Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress

Never chase down checks or late rent payments again. Accept 
rent by ACH or card. Automated payments, fees & reminders.

Baselane provides automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress. Never chase down checks or late rent payments again.

Take the headache out of rent collection. Free for landlords and tenants.

Stress-free rent collection

Save hours each month. No more chasing down tenants for cash or checks, and no more manual tracking with Venmo or Zelle.

Get Paid on Time

Get paid on time and apply late fees without lifting a finger. We send automated payment reminders to your tenants so you don’t have to.

Fast Payouts

Payments are deposited directly into your bank account in as fast as 2 days. Receive automated alerts once rent is paid.

Easy for Tenants

Modern platform for tenants to pay rent on any device. Tenants can pay by ACH bank transfer or debit/credit card, and can easily enroll in auto-pay.

Simple to Set Up

Simple to set up for landlords and tenants. Getting started takes less than 5 minutes. Our live support team is always here to help.

How it works

Easy for you, easy for your tenant

Set up lease

Provide your unit address, rent amount,
tenant information, and timing of payments.

Invite your tenant

It takes less than 5 minutes for tenants to set up rent payments on their mobile phone or desktop. Our live support team is always here to help.

Get paid

Payments are deposited directly into your bank account within 2-3 days. Easily view payment history and outstanding rent.

Baselane provides automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress. Never chase down checks or late rent payments again.

Why Landlords choose Baselane for Rent Collection

Features Traditional Rent Collection tools (Cash, Check, Zelle, Venmo)
Built for online rent collection 
directly into your bank account
True
False
Easy Sign-up for Tenants and Landlords
True
False
Collect security deposits & one-time or recurring fees
True
False
Fast payments: Get paid in 2-3 days
True
False
Tenant Payment Options

ACH, Debit, Credit (2.99% fee)

Manual payment via cash/check; 
Some platforms only allow credit card with 3% fee

Tenant Auto-Pay
True
False
High Daily Payment Limits
True

Venmo & Zelle limited at $2,000/day

Automated payment notifications & reminders
True
False
Automated payment history and tracking
True
False
Automated late fee settings
True
False

Thousands of happy customers

“I love collecting rent on Baselane. I previously used Zelle, but couldn’t collect rent directly into business accounts. I’ve solved this problem with Baselane!”

Tim R. San Jose, CA

“Setting up the rent collection on Baselane was so smooth! I’m a first 
time landlord and didn’t know where to start but I found Baselane and 
the rest is history!”

John H. Philadelphia, PA

“I love the automation of Baselane’s rent collection offering. It’s so easy 
to use and saves me the hassle of chasing after tenants each month 
for rent payments!”

Susan P. Austin, TX

Ultimate Guide to Online Rent Collection

Getting started or struggling with online rent payments? This ultimate guide offers answers, insights, and helpful tips for online rent collection.

In this guide:

Landlord Guide for Rent Collection (with tips on how to get rent payments faster)

This guide will cover the ins and outs of online rent collection, including payment methods, late fees, rent increases, accounting, and more.

Buying rental properties has become one of the most common ways to earn passive income. However, getting tenants to pay rent isn’t always easy. Cash and checks can get the job done, but 81% of tenants prefer to pay rent online. In this guide, we’ll break down the essentials of collecting rent online to ensure you get paid on time.

Getting Started as a Landlord

Whether it’s a career choice or a side hustle, becoming a landlord requires a bit of upfront knowledge to make the most of your real estate investment. We’ve outlined the basics of being a landlord to help get you started.

A landlord is someone who owns residential or commercial property that is rented to tenants in return for payment. Landlords can be individuals, companies, or other entities like government agencies. Specific rights and obligations of each party are outlined in a lease agreement and state landlord-tenant laws.

A rental property is any type of real estate that is leased or rented to tenants. Rental properties can be residential, commercial, or a combination of both (referred to as “mixed-use”).


Residential properties:


  • Single-family homes
  • Apartments
  • Condos
  • Townhouses
  • Multi-family buildings

Commercial properties:

  • Warehouses
  • Retail stores
  • Offices
  • Hotels
  • Restaurants
  • Healthcare facilities
  • Industrial buildings

These properties can be short-term or long-term rentals. Short-term rentals are typically rented on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Long-term rentals are usually leased for 12 months. Although, most commercial properties are rented for 3-5 years.

To become a landlord, you first need to find an investment property that tenants can rent out. You can either do this yourself or hire a real estate agent to manage the property search and negotiations.

