How to Comply with the California Rent Reporting Law (SB 1157)

California Rent Reporting Law SB 1157
California has passed the first in the nation rent reporting bill, SB 1157.

In the fall of 2020, California Senate Bill 1157 (“the California Rent Reporting Law”) became law. Starting July 1, 2021, landlords who own subsidized multifamily housing units must offer their tenants the option to report their rent payments to a major credit bureau. Fortunately, ClearNow allows landlords to comply with this law and offer their tenants the benefit of reporting their rent payment.

Does The California Rent Reporting Law Apply To Me?

If any of the following applies to you, then this law does NOT apply to you:

  • You do not own rental units in the state of California.
  • You own 15 or fewer rental units.
  • Your tenants do not receive subsidies at the local, state, or federal level for their housing expense. In other words, you are not operating an “assisted housing development” as defined by Section 65863.10 of the Government code.

How Can ClearNow help Me?

If you need to comply with the California Rent Reporting Law, ClearNow can help you. ClearNow online rent payment has an incredible built in feature: Tenants who pay through ClearNow can elect to have their rent payment reported to the Experian credit bureau.

Better yet, signing up for ClearNow is easy. Simply go to and set up your property’s account. Then, you can let your tenants know that if they wish to report their rent payment to a major credit bureau they will need to pay rent to you through ClearNow online rent payment. Best of all, ClearNow is very affordable. The first tenant who pays through ClearNow costs $14.95/mo and each additional tenant is just $2/mo.

New government laws can be terrifying to business owners. However, with regards to the California Rent Reporting Law (SB 1157), ClearNow offers an easy-to-implement and affordable solution that is a win-win for both you and your tenants.

How to do ACH Rent Payments

ACH Rent Payments
ACH Rent Payments are safe, convenient, and inexpensive

The ACH network is the most widely used, bank-based electronic funds transfer network in the United States. Millions of employees receive their salaries through ‘direct deposit’ via the ACH payment network. The ACH network does not charge a percentage of each transaction amount like credit cards. Instead, the ACH network charges a small fixed fee for each payment made. The ACH network is safe, reliable, and inexpensive. These attributes make ACH rent payments a great payment method for landlords and their tenants.

ACH Rent Payment is Safe

Using the ACH payment network, property managers schedule rent payment so that funds move automatically from a tenant’s checking account to the property’s checking account. Federal Regulation E (the Electronic Funds Transfer Act of 1978) safeguards consumers against the inappropriate movement of funds from their account.

Easy To Use Web-Based Rent Payments

Traditionally, using the ACH payment network meant learning ACH software and transferring files back and forth to an ACH processor (a bank or a company specializing in ACH processing). Fortunately, Web-based solutions make ACH rent payments easier to setup than ever before. ClearNow is one of the oldest (since 2000) and most well-reviewed (perfect BBB rating) ACH rent payment service.

Methods to Pay Rent Online

Pay rent online credit card
Two online rent payment methods for tenants include credit card and ACH.

Finding a way to complete chores in the fastest and most painful manner is a win. When it comes to the chore of paying rent, tenants who can pay rent online achieve speed and ease. The two most popular methods of online rent payment are credit card and ACH.

Pay Rent Online by Credit Card

Paying for goods and services by credit card is very popular in certain markets, such as dining and consumer goods. In these markets, credit card payment in person or online is highly accessible. In the real estate rental market, however, credit cards are not popular. Many landlords do not accept credit card payments mainly due to the high cost that credit card companies charge. Fees are typically based on a percentage (usually 2% to 3%) of the amount charged making it quite expensive. For example, a $500 rent payment can cost the landlord $10 to $15 in fees. Even though the fees are high, there are services that enable tenants to pay rent online by credit card. Tenants who can pay rent by credit card will benefit from rewards they can earn with their card company as well as cover them if they are short on cash when rent is due.

Pay Rent Online by ACH

The Automated Clearing House (ACH) Network enables the electronic transfer of funds between bank accounts. One of the most popular uses of an ACH payment is with direct deposit for payroll. Most employers will pay employees as a direct deposit to the employees’ bank accounts using the ACH Network. Rent payment by ACH is much more popular than credit cards partly due to the reasonable cost. There are many online rent payment services that enable tenants to pay rent online by ACH. These services will differ on factors such as cost and features. For example, ClearNow does not charge tenants to pay rent online (landlords pay the fee) and will furnish rent payment data to the Experian credit bureau for those tenants wanting to build a credit history.

Tenants who want to make their lives easier should look into paying rent online. There are online rent payment services that offer credit card and ACH as payment options.