Rent Payment, Tenant Management, Tenant Screening

Avail vs Cozy Tenant Screening

woman-smiling-and-holding-house-key-towards-camera-while-standing-in-front-of-house

Rental property management software provides a convenient way for property owners and managers to work remotely. Landlords can list vacant units, take applications, receive screening reports, collect rent electronically, manage lease agreements, and schedule repairs.

Due to the high number of property management software products available, determining the best one for you can be confusing. Here we are comparing Avail vs Cozy property management software products. We’ve chosen to focus on these two because we found them popular and well suited for independent rental owners and property managers.

cozy rent payment logoCozy
Cozy’s rental property management software includes features for you to market your rentals, choose the right tenants, collect rent, share leases and other documents, and bill automatic late fees for free.

avail property management software logoAvail
With Avail rental property management software, you can advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, and collect rent, on any device, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords. 

Our comparison is based on the following features:

  • Tenant Screening
  • Advertising Vacancies
  • Applications
  • Leases and E-signing
  • Rent Collection
  • Financial Tracking and Reporting
  • Maintenance Request Tracking
  • Pricing
  • Bonus Feature: Rental Property Calculator

All of these are vital considerations when finding the right fit in a property management tool. Please read on.

Avail vs Cozy Property Management Software Comparison at a Glance:

FeatureOur Favorite
Tenant ScreeningAvail/Cozy (tie)
Advertising VacanciesAvail
ApplicationsAvail
Leases & E-SigningAvail
Rent CollectionAvail/Cozy (tie)
Financial Tracking & ReportingCozy
Maintenance Request TrackingAvail
PricingAvail/Cozy (tie)
Bonus Feature:
Rental Property Calculator
Avail

1. Avail vs Cozy Tenant Screening

Thorough and careful tenant screening is an indispensable step in finding good tenants and avoiding problems. Background and credit reports often reveal clues about applicants who are likely to be problematic. Red flags tenant screening reports will point to include: criminal records, past evictions, poor debt payment history, and carrying large amounts of debt.

Also Read: Rental Criteria Checklist for Screening Prospective Tenants

Tenant Screening with Avail

Avail offers three tenant screening options. The tenant pays any associated charges through as part of the application process. Aside from screening reports, Avail provides useful insights to help you determine if a potential tenant is a good fit.

Avail’s the three tenant screening levels are highlighted below.

Renter Profile at No Fee

Free of charge – for landlord and applicant alike – Avial provides the following details:

  • Job history
  • Rental history
  • Income verification

Credit Check at $30

On top of the Renter Profile information, Avail checks for:

  • Credit score
  • Adverse items
  • Credit history

Full Screening at $55

Full Screening performs all the above checks plus:

  • Nationwide criminal record
  • Terror list
  • Evictions check
  • Sex offender check

Also Read: TenantCloud vs Cozy Tenant Screening Comparison

Tenant Screening with Cozy

If you’re using Cozy, you can require candidates to send their credit reports and background checks alongside their applications. In this case, applicants pay for screening and share their reports with you via the Cozy portal.

Credit Reports

The details Cozy looks for in a potential tenant include:

  • The applicant’s address
  • Employment history
  • Credit score
  • Debt overview
  • Payment history for active credit accounts

Background Screening

For background checks, Cozy partners with Checkr to search county and national records. The screening focuses on matters related to:

  • Tenant eviction
  • Criminal activity
  • Sex offenses
  • Terrorism

For credit reports and background checks, the prospective tenant pays $39.99.

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

Although the screening structures are different, both Avail and Cozy provide comprehensive reporting on an applicant’s financial situation, any criminal background, identity, evictions, and employment history.

Both services are free for landlords. Cozy’s complete report package is less expensive than Avail’s, for applicants. Avail offers a free report, which is unique in the industry, and offers landlords flexibility to choose the reports they want most.

Advantage: Cozy and Avail (tie)

Also Read: The Best Tenant Screening Service for Small Landlords

man-in-suit-holding-tablet-with-digital-house-made-of-lights-in-circuit-above-tablet

2. Advertising Vacancies

Advertising vacancies is free with both Avail and Cozy. Listings can include the property’s location, price, lease terms, pet policies, description, uploaded pictures, and any other amenities you offer.

