If you’ve rented in Philadelphia, you know the horror of dealing with all those applications: different information required, separate fees, individual credit reports and fees for those…it’s so annoying, it’s enough to make you stay where you are even if you hate it.
The rental search website Lovely has introduced Apply With Lovely, which — if landlords get onboard with it and if it takes off — will make the apartment search so much easier. It’s the only single platform that combines search, application and approval for rentals in one place. It works on mobile and desktop. It makes me swoon just thinking about it.
It's guided by the same principles of online employment websites on which you fill out one standard application and attach a resume so you can just click a button to apply for a job. It's also a bit like LinkedIn: You create a profile (a Renter Card ) with all your information included and when you see an apartment you like -- via Lovely's search tool -- you click on Apply and all that info gets sent to the landlord without your doing it over and over again. A credit report generated by Experian is also sent automatically to the landlord.
Here's the hitch: Lovely charges $20 for each application sent. That's considerably less than application fees typically are -- especially including a credit report -- but it makes me wonder if some landlords won't buy in because they'd rather control the fees themselves.