Frequently asked questions
Data and Security
How do I know my information and financial transactions are secure?
Communication with our servers is encrypted so that your personal information is always protected. For financial transactions, Tellus partners with Plaid (the trusted payment partner of banks and Venmo) to bring you complete financial privacy with bank-level encryption. We never save your credit card information on our servers or your phone.
For a more detailed explanation, we invite you to visit our Security page.
- What if your servers crash? What happens to my documents?
All your documents, chat logs, and financial records are securely stored and backed up in the Cloud. Our platform is hosted on Amazon Web Service, where all data are kept in a guarded facility with security cameras and 24/7 monitoring.
- How much does Tellus cost? Are there any hidden fees?
Tellus is a free property management platform. Regardless of the number of properties managed, landlords and property managers do not need to pay anything. For tenants, paying rent with a bank account is always free. Paying with a credit card incurs a 3% service charge from the credit card company.
- Is there a paid version with more features?
No. Our platform has all the features available for free. There is no exclusive access or paid premium version.
- How can you afford to provide this as a free service?
Tellus makes money off of lead generation; we connect the dots between our users and the people they need to manage their business. Say you’re a landlord with a broken refrigerator. At no cost to you, Tellus can recommend someone in your area with the skills to fix it. Or if the refrigerator is broken beyond repair, we can connect you to exclusive deals at your nearest appliance store. You are never under any obligation to take advantage of these recommendations. These vendors pay to get the exposure they want, you get the resources you need, and we make money. Everyone wins.
- How do I set up my bank account?
Select “My Wallet.” The easiest way to add a bank account is to find your bank on our list of trusted financial institutions and log in with your username and password. Authentication happens instantly and you can immediately start making and receiving payments.
If you do not see your bank on our list or prefer not to use your online credentials, you can set up your bank with the account and routing numbers. As part of our verification process, Tellus will send you two micro-deposits for you to report back to us. This option takes up to 48 hours to complete before you can start making and receiving payments.
We take your financial security very seriously. Tellus partners with Plaid to deliver encrypted, private transactions that are never shared with third parties. If you have questions, please visit our Security page.
- What happens if I make a payment by mistake? Is my money refunded?
Tellus cannot guarantee refunds for erroneous payments. We encourage all users to verify the identity of any person to whom they send money over Tellus. All bank transfers go through at 3pm PST that same business day. For full refund consideration, we urge you to contact us before then to explain the situation.
Owners and Property Managers
- Can I use Tellus even if my tenants don’t?
Absolutely. You can still mark rent as collected by snapping a picture of the check and storing it in your documents.
- How do you define a property?
A property is what you as a landlord can buy and have a deed to—this includes a single family home, townhouse, condo, apartment, and multi-family home.
- What are some common types of property?
A Condo is a type of property that is attached to other condos within a larger building, structure, or complex.
A Single Family Home is a type of property that is detached from other homes.
A Multi-Family Home is a type of property that has multiple separate dwellings attached under the same roof (e.g. duplex, triplex, etc).
A Unit represents a livable space as you define it. It can be as large as your entire property or as small as a single bedroom.
Note: when you plan to have multiple leases for your property at the same time, you're thinking of multiple units. A multi-family home naturally has separate units, but a single family home or condo can also be subdivided into individual bedroom units and rented separately as well. It's up to you to decide!
- Can I add a home outside of California?
Yes! Although Tellus began in California, we are expanding to all fifty states. Contact us with your property information and we’ll add your home right away.
- What happens if someone else has claimed my property?
If there is a conflict over a claimed property, please contact us. We will ask for verification and remove the unverified claim.
- How do I start receiving rent payments?
To start receiving payments through Tellus, you need to have already set up your bank account and invited your tenants to sign your lease. Once those two steps are complete, we’ll send you notifications for when your tenants have paid rent and when the money appears in your account.
- Does Tellus handle late fees?
Yes. You can choose to set up late fees when you set up your lease. We will remind tenants when rent is due and automatically enforce any applicable late fees.
- How do I contact a service provider?
From the app, go to the dashboard and choose the “Services” tab. Pick the type of service you need and give us more information about your project. Our team will give you quotes and help connect you to the right person.
- How do I pay rent?
Before paying rent to your landlord, you need to have already signed a lease and set up a payment method. Once those steps are complete, you can select the “Pay Rent” option from the dashboard to pay manually, or set up AutoPay to initiate automatic payments every month. Please note that it takes 3-5 business days for bank transfers to go through.
- How do I split rent with roommates?
Each roommate pays their share of the rent to the landlord directly through Tellus. No more hassle or complicated reimbursements.
- How do I submit a maintenance ticket?
From Tellus Home Chat, it’s easy to add a ticket. Select a category, add notes, and take advantage of the option to mark something as urgent in case of an emergency. Your landlord or property manager will be notified immediately.
- How do I sign a lease?
You will receive an email from your landlord or property manager when the lease is ready to sign. Log into Tellus, review the lease, and submit an electronic signature.