Dubbed “Rent Payment,” the new tool is free for landlords and managers and is meant to be easier and more secure than conventional payment methods.

Tenant screening and lease application startup RentSpree debuted a new tool this week that should allow tenants and landlords to automate rent payments.

The company calls the new tool “Rent Payment” and said in a statement that it “makes RentSpree a true one-stop shop for the entire rental process.” The statement goes on to contrast the tool with physical checks and peer-to-peer payment apps — which many landlords use to collect rent — and describes those methods as “inefficient” and “disorganized.” Instead, Rent Payment “flips the script by allowing landlords and tenants to automatically execute rent payment and collection each month.”

In addition to automation, the tool also includes added layers of security, which the statement characterizes as an improvement over existing methods of paying rent that are susceptible to fraud.

A screenshot of RenSpree’s new Rent Payment feature. Credit: RentSpree

RentSpree was founded in 2016 and has since built a technology platform that provides a variety of services including tenant screening and rental applications. The company works with individual landlords, real estate agents and enterprise customers.

In recent months RentSpree has struck up partnerships with major real estate industry institutions, including California Regional MLS (CRMLS) and Los Angeles-based The MLS.

In July, RentSpree also revealed that it had raised $8 million in venture funding. The company said in a statement at the time that it planned to use the cash to build new payment options, among other things, with an eye toward providing “the definitive platform for renters, agents, and owners to complete all pieces of their rental journey.”

This week’s announcement about a new rent payment tool would appear to be a step toward delivering on that promise.

The new tool is free to landlords and managers who already use RentSpree. For tenants, RentSpree will charge $3 per transaction. Once a tenant pays, the money will typically be deposited in the landlord’s bank account within seven business days.

Rent Payment currently allows direct payments from tenants’ bank accounts, and there are plans to accept payments from credit and debit cards in the near future.

Michael Lucarellit

In Thursday’s statement, RentSpree co-founder and CEO, Michael Lucarelli said development of the new payment tool came after users of his company’s technology asked for it. He also said it was one of the few such tools in the rental marketplace geared to smaller scale operators.

“Very few rental tools are designed for smaller managers and ’mom and pop’ landlords,” Lucarelli said. “Most new proptech has been historically tailored for massive management companies. This is one of the first payment tools created specifically with features for smaller owners.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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