Avail syndicates your listings on over a dozen reputable platforms, including the Zillow network. This family of listing sites includes Zillow, Trulia, and HotPads and has recently started charging for listings that come through outside platforms such as Avail as well as direct listings on Zillow.

Cozy currently broadcasts your listings to Doorsteps.com and Realtor.com. As Cozy merges with the Apartments.com network we expect the number of sites a listing appears on to grow.

Also Read: Chris reviews his experience listing his vacancy using Avail

Video Extra: Chris and Eli discuss advertising vacancy using Avail

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

Advertising rental vacancies is a pure exercise in getting your property in front of as many eyeballs as possible. Avail has a far wider reach than Cozy due to the long list of sites it places your listing on.

Advantage: Avail

avail property management software logo

3. Tenant Applications

Both software services provide free applications, which are shared with prospective applicants by simply emailing or texting a link. Standard questions include:

  • Name, date of birth
  • Driver’s License & Social Security numbers
  • Contact information
  • Current & former employment information
  • Current income and monthly debt payments
  • Questions regarding pets, smoking, etc
  • Residence history
  • Criminal history (in locations where this is allowed)

This information helps you to compare different applications and pursue the most suitable tenant.

Avail is one of our winners: The Best Free Property Management Software for Small Landlords in 2020

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

In addition to the standard application forms both companies supply, Avail offers landlords the ability to customize their applications as one of the benefits of subscribing to their Unlimited Plus plan. This feature lets rental owners and managers streamline the selection of tenants by asking important qualifying questions right up front.

Advantage: Avail


4. Leases and E-Signing

Cozy supports uploading and storage of lease documents and files pertinent to each tenancy. Residents and landlords can both access these files. Cozy does not supply any lease forms or support electronic signing. As Cozy merges with Apartments.com these features may come online.

Also Read: Should you have your tenants sign leases remotely?

With both the (free) Unlimited and (paid) Unlimited Plus plans Avail gives you access to lawyer-reviewed leases for each state. Local Assist generates clauses, rules, and disclosures based on your property’s location. The Unlimited Plan Plus allows for further customization with integrated clauses or your own.

Unlike Cozy, Avail also provides e-signing. Once the system has walked you through the steps to create a localized lease, the document is sent to your applicants for signing. From advertising your vacancy through finalization of the legal agreements, the entire process of filling your vacancy is smoothly handled on the Avail platform.

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

While both tools let you store documents in their cloud, Avail surpasses Cozy significantly in the department of strong legal forms and electronic signing. Avail’s Local Assist feature is an industry-leading tool, allowing landlords to customize lease agreements to suit local laws and personal priorities.

Advantage: Avail

Avail is one of our winners: Residential Lease Agreements: Best Software for Small Landlords


5. Rent Collection

Both platforms have easy rent collection mechanisms. Tenants pay by bank transfer, credit card, or debit card. Both tools support automatic payment scheduling, so your tenants needn’t worry about missing the due date. Rental payments deposit straight to your checking account, with no fees on your side.

Rent Payment Pricing

Avail Unlimited plan:
  • ACH (bank transfer) and credit or debit cards
  • Free to landlords
  • Tenant Pays: $2.50/ACH or 3.5% for payment by card
  • 2-3 day bank transfer time

Avail Unlimited Plus plan:

  • ACH (bank transfer) and credit or debit cards
  • Free with subscription costing $5/unit/month
  • ACH is free to tenants
  • Credit or debit fee is 3.5% of transaction
  • Next-day rent payment to landlord’s bank account (fastest in the industry)

Cozy free plan:

  • ACH and credit or debit cards
  • Free to landlords
  • ACH free to tenants
  • Tenants pay 2.75% fee for payment by card
  • 4-7 day bank transfer time

Also Read: Collecting Rent Online: Video Extra

Cozy Express Payouts:

  • $2.95/unit/month for landlords
  • ACH free to tenants
  • Tenants pay 2.75% fee for payment by card
  • 3 day bank transfer time

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy rent payment

This is a tricky call. If your highest priority is rent collection and you love free (don’t we all!) then Cozy is a great choice. If payment speed is important, and especially if you like other tools such as localized leases or maintenance management features, then we’d suggest seriously looking at Avail.

Advantage: Tie

Avail is one of our winners: The Best Online Rent Payment Service for Small Landlords


6. Financial Tracking and Reporting

Both Cozy and Avail keep records of tenant rent payments. The differences lie primarily in how the platforms track and organize expenses.