Steps to become a landlord:


  1. Buy a rental property
  2. Submit a rental registry
  1. Purchase landlord insurance
  2. Get the property move-in ready
  3. Advertise the property
  4. Find the right tenants
  5. Sign a lease agreement
  6. Collect rent payments


You will also need to be familiar with local landlord-tenant laws. These cover regulations for tenant screening, security deposits, entry notices, and evictions.

A property manager is a person or company that handles the rental process on behalf of a property owner. They can assist with tasks such as tenant background checks, rent collection, rental listings, maintenance requests, and repairs.


Property managers also typically keep records and handle capital improvements for owners. Additionally, they are responsible for legal compliance matters like lease agreements and evictions.

Before you become a real estate mogul, you should start with the basics. Knowing how to find a rental property, get a loan, and estimate potential profits are all essential aspects of real estate investing.

Steps for buying a rental property:
 

  1. Check your finances: Loan requirements vary, but most lenders look for a typical credit score between 620-740, a down payment of 15-25%, and a debt-to-income ratio lower than 36%.
  2. Choose an investment strategy: There are several ways to invest in real estate, but the most common strategies are buy-and-hold, fix-and-flip, and the BRRRR method.
  3. Research the market: Locations with high occupancy rates, steady population growth, and a strong job market often indicate an investment opportunity.
  4. Run the numbers: Use a rental property calculator to run investment scenarios for potential cash flow, ROI, cap rates, and cash-on-cash returns.
  5. Secure a real estate loan: Popular financing options include conventional loans, private or hard money loans, FHA loans, VA loans, blanket loans, HELOC or home equity loans, and commercial real estate loans.


While you’re free to buy property anywhere in the U.S., it’s worth looking into landlord-friendly states. These areas generally prohibit rent control and favor landlords over tenants for lease terminations and evictions.

In its most basic form, a lease agreement should clearly state who is involved, what property is being rented, how long the lease term is for, and what the rental payment policy is. The more details you include, the easier it will be to enforce rules and penalties.

When it comes to rent, lease agreements should include:

  • Monthly rent amount and due date
  • Who rent is paid to
  • Rent payment methods
  • Security deposit amount and refund policy
  • Rent increase policy
  • Late payment fees and grace periods


There are a few ways to go about creating a lease agreement: draft it yourself, pay a lawyer, or find a lease template online. Regardless of which option you choose, it doesn’t hurt to have a lawyer look over the lease to make sure it protects your rights and complies with local landlord-tenant laws.

Rent prices depend on multiple factors like the location of your property, its size and amenities, occupancy rates in the area, and the type of tenant. Some real estate investors use the 1% rule to get a ballpark figure. This is a quick way to estimate rent, but it overlooks a lot of important variables that impact returns.

How to determine rent prices:

  • Research local demand for rentals
  • Calculate operating costs
  • Review rent control laws
  • Consider seasonality
  • Assess the value of amenities
  • Compare similar properties
  • Reference rental listing sites


Generally speaking, the amount you charge for rent should cover your monthly expenses (property taxes, insurance payments, mortgage payments) with a bit left over. Make sure you consider extra fees for things like parking, pets, and utilities.

There are multiple rental listing sites that help get your property in front of a large pool of prospective tenants. Zillow Rental Manager reaches nearly 30 million monthly visitors. Other top options include Realtor.com and RedFin. While your property listing will undoubtedly get inquiries, there are a few ways to make sure you’re attracting quality tenants.

How to create an effective rental listing:

  • Use a catchy title
  • Write a compelling description
  • Highlight features and amenities
  • Add quality photos
  • Share on social media


The best time to list your rental is 60 days before a tenant moves out. Discussing renewals 90 days before the lease ends will give you time to plan ahead and avoid paying for vacant units, which can cost up to $1,750 per month.

Including tenant policies in your rental listing will help generate quality leads from the start. The rental application process should cover the basics to verify contact information, employment status, and landlord references. You can also request authorization for a background and credit check.


Five attributes of a quality tenant:

  • Ability to afford rent
  • Stable employment
  • Rent paid on time
  • Clean criminal record
  • No prior evictions


Once you screen tenants and review the reports to see how they handled previous rentals, you can decide if you want to move forward.

Property Management Software vs. Property Managers to Collect Rent Payments?

Property management companies are a great option for rent collection if you have multiple rentals and enough cash flow to cover the expense. The margins might not make sense for smaller portfolios, and some companies don’t accept credit cards, which is a popular rent payment method.

Property management software offers online rent collection and flexible payment options without the premium price tag. Some tools can also handle other aspects of the rental process. With Baselane, you can automate rent collection, expense tracking, tax reporting, and landlord banking.

