Xspaced has developed a payments platform with the goal of helping tenants and landlords create flexible payment plans for monthly rent, missed rent or security deposits.
On Thursday, the startup announced a new feature called FlexRent, which allows tenants to split their rent payments into smaller payments over the month to align their monthly rent with their income schedule.
The need for more flexible rent payments has been magnified during the COVID-19 pandemic, as more people have lost their income.
Xspaced co-founder Alex Pelin says FlexRent doesn’t require tenants to go through additional credit checks, is not restricted to specific states or cities, and is available nationwide. He also claims that FlexRent is “two to three times cheaper” than existing flexible rent payment products, and doesn’t require prior approval from the landlord for tenants to enroll.
“We started the company with the mission to build fintech products for landlords and tenants that enable financial wellness and open access to housing at scale,” Pelin told me earlier this year. “And there is no better time to offer help than during a crisis.”
Pelin has been working in real estate technology for seven years. In the three years, in particular, he has been conducting research on how fintech and proptech could be married to provide housing accessibility and eventually lead to making housing more affordable at scale.
“Since the start of Covid-19 many tenants and landlords have faced challenges related to making timely rent payments. Besides the rental payment challenges there has been a growing lack of empathy from both landlords and tenants,” he said. “While we can’t fix all the challenges facing landlords and tenants in one day, week or month, we have to start somewhere.”
Ultimately, Oakland, Calif.-based Xspaced wants to help landlords and tenants make rent easier by allowing tenants to align their rent payments with their income schedules as well as do things such as: create installment plans for missed rent or security deposit in less than 1 minute; share the plan with their counterparty and make or receive installment or regular rent payments online.
The company is working with Dwolla, which provides the processor it uses to “guarantee simple and secure online payments,” to offer its latest feature.
“For so long we’ve looked at making a rent payment as just that, a single payment. But with the advancements of fintech, renters of all socioeconomic statuses can align their rent with the cadence of their income,” says Brady Harris, CEO of Dwolla. “We’re proud to associate ourselves with FlexRent and this incredible initiative.”