How to Screen Potential Tenants

Landlords using ClearNow to collect online rent payments now have access to a powerful and FREE tenant screening service.  We believe SmartMove is superior to most other tenant screening services for a few reasons:

  • It is FREE to you. Rental applicants pay a fee when they submit their credit report to you.
  • Designed for landlords. Easy to use, no site inspection, and no paperwork.
  • You will receive a complete report in seconds. Credit score, criminal background check, and an eviction report are presented in a straightforward recommendation.

Getting Started is Quick and Easy

  1. Set up your tenant screening account here.  Once set up, you will add your rental property address along with the applicant’s contact information and indicate if you or the applicant will pay the fee (via credit card).  Most landlords have the applicant cover the fee as part of the application process.
  2. The applicant authorizes screening.
  3. Almost instantly, you will receive the applicant’s complete report so you can make a decision. It is that simple!

Why Tenant Screening is Useful

Tenant screening is useful for landlords because it provides insight into the type of tenant an individual might be before committing them to a lease. Tenant screening with TransUnion’s SmartMove, enables landlords to learn more about a tenant’s background through their credit score, criminal background check, and eviction report.

How do I Handle a Month to Month Lease?

You may enroll a tenant on a month-to-month lease the same way you would enroll any other tenant. After your tenant completes the online enrollment agreement, they’ll receive an email entitled “One More Step”, which will contain a link asking your tenant to upload their bank documentation directly to ClearNow. This security measure further simplifies our enrollment process and eliminates the need to attach a separate file in an email.

Once we process their materials, they will be added to your account, and you will receive an email instructing you to set their rent amount and lease end date. When you input the lease end date, we recommend you set it for three to six months out so you don’t have to log in every month and extend the date. Should the tenant vacate in advance of the date you set, you will then need to unenroll the tenant from ClearNow.

We also suggest that you explain to your tenant why you set the lease end date as you decide since we will notify your tenant of the lease end date as it is set in ClearNow.

Can You Retroactively Debit a Tenant After I Update Their Lease End Date?

No. ClearNow is not able to retroactively debit your tenant’s bank account due to an expired lease end date. You will need to make arrangements with your tenant to have them pay their rent directly to you for any payment period that was missed.  Once you have entered their new lease end date, their debits will automatically resume for the next payment period.

How do I Block a Tenant’s Debit for Several Months?

A block is a one-time request to not debit your tenant’s bank account for the upcoming payment period. If you or your tenant know ahead of time that your tenant will not have the necessary funds in their bank account on their scheduled debit day, you have the option to do a one-time block. Your tenant’s bank account will not be debited, and you will need to make arrangements to have your tenant pay you directly. ClearNow debits from your tenant’s bank account will automatically resume the next payment period.

If you or your tenant do not want to debit for several payment periods, then we suggest that you unenroll the tenant and then reenroll the tenant when debits should resume. This way, you or your tenant will not forget to block a debit.

Additional ClearNow Accounts: What You Need to Know

You may want an additional ClearNow account if you need a different debit day to accommodate a tenant’s request, or if you need to deposit to a different bank account than what we currently have on file. The best way to notify us is via your ClearNow account. After you’ve logged in, from the left-hand menu select “My Info” and then “Set up Addl Acct”. There are two links, and you may use the same bank account we have on file or you may choose to deposit to a different bank account. Be sure to include what debit day you want your additional account to debit on in the box that pops up. Monthly options are the 1st, 5th, 15th, or 25th and the fee is only $7.95, which includes the debit of one tenant (additional tenant debits are $2 each, per month).

If you want to deposit to a different bank account, please be sure to complete the agreement online. Once you submit the agreement, you’ll receive an email asking you to upload your bank documentation. We can accept a voided check, bank statement, or a letter from your bank on bank letterhead.

Introducing eSignToday

ClearNow has introduced a new tool, eSignToday, to get your leases esigned.  It costs just $0.50/esignature!

Over our many years of working with landlords, we have received feedback on what would make their lives easier.  Beyond easy rent collection, another common request was easy lease signing.  Recognizing that leases are very specific to each landlord, we spent time researching how we can make lease signing easier while preserving the uniqueness of each landlord’s lease.  In addition, we wanted to apply what we have learned with ClearNow’s online rent payments where the best tools are (a) mobile friendly, (b) simple to use, and (c) a time saver.  Last but not least, the VERY BEST tools are also affordable.

Esignatures are the solution for easy signing as anyone can sign on a phone, tablet, or laptop.  You do not need a printer, and all paper and delays are eliminated!

What we have found, however, is that most esignature tools are not affordable as many of them require a monthly subscription.  So if you only need one or two signatures a month, paying $10/month is overkill.

With eSignToday, you can easily get your leases esigned . . . all for just $0.50/esignature.  ESignToday is easy and cheap.

  • Use your lease and use eSignToday for signatures
  • Tenants instantly esign on their phones at their convenience
  • Eliminate paper and delays!

Pay only $0.50/esignature.  NO monthly subscription fees.

We hope you find lease signing to be easier with eSignToday!

Set up a free account today at!

Can a Tenant Change Their Debit Day by a Few Days?

Unfortunately, we are not able to change your tenant’s debit day by a few days. If your tenant is concerned there won’t be enough funds in their bank account on their debit day, the best option is to block that month’s debit. This action is temporary and may save any fees that may be assessed by ClearNow or your tenant’s bank. Please refer to our blog post about “Blocks” to better understand this process if you need more information.

How to Update Your Bank Account

In an effort to reduce paper waste and make our services more efficient, you can change your bank account information by logging into your ClearNow account.  Once logged in, select “My Info”, then “My Bank Info”. Follow the prompts to fill out the Property Manager Enrollment Agreement, esign it, then click submit.  You’ll receive an email from requesting you email your bank documentation for the new bank account. If you have more than one ClearNow account to update, repeat the above process after selecting the account from the drop-down menu located in the upper left of the screen. You need to complete the online agreement for each ClearNow account that you have and want to update. Confirmation of changes will be sent to you via email.

Your tenants may also update their bank account information in a similar way as described above. Once they’re signed into their ClearNow record, they complete the Tenant Enrollment Agreement, esign it, and click submit. Once we receive their bank documentation for the new bank account, the tenant and you will receive email confirmations of the update.

COVID – 19 Important Update

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to develop, we want to assure you ClearNow remains open and operational for all of your online rent payment needs. Our esign enrollment process is a safe and contact free way to enroll your new tenants online, with no paper to print or signatures to gather.

Our Customer Service is available, and we are best reached via email at: We are monitoring our business phone and listening to voicemails but encourage you that the best way to reach us is through email. You can continue to access your ClearNow accounts as normal by logging in and managing tenants as needed.

We have useful blog posts that explain many questions we regularly receive such as how to block an upcoming debit, how to update your bank account information, or what bank documents can be submitted for new enrollments. You can also visit our FAQ section of our website for answers to your questions.

Thank you for your patience as we do our best to offer uninterrupted service and keep our employees safe during this public health crisis.