Zillow to allow renters to search, apply and pay for rentals online

US-based platform Zillow has debuted a system which will allow renters to find, apply for and pay for rentals online. The system will be rolled out across the company’s three platforms – Zillow, Trulia and HotPads – but not New York-based StreetEasy.

“Renters tell us they want the entire rental process to happen online, from search to application to payment. However, most landlords don’t have the resources to offer these services. We’re excited to provide the technology to help renters and landlords have a better experience,” Zillow President Jeremy Wacksman said in a statement.

The feature will allow renters to pay a US$29 fee to submit a single application multiple times across the apartment search process. This includes a credit report, eviction history and background check, which will be undertaken by background check startup Checkr.

PMs and landlords with a portfolio of fewer than 50 properties will be able to use the platform.

The platform reports up to 35 million user visits per month on rental sites and mobile apps, and they hope the centralised system will replace the traditional rental application process.

The features will be incorporated into Zillow Rental Manager, a platform which allows PMs and landlords to manage rental listings on Zillow sites. The process will remove the need for PMs and landlords to undertake the background check process on potential tenants.

Currently the inspection process must be scheduled by the tenants and approved by the PM or landlord through the Zillow platform.

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Hannah Blackiston

Hannah Blackiston was an in-house journalist with Elite Agent. She worked with the company from January 2018 to January 2019.