Accounting, Maintenance, Property Management, Rent Payment, Tenant Management, Tenant Screening Review – Bye Bye Cozy review

Cozy is a property management software tool that is popular with many independent landlords. Initially, the company established it’s popularity with this clientele by featuring free rent payment., on the other hand, shows its strength in advertising to tenants, particularly for large properties.  Since 2018 the two sites have both been owned by the CoStar group, which has recently started the process of merging the two products into one.  But what does this mean for current Cozy users? Is legit? Which of the many online property management tools is best for my rental portfolio? We’ll address all these questions in our review.

Also Read: Should You List a Rental on Zillow? Review: Our Experience Getting Started

Chris’ Experience:

“I currently have a vacancy that I went to list on Unfortunately, once I completed my listing it was not published immediately, and I could not find any information about how long it would take. A help request asking about this did not immediately receive a response. When my listing was still showing as “pending” over 5 days later, I eventually called customer service. Initially the rep said they have to verify new landlords verbally and have been too busy to get to everyone in a timely manner. I then answered a few questions about the property: address, details, ownership, etc.

“Once this interview was complete, my listing finally appeared 1-2 hours later. In the end, the result was a lost weekend at the beginning of the month, where I could have been showing my rental to potential tenants. Side note: Subsequently I did receive an email response to my help ticket the next day.”

internal link Read more about Chris’ experience: Should You Advertise on

Eli’s Experience:

“Unlike Chris, I navigated from ‘Find Your Next Renter’ on the site and indicated having fewer than 50 units. I then clicked ‘Get Started’ under ‘Why advertise your rental on’.  Like Chris, I also had to fill out a form with my contact info and the nature of my properties.  I received a call from an ad salesperson and was told that I could list rentals for free but they’d get buried beneath paid listings.” 

“The representative also encouraged me to subscribe at the Silver or Gold level, at $199/mo/property and $399/mo/property respectively.  Moreover, I was told I wouldn’t be able to use screening, applications, or rent collection without a paid subscription. Later I found a page on Cozy saying that I’d have access to all those features for free once my Cozy account became an account.  I called the ad salesman and he said he didn’t know about that, so I’m waiting for a follow-up from him to clarify.”

Note:  It has taken us quite a bit of digging to figure out exactly what will offer once they’ve absorbed Cozy, and what landlords will have to pay. Although pricing isn’t available on the sites, we have received conflicting information.  Consequently, this article is written with the best information we have. We are assuming that existing Cozy users will initially be able to use existing features at an unpaid level, however we anticipate that this may change in the future.

Brief Background of Cozy

In March 2012, Cozy was founded in Portland, Oregon. Since then, it has gained high visibility and usership with independent landlords. It has also become known as a leading free property management software service.

When CoStar purchased Cozy in 2018, they claimed that over 50,000 landlords were using the platform. Additionally, 120,000 tenants were making online rent payments. Free online rent collection has been Cozy’s signature feature from the beginning, and they have drew in a lot of their users based on that offering. 

To learn more about Cozy, read our detailed review here.

Cozy’s Strengths:  Free Tenant Screening (paid by applicant), Online Applications, & Rent Collection

internal link Also Read: Cozy vs Avail vs TenantCloud Property Management Software Comparison

Brief Background of was founded in 1992 and purchased by CoStar in 2014.  Above all the platform is designed to advertise units in large apartment buildings and is best suited for use by professional property managers. 

For instance, the interface includes a nicely designed map or list presentation of rentals that makes it easy for applicants to search for a property. Property managers can also feature a demo unit that represents many similar units in the same building.   The platform encourages, and for a fee provides, Hi-Res photos, HD video and Virtual Tours, and ratings and reviews.

Over time, CoStar purchased several other rental listing sites so that the network now includes:

    • Paid ads on syndicate to the sites in bold. Strength:  High traffic from renters who are looking for a new home.

The Catch:  An subscription is required if you want your unit at the top of search results with a large highly visible banner. Moreover, unpaid listings do not appear on the entire network of sites, only review versus cozy

Differences between Cozy and is flashy compared to Cozy and many of the other property management software products out there. Our observation is that the site mainly caters to larger apartment buildings and professional property managers. On the other hand, Cozy has always focused on simple but important features for small independent landlords. Here are some of the key differences between the two platforms:

Features Cozy Unpaid Paid
Price Free Free* $199/mo/property +
Rental listing syndication and plus 6, sites including,,,, etc
Listings network with 3D tours and video No No Yes
Background, Credit, & Eviction Screening Yes. $39.99 paid by applicant Yes. $24.99 paid by the applicant. Reusable for 30 days* Yes. $24.99 paid by the applicant. Reusable for 30 days
Online Applications Available Available Available
Online lease forms with e-signature No, but upload of documents No Yes
Mobile app No Yes Yes
Online Rent Collection Yes. Free ACH payments or $2.99/mo/unit for expedited Yes* Yes  
Financial Tracking and Reporting No No* Yes
Maintenance Request Management Sort of, yes No* Yes
Social Retargeting Ads No No Yes. Starting at $399/mo Gold level

We also recommend that you check out the matrix showing the subscription levels on the site.  They don’t divulge pricing there, consequently we had to fill out a form on their site and have a phone call with a representative to find out that our minimum cost for full property management software would be $199/mo/building.

internal link Also Read: The Best Rental Property Management Software: Product Overviews

The Merger

Cozy has been a leader in bringing affordable online applications, tenant screening, and rent collection to independent landlords. The network, on the other hand, boasts 75+ million renter visits per month.

