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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Company logo in mail merge letters sent via email

Mail merge letters can contain the company logo. These are included in the print and on screen views of the letter.

By popular request, the logo is now also included in the emailed view of the letter. Previously company logos were excluded from the email.

However a lot of email programs will choose not to show images in emails, so some people will not see the logo unless they choose to also download images. This is a function of the email program, not RentHQ.

Small formatting improvements have also been made to the email view of the letter to make it look more like the on screen view.

Note due to technical limitations, logos are not included in the email view of the letter when the letter is sent via Outlook using the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ.

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Extra Charge and Rent Increase Mail Merge Letters

The RentHQ mail merge facility has been extended to include more purpose specific mail merge templates. You can now create tenant mail merge templates for receipts, inspection reminders, rent increase notifications and extra charges.

When you create a new mail merge template, you now get to choose what the purpose of the template is. Based on the purpose selected, the list of insertions changes based on that purpose. For example a rent increase notice will include the date the rent increases and the new amount. The extra charge letter includes the extra charge date and amount and description.

Existing receipt and inspection reminder letters are upgraded automatically.

A rent increase letter can only be printed by going to the Rent Change details screen from the tenant details screen.

An extra charge letter can only be printed by going to the Extra Charge details screen for a specific extra charge. This letter could be used to create an invoice for that extra charge.

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Custom Fields on Work Orders

You can now add your own custom fields to work orders. So you could for example add a date when the contractor is supposed to start the job or when the job is scheduled to be completed.
To add custom fields, go to Functions/Setup/Custom Fields. Add a new field, and choose to make it a Work Order specific custom field.
Once you have set up the custom fields, they will be available on the Work Order details screen.

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Keyboard date entry in the Windows 10 app

With the release of version 2.7.5 of the Windows 10 app version of RentHQ, you can now enter dates using the keyboard as well as using the mouse to select using the drop down.
This make data entry quicker for people who prefer to do everything with the keyboard without having to reach for the mouse. It is also a lot quicker when you need to enter an older date from a few years ago, as you don’t have to scroll back though many months using the mouse to find the date you want.

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Marketing your Vacant Properties

As part of renting properties, we often find ourselves needing to find new tenants for our vacant properties. We are not earning money while they are vacant.

With the latest version of RentHQ, marketing gets a bit easier, especially for people with their own web sites.

On the property details screen is a new Marketing tab. This enables you to add marketing photos to your properties. On the Functions/Setup/Options screen is another Marketing tab. This contains a special URL which shows all your vacant properties on a map, which people can click on to get further property details, and to view your photos. They can also apply online to rent your properties. You can embed this map on your own web site if you have one.

Also the Vacant Handout report now shows property photos if you have added photos to the property marketing tab.

The easiest way to see all these new features is to watch a new video tutorial.

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