I was looking for a program that will give me an opportunity to collect rents electronically. I wasn't interested in backgrounds check or credit reports or accounting and bookkeeping. I just wanted an electronic rent collection. I was tired of going to the bank to deposit handwritten paper checks and then deal with returned checks due to illegible handwriting. A bill payment online was the same drag, just legible. Cozy was my first and my only choice for that matter because it offered me what I was after. First of all, it's free to both sides - tenants and landlords (I am not talking about rent payments by credit cards, everybody charges for that service) and secondly, because it's Cozy's best feature, in my opinion, i. E. electronic rent collection and electronic deposit. It does exactly what I need: collects rent electronically from tenants' accounts and deposits those rent payments electronically to my account that I have registered with Cozy. I've been using Cozy since January of 2019 and there were never been lost or misplaced rent deposits. My tenants, who are a quite fussy crowd, don't have any complains about incorrect withdrawals from their accounts either. Everybody is happy. The tenants actually love the convenience of free of charge recurring rent pmnts. When tenants move out they simply need to stop their rent payments withdrawals on Cozy's website. If they forget to do that or won't do it on time and the rent payment does get collected, I simply return that overpayment to them. Cozy informs me when the rents get withdrawn from the tenants accounts - I get an email from Cozy indicating the date of withdrawal, the tenant's name and the amount. On the same day when I get that email from Cozy, I also see tenants' rent payments as pending deposits in my bank account. Great, isn'it? That's exactly what I wanted from a program: rents coming out of tenants' account and going directly to my account. I do my own verifications and investigation of prospective tenants. I don't use Cozy or any other program for that and if I screw up (happened once in my 19 years of being a landlord, I learned from my mistakes) there is no one to blame but me. I will not trust to do that to any software. There are many faucets to each of the verification steps, that process is very important and requires human interaction.
So, why did I give Cozy only 3 stars? Because it's not a very flexible program. While some Cozy's features are useful, like automatic late fees or suggestion to tenants to buy tenants insurance, some features are confusing because in order to use them one needs to jump through the hoops. When it comes to leases renewal on their website, I don't even bother. I don't indicate the beginning and the end of a lease anymore, I simply show on their website that all my leases are month to month. When a lease expires I simply change the rent amount on Cozy's website and the tenant changes his or her new rent amount to be withdrawn on Cozy's website accordingly. And yes, there is no telephone customer service, which is annoying when you have a question which could be resolved in a couple of minutes. But they are pretty good in replying to my emails.
So, what I've read in other reviews was a lot of complains which have nothing to do with the software performance. Believe me, I am a very big complainer when it comes to promises not fulfilled or when things don't work the way they were advertised or the way I expected them to work. But this is not the case. It's somewhat a simple program compare to others, but when it comes to rent payments, it does collect rents electronically, it informs me about the date when the money leaves a tenant's account, it tells me how much and it gives me the name of the tenant, and then it electronically deposits rents to my account. And that's the main function of this program, as far as I am concerned. I am not interested in other features because I have developed my own system and approach to many issues this program covers and If you want things to go smooth in your business, then you have to take control personally. If a tenants plays games and stopes/reverses the rent payments, it's not Cozy's fault, often it's your fault, because, in my opinion, you didn't dig deep enough into that tenant's background. Again, there are no guarantees in this business, but you always have to do your due diligence. I made a couple of mistakes in the beginning of my career as a property owner, but I've learned from them. Cozy is not your insurance policy against crooks and scammers, but it does very well what I need and what I was looking for: it collects rent payments electronically from the tenants' accounts and deposits them electronically exactly where they need to be deposited providing me with detailed information pertaining to those collections and deposits.