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Startup rolls out online rental application tool

Free service allows property managers, landlords to manage tenant applications paperlessly

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Chicago-based startup Rocket Lease has launched a Web-based, paperless rental application service for landlords and property managers. Users can list properties and handle applications for free on Rocket Lease's mobile-optimized site, which works well on iPads and iPhones, according to the company. The company charges a fee for credit reports ($15) and background checks ($35). "Most prospective tenants are still required to fill out application forms on pen and paper, meet in person, and then drop off or fax documents," said Eric Liu, Rocket Lease's founder, in a statement. "At the end of this madness, the agent is still required to decipher the squiggles and manually enter the information into a computer." Rocket Lease does not offer transaction services at this time and is beta testing fully customizable applications, including the ability for users to set custom application fees for prospective tenants. LeaseRunner, which launched in 2011, offers similar serv...