The Benefits of Online Rent Collection

Whether you manage a small portfolio or hundreds of properties, landlord online payment systems offer multiple options and benefits for streamlining your rent collection process.

Saves time


Collecting rent online eliminates the need to chase tenants for late payments or wait for rent checks to clear. Even if you own a single property, online rent payments can save hours every month that you can spend on growing your rental business.


Secures transactions


Online rent payment systems are more secure than collecting rent in cash or checks, which can easily get lost or stolen. Online transactions and account information is encrypted to protect sensitive data from getting into the wrong hands.

Automates payments


Automatic rent collection gets rent payments on time and into your account within a few business days. The best rental apps for landlords also let you collect security deposits and automate late fees.

Are Online Rent Payment Services Safe?

Online rent payment tools are generally safe so long as you are dealing with a reputable provider. Payments should be processed through an encrypted system and use strong identity verification protocols like multi-factor authentication to keep accounts secure. Look for services that offer fraud protection and other safety measures like regular penetration testing.

How to Collect Rent Online?

There are multiple apps and platforms to collect rent online. Each method has pros and cons, depending on what you need and how many rental properties you own.

ACH, EFT, eCheck

EFT, eCheck, and ACH transfers are convenient pre-authorized electronic payment methods using tenant bank accounts that typically take 2-3 business days to process.

Zelle

Zelle accepts bank transfers but doesn’t support credit or debit cards and limits transactions to $1,000 per day and $5,000 per month. Zelle also doesn’t support automatic late fees or bookkeeping.

Cash App

Cash App supports all tenant online payments, but it’s not designed for rent collection. It has low transfer limits and landlords must pay a fee of 1.5% to deposit funds. Cash App also has no auto-late fees or bookkeeping functions.

Paypal

PayPal is a P2P payment platform that can process bank transfers and credit card payments, but it’s not intended to be used for rent collection. You can’t generate rent invoices, auto-charge late fees, or automate bookkeeping. PayPal also charges 3.49% + 49 cents per transaction.

Venmo

Venmo is a digital wallet that accepts online rent payments but is not recommended for collecting rent online. While you can ask tenants to Venmo rent payments, it’s not possible to auto-invoice tenants each month or charge auto-late fees. Funds must also be manually transferred to your bank, which will cost 1% per transaction.

Direct Bank Transfer

Direct deposits work similarly to ACH transfers, but tenants have to provide landlords with their banking information to make automatic monthly withdrawals.

Rental Property Management Software

Property management tools collect and deposit tenant rent payments online via ACH, debit and credit cards, in addition to supporting automatic payments, late fees, and rent reminders.

Automated and free Rent Collection, without the stress

Setup Free Online Rent Collection with Baselane for free and collect late rent payments from tenants online automatically.

How to Handle Late Payments and Auto-Charge Late Fees?

Enforcing late fees can help encourage tenants to pay rent on time. You can charge a flat rate or a percentage of the rent price so long as it’s outlined in the lease agreement. Some states require limits on how and when you can charge tenants for late rent payments. The average late fee is 5% of rent, and grace periods typically range between 3-5 days.

Using property management software to automatically charge late fees can help optimize this process and save countless hours. Baselane lets you schedule auto-late fees for each property using rules to set the number of days after rent is due to apply the charge.

If you plan to pursue eviction for unpaid rent, make sure to disable rent payments from that tenant. Accepting partial rent payments in some states can delay or stop the eviction process.

Integrate Online Rent Collection and Accounting

Any rent you collect from tenants should be recorded for tax purposes. Using an online rent collection tool with integrated accounting can help you track expenses and rental income all in one place. This will provide you with a complete record of every transaction, who paid, the appropriate Schedule E tax category, and which property it’s for.

What Are the Benefits of Online Rent Payments for Tenants?

Online rent collection offers flexible and transparent payment options to help tenants simplify the entire rental process. However, not all options are free and secure. It’s important to look for trusted solutions that don’t charge tenants to pay rent and deposit funds into your account as fast as possible.

Tenants can pay rent online using a debit card, credit card, or ACH bank transfer. Most tenants choose to pay rent via bank transfers, but some prefer to use a credit card to maximize their rewards.

Transaction fees vary among rent collection tools. Tenants can pay $1-3 per ACH transaction on some platforms and up to 3.5% for each debit or credit card transaction. Baselane offers free bank transfers (ACH) and only charges 2.99% to pay rent using a debit or credit card.

Most landlords collecting rent online offer ACH transfers on the tenant payment portal. Look for payment platforms that don’t charge fees to tenants paying rent via ACH.