By combining the assets of Cozy and sites, CoStar is attempting to build a full-featured property management software tool that focuses on the needs of property owners and managers. Based on our experience and research the primary audience will be property managers who deal with large multifamily rental properties. Review: Key Features

As we’ve done with many other property management software products, we’ve broken down’s offering, by feature.

Vacancy Listings, Subscription Tiers, & Features

In theory, listing your rental on is free. However, in reality, a paid subscription is necessary if you want your vacancy ad to be visible to a large number of rental shoppers. 

For instance, here are the subscription levels with details on how your listings are treated and which management features are included:

Diamond – $$$$$

  • Listing and Syndication
    • +120% More Exposure vs. Platinum
    • Largest Ad Size
    • Top Placement on Search Results Page
    • Reinforcement Ad
    • Display & Social Retargeting Ads*
    • Syndication to 7 Websites
  • Property Management Features
    • Online Applications
    • Tenant Screening
    • Rent Collection
    • State-by-State Leases and e-signing
    • Financial Tracking and Reporting
    • Maintenance Request Tracking

Note: Our best understanding is that “Social Retargeting Ads” means that once a renter has looked at a property on, ads for that property will show up on other sites they visit.

Platinum – $$$$

  • Listing and Syndication
    • +45% More Exposure vs. Gold
    • Large Ad Size
    • 2nd Placement on Search Results Page
    • Display & Social Retargeting Ads
    • Syndication to 7 Websites
  • Property Management Features
    • Same as Diamond

Gold – $399/mo/property

  • Listing and Syndication
    • +40% More Exposure vs. Silver
    • Medium Ad Size
    • 3rd Placement on Search Results Page
    • Display & Social Retargeting Ads
    • Listing on 7 Websites
  • Property Management Features
    • Same as Diamond & Platinum

Silver – $199/mo/property

  • Listing and Syndication
    • Standard Ad Size
    • 4th Placement on Search Results Page
    • Listing on 7 Websites
  • Property Management Features
    • Same as Diamond & Platinum & Gold

internal link Also Read: The Best Free Property Management Software for Small Landlords

Advertising will accept your vacancy listing for free, however, none of the other 6 network sites are included.  Paid listings receive much more prominent ad placement and size, so “free” advertising really isn’t likely to get your property much exposure or many leads.

Furthermore, landlords can take advantage of some bells and whistles with paid subscriptions. These also include Virtual Tours, HD Video, Hi-Res Photos, Drone Video, and Online Tour Scheduling. You also get complimentary CoStar rent comparison reports to monitor local rent trends and competitive activity.

internal link Also Read: Best Free Online Ways To Advertise Property For Rent


Landlords can place an “Apply Now” button on their ad*, so tenants can apply directly.  They can also choose to require a prospective tenant to purchase a screening report, as a part of the application process.

Tenant Screening also provides tenant screening reports by TransUnion*.  Moreover, applicants verify their identities and pay for their own reports and each report includes:

  • Full Credit Report
  • Employment history
  • Address history
  • Nationwide criminal records
  • Eviction report
  • Sex Offender history

internal link Also Read: The Best Tenant Screening Service for Small Landlords

Leases and E-signing

As long as you have a paid subscription, you can create a customized lease using their online lease wizard, which guides you step by step through the process. In addition lease forms are reviewed by industry and local jurisdiction experts.

Once both parties are ready to close the deal, they can conveniently sign all lease documents with e-signatures.

internal link Also Read: Residential Lease Agreements: Best Software for Small Landlords

Rent Collection

With, you can easily receive automatic payments to your bank account every month. Tenants can also set up recurring rent payments to ensure you’re always paid on time. Additionally they can choose to pay for free with their checking accounts or for a 2.75% fee if they pay with a debit or credit card.  Furthermore, the platform sends automated email reminders to tenants, including late fees if rent is past due.

internal link Also Read: The Best Online Rent Payment Service for Small Landlords

Financial Tracking and Reporting

Landlords with paid subscriptions can track expenses per property, assign them tax categories, and also attach images or digital receipts right from the platform. As your expenses are summarized by property and tax category, you can easily export them in CSV and PDF formats when it’s time to file your taxes.

internal link Also Read: Reporting and Accounting Tools: Best Accounting Software for Landlords

Maintenance Request Tracking

Renters can also request repairs from any device with all the information you need, including photos and videos. You can then email that information to service professionals. It also allows you to update tenants about maintenance and contractor visits right from the portal. As roommates are also part of the conversation, everybody gets informed when there is new activity.

However, this functionality is available with a paid subscription.

internal link Also Read: Manage Maintenance on Rental Property using Property Management Software Review: FAQs

Here are some commonly asked questions about

Is Legit?

