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FAQ: Is there a users guide specifically for rental property management features
edited December 2018
edited February 2017
No. The Help section in RPM is a very good source for getting it set and going though.
And if you would like more flexibility, user NoCouth has take the time to put together an explanation on how to integrate RPM's business features for better tracking and reporting. There are some pretty good tips to get you going if you need the more advanced features.
ALTHOUGH NOT DOCUMENTED FOR RENTAL PROPERTY MANAGER: You can create and use an Accounts Receivable account (called "Rental Invoices" for example), which you create from the BUSINESS tab, and by creating invoices for your tenants and applying rent payments to those invoices, you can then see what the "remaining balance due" is in the Rental Invoices account -- and it also tells you with a "c" in the CLR column whether or not the invoices listed there have been paid/cleared, so those without a "c" have some portion "unpaid." Under Acct Actions > More Reports > Unpaid Invoices in that account, you can also see a LIST of all of your tenants who have any portion of any of their invoices still unpaid, and it tells you the "aging" of each of them, i.e., how late they are, in days.
Here are some instructions as a guideline on how to go about "invoicing" the charges to your tenants, and applying their payments to those invoices, resulting in being able to print STATEMENTS for what they've been charged and what they've paid year to date, and what they may still owe:
1.) From the BUSINESS tab, you can create an Accounts Receivable account called "Rental Invoices" for example.
2.) Then, make sure each tenant is added to your Address Book, and included in the "customers" group -- if they are not considered "customers," you can't invoice them, and therefore you have no "roster."
3.) Then, go into "Manage Bill Reminders" and DELETE all of the pre-made "reminders" for your tenant rents which RPM automatically sets up when you add tenants--when you next edit a tenant you'll note that the "I don't want to create the rent reminder" is checked under the Rent Details tab, an option you can't select when initially setting up the tenant.
4.) Then, from the RENTAL INVOICES account, you create recurring "invoice reminders" for each tenant. First, create invoice items, or you can create them "on-the-fly" as you create the invoice reminders. Here's where it gets a little complicated, because you have to create individual "items" for each tenant. For instance, I have a mobile home park (trailer park) and I consider all the "spaces" one property (called SPC) with various lot space/unit numbers (which show up in RPM as SPC+11, for instance for lot space #11) and all the mobile homes a separate property, (called MH) with each individual mobile home I own and rent out as a separate unit (like MH+18 for example). So I created individual invoice items for each tenant, like: "#11 space rent" and included the property tags (and unit tags) so RPM would "see" that these invoices connect with the Properties and not a particular "Business." So the category for #11 space rent would be: rents receivable/SPC+11, where "SPC" is the property tag and "11" is the unit number tag.
5.) Critically, when you create the recurring "invoice reminders," contrary to what Hogeye recommends, I made the "PAYMENT METHOD" = "CUSTOMER INVOICE" and not = "PAYMENT." In other words, I created recurring INVOICES. That way you can "enter" this reminder every month, which act creates that month's invoice, after which you can "receive payment" against that invoice when your tenant pays the rent.
(Otherwise, using HOGEYE'S suggestion of making the payment method=payment, after numerous attempts, I found that by making the "PAYMENT METHOD" = "PAYMENT," and then accepting rent payments by double-clicking that reminder, the rent amounts show up as a negative number under the "Deposits" column in Bill & Income Reminders, and when I try to make the actual payment by "entering" the reminder, there is no invoice to apply the payment to because invoices have not been created. Further, when double-clicking the reminder DOES create an invoice "on the fly," just before I apply the payment, the invoice date (and the respective "due date") for the rent is the same as the PAYMENT date of the payment I'm trying to make -- which is usually not the same date in reality. Perhaps HOGEYE has some other method of entering the recurring invoices which I've missed, which is why he recommends entering the recurring reminders to be PAYMENTS instead of INVOICES... or has done something differently to get a different result, but for me, the "CUSTOMER INVOICE" option here works best.)
6.) Invoice your tenants for their monthly rents one at a time, from the recurring "invoice reminders" you just created, by "entering" them. I do this about two weeks from the start of the next month, so that if people pay early, their invoice is "ready" to receive payment against.
7.) Receive payments against the individual invoices as the payments come in. The payments can be whole or partial payments, because you can select which invoices to apply the payments against -- and the resulting balance owed for the invoice shows up at the bottom. I like to right click the particular invoice from the RENTAL INVOICES (AR account) and click on "FORM" then when the invoice opens, click on "receive payment" at the bottom of the invoice, and then check off the invoice(s) I want to pay. Althernatively, you can select 'Acct Actions' from your RENTAL INVOICES A/R account, then "New Customer Payment," then start to enter the customer name and their invoices pop up.
8.) Now you can "Print Statements" (as well as invoices) from your RENTAL INVOICES account (again under Acct Actions) for ALL TENANTS at one time, which tells you (and the tenants) what their balances are, if any... OR, as listed above, you can select Acct Actions > More Reports > UNPAID INVOICES in that account, to see a LIST of all of your tenants who have any portion of any of their invoices still unpaid. Although "Unpaid invoices" doesn't tell you exactly what is owed on each of the invoices, it's a great way to spot the "problem tenants" right away so you can further investigate!
This is by no means a complete explanation of what it has taken me several days (with HOGEYE'S helpful posts) to figure out, but I believe it's enough to get you started. I've started preparing a sort of "E-book" on RPM to explain this process in livid detail, complete with screen snapshots, and will probably do so and make it available at a reasonable cost, if there is enough interest. If there had been something like this already available, i.e., the KEY to using RPM as a true rental payment tracking system, I certainly would have bought it!
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