Tenants can use a credit or debit card to pay rent online with certain platforms. Transaction fees for these methods typically range between 2.9-3.5%.

Paper checks are a common way for tenants to pay rent. Landlords will need to make a trip to the bank and wait 3-5 days for the check to clear. With Baselane banking, rent payment checks can be deposited using a mobile phone.

Online rent collection tools usually offer mobile rent payment options for tenants to use their smartphone or mobile device to pay rent via ACH transfer, credit card, or debit card.

Online Rent Collection: How to Empower Tenants to Pay Rent

Choosing a property management platform with flexible online payments will make it easier for tenants to pay rent and switch between payment methods depending on their monthly expenses. Auto-pay is a popular feature for tenants who prefer to schedule recurring payments for all their bills.

Online Rent Collection: How to Get Paid Rent On Time

One of the best ways to ensure you get paid on time is by using an online rent collection service that offers auto-pay. This feature lets tenants set up automatic payments for the same day every month. Tenants using auto-pay can avoid late fees and boost their credit scores with on-time payments.

Sending rent reminders is another way to help tenants stay on track. Baselane’s rent collection platform allows you to schedule automatic reminders for late and upcoming rent payments. You will also receive real-time notifications when payments are received or overdue.

Online Rent Collection: How to Raise Rent Prices?

Typically, a landlord is required to give tenants a written notice about rent increases 30 days before the lease expires or renews. Depending on local laws, you may be able to raise rent prices during the lease term if it’s in the signed agreement. States with rent control laws will limit rent increases between 3-5%.

Online Rent Collection: How to Get Organized?

Online rent collection starts with adding rent payment options and charges for monthly rent, recurring fees, prorated rent, late fees, security deposits, and one-time fees. Then you need to connect a bank account to receive payments. Baselane offers free landlord bank accounts for each property to make it easier to track incoming and overdue rent payments.


Tips to make online rent collection easier:

  • Offer free online rent payments for ACH, debit and credit cards
  • Enable rent payment notifications
  • Schedule automatic rent reminders
  • Set up auto-late fees
  • Activate automated bookkeeping

After everything is set up, invite your tenants to create an account. This only takes a few minutes to connect 
a bank account or credit card. Tenants can sign in to send rent payments every month or select auto-pay 
to schedule automatic withdrawals.

Setup Free Online Rent Collection with Baselane for free and collect late rent payments from tenants online automatically.
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Getting started or struggling with online rent payments? This ultimate guide offers answers, insights, and helpful tips for online rent collection.
In this guide:
Automated and Free Rent Collection, Without the Stress
Setup Free Online Rent Collection with Baselane for free and collect late rent payments from tenants online automatically.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Signing up for Baselane is free. Click here to create an account in less than a minute and start exploring Baselane today.

Setting up Rent Collection is easy. First, you must have added a property. Please see here for details on adding a property if you haven’t done this already.

Once you’ve added your property, it will appear automatically on the Rent Collection page. You will be able to set up rent collection for every unit of a property. Open the expanded view of each property and select ‘Set up Rent Collection’ for a unit within that property. There are four simple steps to setting up a rent collection:


The final step will be to review & confirm the details. Once confirmed, we will automatically generate the rent collection invoices for the duration defined in the lease terms. We will also send an invite to your tenant to join the Baselane Tenant Platform. Your tenant will be able to view their upcoming invoices and pay rent directly on the Baselane Tenant Platform via bank transfer, debit card, or credit card.

  1. Define Lease Terms – This includes start/end dates, monthly rent amount, recurring fees, prorated rent, and late fees.
  2. Detail Deposits and One-Time Payments – Here, you can choose to collect a security deposit, last-month rent, and any other one-time fees (e.g., move-in fee). You will be able to select due dates for each deposit and payment.
  3. Select Receiving Bank Account – Once you’ve completed the above steps, select the bank account to receive the related monthly rent and fees and separately to receive the security deposit if applicable. If you have not yet connected a bank account, you will be prompted to do so. See here for details on how to connect a bank account.
  4. Add Tenant Details – Add your tenant’s name and contact information. If this is a tenant that you have already added to Baselane (e.g., from a previous rent collection setup), select the Existing Tenant tab, and choose your tenant.

Watch our quick How to Start Collecting Rent for more detailed information.

Our tenant portal makes paying rent and managing rent collection a breeze. After creating an account, tenants will be able to seamlessly pay rent by connecting a bank or credit card account, and optionally enrolling in auto-pay. In addition, Baselane makes it possible to easily view and manage past payments, Rent Collection details, deposits, and landlord contact information. Our tenant portal is fully accessible by mobile or desktop.