Definitely! The network certainly boasts a huge number of rental shoppers coming to their sites each month. Moreover, for some property managers being able to reach this pool of potential tenants will be worth the subscription costs. We don’t manage buildings with more than 10 units, so the costs are difficult to justify.

internal link Related Read:  Which Rental Advertising Site Is the Best Alternative to Zillow?

Is Free?

Well, we don’t really know. So far there appears to be a different scenario for existing Cozy users versus landlords getting started on Some information we’ve received indicates Cozy’s core services are free for existing users once they’re transitioned to For this discussion, we’ll assume that’s true. does allow new landlords to list vacancies without a paid subscription, however the representative Eli spoke to stated point blank that unpaid ads are very likely to get buried beneath paid listings.

At least for existing Cozy users, ACH payments are still free and credit card payments incur a 2.75% transaction fee.

Rental applicants can also apply directly through your listing and pay $24.99 for TransUnion screening reports. Moreover, they can reuse their application and screening reports up to 9 more times over 30 days.

What Do I Have to Do to Switch from Cozy to

Nothing for now. Once your rentals are ready to transition, Cozy will notify you and your tenants and guide you through any necessary steps. By mid-2021 tenant payments will be transferred to the platform and accounts will start shifting over in batches later this year.

Although they won’t be introducing any new features, users can continue using all of the Cozy services uninterrupted until their account is ready on Additionally, all landlord and renter accounts will still look and work the same on Cozy until they have relocated to Review: Key Takeaway

Undoubtedly, reaches a huge number of potential renters.  As CoStar folds Cozy’s application, screening, and rent collection functions into, there remains uncertainty about what the effects will be on existing Cozy users.

For landlords thinking of signing up with, above all we’d recommend careful research on the value of the features available for free versus the advantages of paid subscriptions. We also believe the question will really come down to whether you feel the high traffic on the site is worth the expense involved.  In our opinion the math on this question will be favorable if you’re operating large multifamily properties with regular vacancies.

If you’re still not sure whether is right for you, please read our other content on choosing the right property management software for your rentals, or contact us questions.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and Landlord Gurus may earn a commission. Our mission remains to provide valuable resources and information that helps landlords manage their rental properties efficiently and profitably. We link to these companies and their products because of their quality, not because of the commission.

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About Eli Secor

Eli purchased his first rental property at the age of 20, a fourplex in Gold Canyon, Arizona. He was lucky to have the advice of a shrewd real estate investing grandmother, as well as special incentives for first time buyers following the savings and loan meltdown in the late ‘80’s.

In 2004 Eli and his wife purchased their first property together, a triplex in Portland, Oregon. The neighborhood was improving, light rail was coming in, and the property needed a significant rehab. They traveled back and forth from their then home in California, improving and managing the property. Eli did a full remodel on the biggest unit, living in the construction zone while doing so. The property has been cashflow positive since day one, and is now worth 3-4 times its original purchase price.

Eli has been involved in residential construction since 2001, having remodeled several houses from top to bottom, rehabbed or improved rental units, and built his family’s primary residence. He leverages his knowledge of buildings to improve and maintain rental properties cost and time-effectively.

Since 2007 Eli has been managing property in Seattle for family members, and now oversees 20 apartments and 3 commercial spaces. He has a great handyman, who helps make repairs, maintenance, and improvement smooth and easy. Otherwise Eli is a DIY landlord, and single contact for all of his tenants.

When Eli isn’t managing rental property he is working on home projects, sailing, mountain biking, skiing, or spending time with friends and family. Once or twice a week Chris and Eli get together to run their dogs, Lola & Peanut. These meetings do double duty as Landlord Gurus planning sessions!

- BA in History from Whitman College
- General Contractor (Ex)
- USCG Licensed Captain (UOPV Six-Pack)

View all posts by Eli Secor →

3 thoughts on “ Review – Bye Bye Cozy

  1. One note on the comparison chart between and Cozy:

    Cozy DOES have limited financial tracking. We have been using their expenses section to track expenses for the last couple years. Users are able to define tax categories and upload images of receipts, on top of the usual data (vendor, date, address, cost and description).

    Just FYI!

  2. It is FREE to list unlimited properties on as long as your property is less than 20 units. With this, you can take advantage of their online rental tools for FREE (i.e. online applications with screening reports, customizable lease agreements with DocuSign, online payment processing, maintenance requests, and expense trackers). They also provide customizable rent comparable reports for no cost either. I’m confused why you were unable to find this information, as it is all located in their public help center. This site has made listing and managing my property a piece of cake. AND those free basic listings… they also syndicate to their affiliated sites. The only two that are the exception is realtor and You can list here by upgrading to a premium ad for 30 days at a time.. which is great for competitive markets like I’m in. Also their customer service is the best I’ve experienced. Just FYI 🙂

    1. Darla – That’s great that you have had such a good experience with We are happy you are able to manage your property so effectively – we love to hear the success stories from our readers! It does seem that we were initially given conflicting information from various customer service and sales reps about the costs to list and advertise, but we have since spoken with a helpful product manager who indicated they were aware of some of the issues and were working on improving the customer experience. Thanks for your feedback!

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