Tenant Management

ClearNow Online Rent Collection Overview

Rent collection concept. A businessman stacking currency in front of a model home.

If you own multiple properties, you may find that collecting rent and screening tenants are starting to take up more of your time than you’d like. If that’s the case, then you may want to consider ClearNow rent collection software

Unlike other property management software, ClearNow only focuses on rent collection and tenant screening.  ClearNow does not handle advertising, applications, leases, or tenant management. You’ll need to have another system already in place to handle those tasks, along with tenant communication and maintenance requests and tracking.

Because it is focused on tenant screening, rent collection, and financial reporting, ClearNow can be a good option for landlords who just want to streamline tenant screening, payments, and accounting and don’t need to worry about other features. 

Tenant Screening

ClearNow offers extensive tenant screening services, all at no cost to you. Your applicants will pay the tenant screening fee when they submit their tenant screening application. This means all you need to do is wait for the results (which don’t take long to process). 

The specific tenant screening reports that you can receive from ClearNow include: 

  • Credit report
  • Criminal report
  • Eviction report
  • Income insights report

The specific reports you’ll receive depend on the tenant screening package that you choose. There are currently three options you can pick from:

SmartCheck Premium

  • $40/screening
  • Credit report
  • Criminal report
  • Eviction report
  • Income insights report
  • Credit-based resident score

SmartCheck Plus

  • $38/screening
  • Credit report
  • Criminal report
  • Eviction report
  • Credit-based resident score

SmartCheck Basic

  • $25/screening
  • Criminal report
  • Credit-based resident score

Credit report

You’ll need to sign up for the upgraded bundle once you register your free ClearNow account to request credit reports for applicants. With a credit report, you’ll be able to see a record of late payments to help you make a decision about each tenant. Requesting this report will not impact the tenant’s credit. Additionally, your tenant will pay for the cost of running the report. 

Criminal report

ClearNow’s criminal background check will review over 370 million criminal records from a database to determine the criminal history of your applicants. Within minutes, you’ll have results about a tenant’s criminal history and sex offender charges from both state and federal charges. 

ClearNow partners with SmartMove from TransUnion to provide this information securely and quickly. You can sign up for a free account and pass the cost of the criminal report on to your tenant applicant, who will pay when they submit their report. 

Eviction report

ClearNow searches one of the largest databases available to find eviction history for tenants in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. The eviction reports you’ll receive include court records that have been directly reported to TransUnion for the following infractions:

  • Unlawful detainers
  • Failure to pay rent
  • Eviction warrants
  • Tenant judgment for money, rent, and possession

Income insights report

Find out if an applicant is being honest when they tell you their income with an income insights report from ClearNow. This report will estimate an applicant’s total income and provide information about whether or not the applicant’s financial record is in line with their reported income. The results come from the credit reporting agency TransUnion. You can run the report on anybody who has a credit report. 

Credit-based resident score report

This report uses information from TransUnion to make a recommendation about whether or not to consider an applicant as a tenant. It uses credit report information to assign a level of risk that can help you make an informed decision about an application.

Rent Collection 

ClearNow really shines when it comes to making it easy for tenants to pay rent and landlord rent collection. It works by automatically debiting your tenant’s account and depositing the money into your bank account on the day that rent is due. This eliminates late fees and makes it a breeze for you to manage transactions, without constantly hounding your tenants. 

One potential downside is that there are restrictions on when, exactly, ClearNow will debit your tenant’s account. This leaves little room for error on the part of your tenant. There are also fees associated, which are taken out before the money is deposited into your account. On the plus side, ClearNow reports payments to the credit bureaus, which can be beneficial for tenants who want to raise or maintain their credit score.

A woman sitting at home and paying bills and rent on her laptop using a software like ClearNow rent collection.

Check out our 8 tips to choosing the best online rent collection service.

Rent collection fees

There aren’t any setup fees for rent collection, but there are fees that you will pay every time your tenant pays rent. There are also restrictions on what day(s) of the month your tenant’s rent will be collected. 

  • Monthly debits made on the 1st, 5th, 15th, or 25th: $14.95/month
  • Additional debits: $2/month
  • Semimonthly debits made on the 3rd and 17th: $4/debit
  • Biweekly debits made every other Tuesday: $4/debit

Tenant notifications

Tenants are always notified before an upcoming debit is made. Here’s a rundown of how the process works:

  • Eight days before debit day: Tenants receive email reminders
  • Debit day: ClearNow debits the tenant’s bank account for the pre-determined rent amount
  • Credit day: Three days after the tenant’s account is debited, ClearNow credits your bank account with the payment, minus any associated fees. You’ll receive an email report. 

Financial Tracking and Reporting

You’ll receive email reports every time your account is credited for rent. These are included at no additional cost to you or your tenant. You can download all of your ClearNow rent collection data as a spreadsheet at no additional cost. This can help you keep track of your finances and make financial tracking easier for landlords who own multiple units.

ClearNow isn’t for everyone, but it can be useful for landlords who only want to streamline tenant screening and rent payments. To get started, sign up for a free ClearNow account. There aren’t any signup fees or long-term contracts, so you can test it out to see if it is right for your business.

While some landlords only need tenant screening and rent payment services, we see the value and benefits that come from a complete property management software solution. Check out our property management software overview page for additional suggestions and to find the best property management software for your needs.

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 Chris Lee

Chris Lee, Co-Founder, Landlord Gurus

Chris comes from a family of real estate investors, and remembers well his childhood of helping to clean and paint apartments between renters.

Chris is a licensed real estate broker and now manages a mix of his own property and others for family, consisting of single family homes, multi-family complexes, and the occasional condo unit in and around Seattle. He also has particular insight into the issues around short-term rentals as he has managed those for himself and for other owners on AirBnb, VRBO, and other platforms.

Prior to Landlord Gurus, Chris worked in website development and digital marketing, assisting firms across a wide range of industries. He, along with his wife and two kids, also found themselves living and working overseas for several years.

Upon his return to the US, Chris often turned to Eli for property management advice and help with property maintenance. At this point, the two decided to start Landlord Gurus to help the countless others searching for answers to similar problems.

In his free time, Chris enjoys outdoor sports and activities including baseball, skiing, golf, hiking, and spending time with family and friends.

- BA, Economics - Whitman College
- MA, Pacific International Affairs - University of California, San Diego
- MPA, Public Accounting - Open University of Hong Kong

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