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Maybe you’re house-hacking or managing a single-family rental to make extra money. Or perhaps you’re managing several properties and run your landlord business full-time.
Whatever the case, tracking the income, expenses, and tenant payments for your rentals takes time. But staying on top of bookkeeping is critical for filing taxes properly and taking advantage of potential deductions. And it’s even more important to get paid on time from your renters so you’re not missing out on payments.
Thankfully, Baselane is a comprehensive banking and bookkeping solution for landlords that helps with property management. If you want to get paid on time, simplify bookkeeping, and even earn rewards, its free platform could be what you’re looking for.
Our Baselane review is covering how it all works, the pros and cons, and its best features.
Pros & Cons
- Completely free to use
- Competitive APY and cash-back rewards
- Helps landlords track income and expenses for filing taxes
- Free ATM withdrawals at 55,000+ ATMs
- Supports automatic rent payments
- No tenant screening tools
- Doesn’t help landlords advertise their rentals to find tenants
What Is Baselane?
Baselane is a financial services company that provides banking and rental management software for landlords. The company was founded in 2020 with the goal of helping landlords to track and grow their rental businesses.
The landlord management space has traditionally focused on tenant screening and applicant tracking. But Baseland is different. The platform is more of a mobile bank that also has bookkeeping and analytics to help landlords understand their businesses. It also makes filing taxes far easier, helping landlords claim eligible deductions.
What Does Baselane Offer Landlords?
Landlords are Baselane’s main clientele, although renters can sign up for the platform to make rental payments easier. It offers several banking and rental management features that can help landlords simplify their businesses and save money.
One of Baselane’s most attractive features is its no-fee bank account for landlords. This account combines the best of both worlds between a high-yield savings account and checking account, letting you earn rewards while keeping spending simple.
The main perks of Baselane’s bank account include:
- A 2.40% APY
- No minimum balance requirement
- Up to 5% cash back on debit card purchases
- Support for ACH payments
- Up to $250,000 in FDIC insurance
- Free ATM withdrawals at 55,000+ Allpoint ATMs
The cash-back reward system has some quirks, however. You earn 5% cash back when you spend at eligible home improvement merchants, and this rate caps at $5,000 in spending per year ($250 cash back.) For all other purchases, you earn unlimited 1% cash back.
Earning bonus cash for home improvement purchases and daily spending is nice. But the real selling point of Baselane’s bank account is the 2.40% APY. Plus, you can create an operating account for individual properties, helping you categorize and track expenses per unit if you have multiple. And Baselane’s bank account is available for LLCs, Partnerships, and Corporations.
Easy Rent Collection
If you’ve ever had to remind tenants endlessly about rent payments, Baselane’s rent collection feature could help save some headaches.
This rent collection solution lets renters pay you through debit/credit card or ACH payments. They also get automatic payment reminders and can enable auto-pay to help reduce late payments. And you have the option to apply late payment fees if you want.
All you have to do is enter the lease terms in the Baselane app and invite your tenant to sign up for payments. From there, payments hit your bank account in two to five days depending on the payment method and the involved banks.
There’s a 2.99% fee for tenants to pay rent with a debit or credit card, but ACH payments are free.
As a landlord, managing your books and keeping track of income and expenses is important for filing taxes. Thankfully, Baselane helps make this process more simple and automatic with its one-click bookkeeping tool.
With Baselane’s bookkeeping, you get a ledger of all your transactions, and you can tag expenses to specific properties. Transactions also get categorized automatically, so it’s easy to track all of your relevant home expenses for potential deductions. This includes Schedule E transactions, which makes it easier to report any income or losses from your rentals.
Landlords can also split transactions and attach receipts or notes to transactions for future reference.
Your analytics dashboard provides a breakdown for data like:
- Operating cash flow
- Expenses per property (broken down by category)
- Return on equity
- Cap rate
- Estimated home appreciation
You can also view month-over-month performance, and it’s nice to consolidate all this data in a sleek and simple report.
Through its partnership with Obie, Baselane helps landlords get landlord insurance to help protect their properties. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your existing insurance policy and property. From there, you get a quote and can decide if landlord insurance is worth it or if you can get a lower rate if you already have coverage.
Like its insurance offering, Baselane also partners with Lendency to help landlords find flexible loans to expand their rental businesses. Loans range from $50,000 to $2 million, which helps cover everything from single-family homes to multi-unit properties. You can also choose between long term rental loans and rehab loans.
What Does Baselane Offer Renters?
Landlords can invite tenants to join Baselane, and it offers two features for renters.
Simple Rent Payments
As mentioned, landlords using Baselane can onboard their tenants to simplify rent payments. This makes it easy to stay on top of payments, and you can pay via bank transfer, debit, or credit card.
Baselane also works with Stripe and Plaid to keep your financial information secure and securely process payments.
Through its partnership with Sure, Baselane helps you find affordable rental insurance with the right level of coverage. Plans are as cheap as $8 per month and help protect you and your belongings. Renters insurance can also limit liability in case someone ever gets hurt in your home.
Baselane Pricing & Fees
Baselane is completely free to use for both landlords and tenants. This means you don’t pay monthly account fees, bookkeeping fees, or even inactivity fees. And there’s no minimum deposit or balance requirement for Baselane banking.
You might be wondering how Baselane makes money since the platform is free. The company mostly generates revenue from its banking service since it earns interest on balances and from merchant fees when you use the Baselane Visa debit card. It also charges 2.99% if tenants pay their rent with a debit or credit card. Finally, Baselane receives kickbacks if it refers users to its various insurance and loan partners.
According to its website, premium features are coming to the platform in the future. But for now, Baselane is basically 100% free and only makes money like other free mobile banks.
How Do I Contact Baselane?
You can contact Baselane by emailing email@example.com or by calling 1-888-586-1618. Phone customer support is available Monday through Friday from 9am to 5pm EST. A lack of weekend customer support is a small downside worth noting.
There are numerous Baselane competitors that specialize in simplifying rental payments and managing tenants. For example, both Avail and Hemlane let you automate rent collection. And unlike Baselane, these competitors have tenant screening features to help you find trustworthy, responsible renters. Plus, these sites let you advertise your rental to help you find tenants in the first place.
But Baselane has way more banking features and rewards than its competitors. And it’s really a landlord banking solution, not a tenant screener. If anything, it’s a middle ground between online banks for businesses like Novo and other landlord-tenant payment platforms.
The main downside of Baselane is that it doesn’t have tenant screening or applicant tracking systems in place. But this isn’t its main purpose. Rather, it’s designed to simplify rental payments and help landlords track every aspect of their business. And the fact you earn rewards with its bank account is a unique selling point.
If Baselane charged a monthly fee, I’d probably say it’s only worthwhile for landlords managing a few rentals. However, since Baselane is free, it’s an excellent solution for managing everything from single family homes to larger rental businesses.
If you’re looking for tenant screening help or to advertise your rentals, Baselane isn’t for you. But it has an excellent bank account with a competitive interest rate and nice cash-back rewards. And its bookkeeping software alone can help you save money when you file your taxes.
Tenants can also benefit from Baselane since it simplifies paying rent. Ultimately, you can give this free platform a try to test the waters and see if it simplifies your life as a landlord.