New default messages for inspections and other purposes

RentHQ now allows you to create default messages for various different purposes by going to the Functions/Setup/Options screen and choose the Messages tab. These messages are designed to allow you to create a general message to be conveyed to your tenants or owners.

The first message is printed at the bottom of the inspection checklist report. This is the report which is normally sent to property owners and/or tenants after an inspection is completed. This could be used to add your own disclaimer to the inspection for example.

The second is a default email message body when emailing the previously mentioned inspection checklist report to the property owner.

The third message is the default email message body when emailing the same inspection checklist report to the tenant.

The fourth message is the default email message body when emailing the extra charge invoice. This applies when you use the ‘Generate Invoice’ button on the extra charge screen, and then click the resulting Email icon.

And the last message is the default email message body when emailing a work order to a contractor. This applies when you go to the Work Order screen, and then click the ‘Print Contractor’ button, and then click the resulting Email icon.

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Support added for Google Drive

RentHQ can now integrate with your Google Drive account.

This works the same as the existing Dropbox and OneDrive integration. All attachment files are sent to your Google Drive account automatically every time you add a new attachment. Also you can set up an automatic database backup to your Google Drive account on a scheduled basis.

Google drive currently offers 15GB of free storage, which is larger than the OneDrive and Dropbox options, and can be accessed from https://drive.google.com/

To set up the Google Drive integration, go to the Functions => Setup => Options menu and choose the File Storage tab and choose to allow RentHQ integration.

Note that you can only use one of Dropbox or OneDrive or Google Drive. You also cant switch Dropbox or OneDrive or Google Drive accounts after they have been created.

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Delete Automatic Bank Feed Transactions

When transactions arrive automatically via the automatic bank feeds from Xero, there are sometimes transactions that arrive that you do not want to import. An example of this is disbursement transactions which need to be created in RentHQ, and not imported. Up until now you had to just leave the transactions there and ignore them.

Now you can just mark them for deletion, and they will be removed. You do this my clicking the large ‘X’ button at the top right corner of a specific transaction. If you click the ‘X’ by accident you can click it again to bring the transaction back to life. After you press the Commit button, those transactions will be removed and not imported.

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Automatic Bank Feeds Now Available

The ability to get transaction details out of your bank and into RentHQ without having to lift a finger has always been a much asked for feature. And now it is available.

This feature is accomplished using Xero. The transactions are passed from your bank into Xero, and then from Xero into RentHQ. This means you will need a Xero.com account to get the bank feeds working, but it is well worth the extra cost if you have a lot of transactions. The time saved and with less keying errors, why wouldn’t you?

A training video has been created showing how to set up the automatic bank feeds.
http://www.renthq.net/Support/Tutorials.aspx?id=57

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Missed Rent Notification

Catching a missed rent payment has always been vital in assisting in staying on top of rent arrears. So RentHQ has taken the first step to making that job easier.

There is now a Missed Rent tab on the dashboard screen. This contains similar information to the existing Missed Rent report.

Missed rent is defined as the number of days since the last rent payment recorded is greater than the length of the rent period. For example if the rent frequency is 1 week, then the payment is deemed to have been missed if it is 8 or more days since the last payment recorded for that tenant.

Naturally your rent receipt records have to be kept up to date for this feature to provide accurate to information.

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Send Work Order Attachments to Contractors

When you send a work order to a contractor, you can now choose to also send attachments.

The attachment needs to be added to the work order before the ‘Email Contractor’ button is pressed. Then when you complete the Email Contractor function, the list of attachments attached to the work order will be available, and you can choose which attachment(s) to send. This function is also available on the mobile phone apps.

Sending attachments is not available when emails are sent via Outlook.

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Automatic Inspection Fees

It is common for property managers to want to charge a fee to the property owner each time an inspection is completed. Previously this had to be done manually, but now it can be automated.

First you need to specify the rate you want to charge the owner for each inspection. This can be done on the Functions/Setup/Options screen. However you can also over-ride it on a per-owner basis on the owner details screen disbursements tab.

Then when you create an inspection, there is an option to specify if you want to charge a fee for that particular inspection or not. By default the fee is not charged but you can change that. By default it is not charged because sometimes inspections are created automatically, and they don’t always get completed. So we don’t want to charge an owner for an incomplete inspection.

A few things to note.
– If no fee amount is specified, the option to create the fee is not shown.
– You can change the yes/no option to charge a fee any time up until it is disbursed.
– If a fee is charged against an inspection, and it has been disbursed, the inspection can no longer be deleted.
– Up until the time inspection results are recorded, the yes/no options are optional. After results have been entered, the yes/no options become mandatory.

There is a training video covering this feature available here

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Expense related management fee rate set at owner level

It is common for property managers to charge a fee to the property owner when expenses such as repairs are organised by the property manager.

RentHQ already has the ability to specify a particular expense group is to automatically charge a fee by ticking the ‘Charge and extra fee to the owner for these transactions’ on the expense group screen, which you reach from the Functions/Setup/Chart of Accounts menu option.

The latest update now allows you to over-ride the fee percentage or fee value on a per owner basis. This is useful if a particular owner negotiates a different rate to other owners. This is set on the owner details screen, disbursements tab. The new rate will apply to any transaction where the selected expense groups has the ‘Charge and extra fee to the owner for these transactions’ option ticked.

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You can now future date your extra charges

An extra charge is a charge against a tenant. Up until now the date of the extra charge had to either today or earlier. Now you can create future dated extra charges.

These come with a warning however. A future dated extra charge is not added to the tenants balance until the date of the extra charge is reach. It is as if it is not there. Most reports such as the New Zealand Tenancy Services report will ignore these transactions. If a tenant pays towards a future dated extra charge, they will be temporarily in credit until the extra charge gets applied. And if a tenant ends their tenancy before the extra charge date, it will never get applied to that tenant.

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Add Attachments to Mail Merge Letters Sent via Email

When sending a mail merge letter to a tenant or an owner, it is sometimes helpful to attach additional files such as supporting documents. For example if you want to invoice the tenant for an expense, and you want to show them the original invoice.

This is now possible. After generating a mail merge letter, you can press the Email button. A new popup screen will appear allowing you to choose the attachment files to send with the email. The attachment files must already be attached to the owner or tenant the letter is being sent to. The popup window also allows you to over-ride the default email address and subject if required.

This is only available when emailing a single letter. If you are bulk emailing letters, this functional is not available. Also due to technical limitations, this function is not available when sending emails via Outlook.

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