News & Insights

How Rentals.com is Responding to Coronavirus

Rentals.com is taking steps to offer you the safest possible rental home and tenant search experience during this Coronavirus emergency. We understand that this is a trying time. Activities that once seemed simple have suddenly become more difficult and stress-inducing. Finding a new home or a new tenant is no different. We are dedicated to helping all renters, landlords, property managers, agents and brokers make important decisions in times that are happy and in times that are hard.

Check back regularly for updates on new rental home search and tenant acquisition tools. We’ll also be adding new information on general policies and procedures for renters, landlords and property management companies on this page as they become available.




For Renters

New property videos 

We are actively working with landlords and property managers to expand our video coverage and provide you with property videos and 3D tours. Short videos will be provided so you can check out rental properties the way you would in-person. You can view things like the layout of the property, amenities and communal spaces without having to visit.

Video chatting property owners/managers 

Keep in mind that in-person tours may not be permitted in areas that are under shelter-in-place orders, but many properties may support live video tours using technology such as Facetime, Skype, Whatsapp or Facebook Messenger. When contacting a rental property, be sure to ask the owner or property manager if they can do a live walkthrough of the property through video chat.

Online applications 

A select group of properties on our website allow renters to apply directly to the property online. Rentals.com is working to expand this offering so that more landlords enroll in this feature. It’s free for ALL landlords to use — they simply need to sign up.

If there’s a rental you’re interested in applying for, ask the landlord or property manager to sign up for our application and tenant screening platform — it’s completely free for them.

Additional resources for renters

Frequently asked questions

The landlord’s office is closed but I’d like to see the property. What should I do?

Check out the property page on Rentals.com. Chances are there’s a short video that will give you a good sense of the property. If that’s not available, use the contact form and phone number to reach out to the landlord or property manager. They can walk you through the virtual or self-guided options being offered.

The landlord’s office is closed — how do I contact them?

You can use the contact form or phone number listed on the property’s Rentals.com page. Even if their office is closed for in-person visitors, most are still available via email or telephone.

I live in an area on lockdown. What should I do if my lease is ending?

Contact your landlord or property manager for guidance on handling this situation.

How can I stay safe while touring homes?

You should approach touring a rental home the same way you would treat any other interaction or outing. Try to stay at least 6 feet away from the landlord or property manager, don’t touch your face and wash your hands before and after your tour. The CDC provides comprehensive guidance on personal coronavirus prevention.

Is it safe to hire movers?

In general, it is still safe to hire movers. The variety of local and statewide orders may affect this, however. Contact your moving company directly with questions about their current operating hours and status. If you are using movers, we recommend you stay in communication with your moving company to ensure both parties are on the same page with regard to safety precautions. You will probably want to know what safety precautions they are taking with the current pandemic. They will probably want to make sure everyone in your household is healthy. Both parties should make sure to stay at a safe distance on moving day.




For Landlords

Create a virtual property video 

Rentals.com is encouraging all landlords to provide virtual property tour links with every vacant rental home they market. We support virtual property videos and 3D tours on our listings so prospective renters can view rentals while practicing social distancing. If you don’t have a virtual tour or video, one can easily be created with your smartphone. Here are some tips to consider:

  • Record in a landscape/horizontal orientation
  • Turn on all lights in the space, and use natural light over flash whenever possible
  • Keep each individual video between 30 seconds and 2 minutes when possible
  • Move through the space naturally as you would on a tour
  • Narrate the video, as you would during an in-person tour, to provide additional details
  • If using a smartphone, use a model released no more than 3 years ago

Online applications and tenant screening reports

We are offering FREE online applications and tenant screening to ALL landlords. Our applications, approved across all 50 states, have all the necessary information to assess a prospective renter — including residence history, employment & income, references and more. You can add application and tenant screening reports to any existing Rentals.com listing or use both of these products without creating a listing.

Collect rent online for free

Use RentPay, our free online rent collection service, to collect rent payments from your tenants. Renters choose how they’d like to pay (via eCheck, credit or debit card) and the money is directly deposited into your bank account.

Additional resources for landlords

At Rentals.com, we are committed to providing advice to renters and landlords every step of the way. We know you have questions during this trying time. We are constantly adding new information on the Rentals.com blog to help. Here are a few articles you might find helpful:

Categories: Coronavirus, Landlords, Renters

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About the Author
Steffi Cook

Steffi Cook is the head of content for Rentals.com. When she’s not writing or editing, you can find her on the tennis court, hiking in the mountains or trying a new restaurant.