for large companies, but Cozy now provides even the smallest landlords access—provided they pay $9 a month per unit.

[contextly_sidebar id=”3670c9e69c1ee891d62111fdef6b02e7″]Cozy also has its own partnership planned with a credit bureau, and again is shifting the financial burden off applicants. “You run your credit report once and you can reuse it as many times as you need to without running other hard inquiries,” says Zahnd. You can also disable access to your report at any time. “Say that you have five applications out and you get a place, you can then revoke access to your private information to all those people,” says Zahnd.

“We’re on a mission to eradicate application fees. We think they’re stupid,” says Zahnd. “We have zero people who have a real estate background, and I think part of the reason we are growing at the rate we are is that no one has brought baggage from that industry.”

Two approaches to the same problem—one that sticks to tradition a bit more than the other. But both companies readily admit the largest challenge is adoption, and it’s here you have to wonder which will eventually triumph. Lovely is friendly to landlords, but the constant fees for credit checks will add up for prospective tenants. On the other hand, Cozy gives power to tenants—will that scare landlords away?

Impossible to say for now. One thing’s sure, though: finding and getting into an apartment in San Francisco just got a smidge easier. Just a smidge, though.

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