Avail’s expense tracking feature is simple and wrapped-into the maintenance management functions. Tenants initiate repair requests and the platform helps landlords coordinate and track the flow of work until completion. Photos, documents, and receipts are attached to each work ticket at completion.

Cozy has a financial tracking system that keeps your finances organized. Landlords track expenses by unit and separate them by category. When tax time comes along you can export the data to reports in .csv or .pdf format. Like Avail, Cozy enables you to upload receipts, photos, and files so that all documentation can be found in one place.

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

Cozy offers more features than Avail in the financial tracking and reporting department.

Advantage: Cozy

7. Maintenance Request Tracking

Along with finding great tenants, we believe effective management of building repairs and maintenance is one of the most critical factors in operating rentals profitably, not to mention smoothly.

Avail and Cozy both facilitate communication between landlords and tenants, creating an easily-trackable thread for each maintenance request. Tenants request repairs on the platform from any device, which helps eliminate those late night texts and calls! They can upload photos, video, and any other supporting documents. Once repairs are completed new photos of the job, and any receipts, are uploaded and stored in the system.

Where Avail and Cozy differ is that Avail allows landlords to loop contractors into the communications. We believe this is a very useful tool. Bringing all parties involved, including multiple roommates, into the communication thread reduces confusion and the work involved in aligning several parties.

Avail also has a contractor database, where landlords can search for nearby contractors when they don’t already one in mind.

Also Read: Manage Maintenance on Rental Property using Property Management Software

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy for Maintenance Management

Bringing all the communication involved with maintenance and repairs to one portal is a great benefit for property owners and managers. Avail brings contractors into the mix, which we find especially valuable.

Advantage: Avail


8. Avail vs Cozy Pricing

Avail has two subscriptions for rental property owners and managers, as well as an a-la-carte rent pricing tool.

  • Unlimited Plan at no cost
  • Unlimited Plus Plan at $5 per unit every month
  • Rent Estimate market analysis tool: $19.95/usage

Cozy does not have subscription tiers per-se, however in-effect the Express Payout function presents a similar pricing structure:

  • Free, including features discussed above and 4-7 day rent payment transfers
  • Express Payout enabling 3-day rent transactions for $2.95/unit/month
  • Rental market analysis through RentRange for $19.99/usage

Also Read: The Best Free Property Management Software for Small Landlords in 2020

Our Take on Avail vs Cozy for Pricing

In order to determine whether Avail or Cozy present the better value for you we suggest you look over the other features we’ve written about, to assess what’s important for you.

Advantage: Tie


9. Bonus Feature: Rental Property Calculator

We’ve written about virtually all of the best and most popular rental property management software products on the market. A unique feature offered by Avail is their Rental Property Calculator. Designed for beginners, this is a wizard that walks investors through gathering and analyzing all the important information on a potential investment.

In addition to income vs expenses, the Rental Property Calculator helps buyers factor-in transaction costs, up front capital investments, projected growth rate, and more. Rental property investing is complicated, and it assessing whether to move on a deal can be very daunting – even scary. Avail’s Rental Property Calculator tool, helping landlords organize their decisions in a thorough and methodical way.

Advantage: Avail


Takeaway: Our Take on Avail vs Cozy

As landlords we’re are lucky to have so many online resources at our disposal, helping to streamline every stage of the life cycle of each tenancy. Both Avail and Cozy are great products, offering valuable features to owners and managers even at their free membership levels.

Every property, every landlord, and every market are unique. We suggest you carefully consider your priorities, thinking about where you feel you need the most help in managing your property. By comparing Avail vs Cozy tenant screening, and head-to-head for all their other features, we hope we’ve helped inform your decision on which rental property management is the best fit for you.

Contact us for expert advice about the right property management software for your rentals.

cozy rent payment logoCozy
Cozy’s rental property management software includes features for you to market your rentals, choose the right tenants, collect rent, share leases and other documents, and bill automatic late fees for free.

avail property management software logoAvail
With Avail rental property management software, you can advertise your property, find and screen tenants, sign leases, and collect rent, on any device, with tools built specifically for DIY landlords. 

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 comes from a family of real estate investors, dating back several generations. He currently manages his own multifamily property, apartment buildings for clients, and commercial spaces. He has particular expertise in the construction and maintenance arena, having spent almost 20 years in the construction fields.
View all posts by Eli Secor →

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