To learn more about our Renters portal, watch our quick video on Baselane Renter Portal Overview.

As a renter, there are no fees to pay rent from a linked bank account (via ACH/bank transfer). If renters choose to pay using a debit or credit card, they will incur a 2.99% convenience fee that will be added to the payment.

Baselane has built strict security and privacy controls to exceed the highest banking industry standards. Your funds are secure and available 24/7 in your Baselane account, and all Baselane accounts are FDIC insured by our sponsor bank, Blue Ridge Bank. In addition,
we have multiple layers of security on our website to ensure that no one will be able to access your account or data.

Online rent collection is the most secure way to pay rent. This method encrypts banking information to avoid theft and fraud.
Tenants can pay rent online using money transfer apps or rent collection platforms. Keep in mind that apps like Zelle and Venmo are not designed for rent collection.
Rent payments must be reported to a credit bureau to build credit. Ask your property manager or rent collection platform if they offer this as a service.
Landlords can accept rent payments in cash, checks, bank transfers, credit cards, or debit cards.
Tenants must ask landlords or work with a third-party service to report rent payments to credit agencies.
Ask your landlord to report rent payments directly or through a third-party service to Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Consider offering to cover any required fees.
Landlords are required to accept late rent payments only if rent is paid in full before the grace period ends.
Landlords can collect overdue rent by enforcing late fees, pursuing eviction, filing a lawsuit, or keeping the security deposit (in some states).
Venmo and PayPal are common methods to receive rent payments, but they require fees and daily limits for each transaction. Additionally, they don’t support automatic rent invoices or late fees.

Landlords can record rent payments in Quickbooks manually or automatically by connecting a bank account. However, consider using a free bookkeeping option like Baselane tailored-made for rental property finances.

Some landlords offer credit cards as a rent payment method, depending on the rental property management platform and transaction fees.
Venmo can be used to collect rent if the landlord and tenant both use the Venmo mobile app to send and receive payments. This method doesn’t support automatic invoices or late fees.
Landlords and tenants must have a PayPal account to send and receive rent payments through PayPal. There are no features for rent invoices, auto-late fees, or automated bookkeeping.
Tenants must sign up for an online rent collection service that offers auto-pay for landlords to automatically collect monthly rent payments.
Rent collection only affects credit scores if on-time or missed payments are reported to credit bureaus.
Landlords can collect rent through Cash App if both parties have an account. Transfers have a daily limit and there is no option for automatic late fees or bookkeeping.
Zelle can receive rent payments if this method is supported by your banking institution. Transactions are limited to $1,000 per day and there are no automated late fee or bookkeeping functions.
Rent collection apps and property management platforms support online rent payments.
Landlords can collect rent from tenants online using rent payment apps or property management software.

Baselane offers flexible property management software for small to large-scale real estate investors and landlords.

Landlords can collect unpaid rent after eviction by taking the tenant to small claims court, filing a civil suit, garnishing wages, putting a lien on the tenant’s property, or using their security deposit (depending on state laws).
Check local laws to see if you can keep the evicted tenant’s security deposit to cover unpaid rent. Filing a lawsuit or using a collections service are other options.
Tenants can pay rent electronically with a credit card, debit card, ACH transfer, eCheck, or direct deposit.
Online rent collection offers flexible and automatic payment options that are more secure than traditional methods like cash or checks.
Only certain states or municipalities require landlords to hold rent payments in an escrow account.
Collecting rent and other fees from tenants leasing a property you own counts as rental income for tax purposes.
Zelle and Venmo are convenient money transfer apps but are not meant to be used for rent collection. Baselane is designed for landlords and offers online rent collection, banking, accounting, and expense tracking all on one platform.
Online payments via ACH transfers and debit or credit cards are the most convenient and secure methods for collecting rent.
Landlords, companies, or agencies hired by the property owner can legally collect rent from tenants.
Landlords can report unpaid rent to credit bureaus and hire a collections agency to pursue a tenant for rent payments.
Schedule rent reminders for upcoming and overdue payments using an online rent collection tool.
Rental income to report on tax filings will be your “gross earnings”. This amount is calculated based on payments received before any expenses are taken out.
Baselane offers free rent collection, bookkeeping, banking, and reporting for small and large rental property businesses.
Avoid paying realtor fees by advertising your property on rental listing websites and social media to attract tenants.
Some rent collection apps allow tenants to make partial payments. Check local landlord-tenant laws to see if this will interfere with evictions.
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