Summary

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has now become a global crisis, affecting the lives of many.  Loss of jobs or reduced income as a result may be cause to make changes to tenancy rents or applying of rent free periods in line with Government advice or requests by the Landlord.

This article has been prepared to assist you to deal with some of the issues and processes that you may need to undertake during this time.

This article will provide an overview of:


Rent Free Period

Upon instruction, you may be required to provide a rent free period for commercial or residential tenancies. 

Before making changes to rent amounts, entering rent free periods or rent reductions, please contact your states Office of Fair Trading and REI equivalent, for relevant legislation advice in these circumstances.

Residential
  • Create a credit by going to Tenancy Profile > Actions > Create Credit 
  • Select Create credit for: Rent
  • Enter a reason i.e. Owner granted rent free period COVID-19
  • Enter amount equivalent to the rent free period 
  • Select the Charge Fees checkbox if you will be charging a management fee on the rent free period
  • Click Create Credit

Commercial
  • Create Rent Invoices to cover the rent free period - go to Tenancy Profile > Actions > Create Rent Invoice or Rent & Outgoings Invoice  Note: Untick to email the tenancy the invoice
  • Create a credit for Rent, go to Tenancy Profile  > Actions > Create Credit
  • Select Create credit for select: Existing Invoices and click Find
  • Click Search and then select the rent invoice you want to apply a credit to
  • In the Description which will default to Rent Credit, enter details i.e. Owner granted rent free period COVID-19
  • Enter the amount of the rent and/or outgoings for the invoice amount
  • Select to email the tenancy 
  • Select the Charge Fees tick box if you will be charging a management fee on the rent free period
  • Click Create Replacement Invoice

For more information please see article: 


Rent Reductions

Upon instruction, you may be required to reduce a tenant's rent during the Pandemic.  We recommend that a rent change be done on an anniversary date so the change does not alter the tenants rent cycle due date.

Rent Decrease on Anniversary Date
  • Go to Tenancy Profile > Financials tab
  • Go to Rent schedule and click on the + symbol
  • Enter the effective date for the rent deduction to commence on the anniversary date Note: the anniversary date when the rent is due will be highlighted with a yellow box 
  • Enter new amount
  • Click Save

Rent Decrease on Non-Anniversary Date
  • Go to Tenancy profile > Financials tab
  • Go to Rent schedule and click on the + symbol
  • Enter the effective date for the rent deduction to commence 
  • Enter new amount
  • Click Save
  • Schedule a second rent change in the same way for the anniversary date to be reinstated back. if rent was previously due every Tuesday but the rent change takes effect from the Thursday, you would select your rent change to select the next Tuesday to change the rent cycle back to fall on Tuesday.  Note: You will not be required to change the amount just the effective date

For commercial tenancies, you will need to cancel any outstanding rent and outgoings invoices that have been created that overlap the rent change date

For further information please see articles:


Bulk Rescheduling Inspections

Upon instruction, you may be required to reschedule routine inspections.  You can bulk update through Inspection Summary to another date or inspection status. If you want to send out communications regarding the rescheduled inspections,  it is recommended to setup your mail merge template prior to proceeding.

  • Go to Trust & Reports > Property > Inspections Summary
  • Enter criteria as required for date, status etc Note: To use the bulk update feature you will need to select an inspection status i.e. tentative, proposed, confirmed etc
  • Select the inspection you want to update by ticking the box at top to select all, or manually select the required properties
  • Click on Bulk Update
  • Select a status, the rescheduled inspection date and time that you want to change the inspections to
  • If you have prepared a Mail Merge Template select as required and click next 
  • Check the updated information and click save

Fore more information please see article:


Turning Off Automated Communications for Arrears

Should you wish to turn off Automated Communications regarding Arrears this can be done either individually for selected tenants or in bulk for all Tenancies.

Individual Tenancies
  • Go to the Tenancy Profile > Financials tab
  • Under Lease & Rent information click on the edit pencil on the Arrears Notices section
  • Tick to Suspend Rent Arrears and/or Suspend Overdue Invoice Notices
  • Select Duration
  • Save
For All Tenancies/Bulk
  • Go to Configuration > Management Tasks > Automated Communications
  • Click on Property Management tab
  • On Automatic Arrears notices pane click on the Off  toggle on the right hand side
  • This can be done for any automatic notices that will be temporarily suspended for all tenancies i.e. Overdue invoices, Inspections etc

For more information please see article:


Bulk Communications

You may want to stream line communications by creating Mail Merge templates that can be sent in bulk to your Owners, Tenants and Creditors.

Bulk Email Mail Merge
  • Go to Configuration > Management Tasks >  Mail Merge Templates 
  • Go to the Email Tab
  • Choose template field on right hand side: Property Management
  • Click on the + button at top right hand side
  • Enter Template Name, From, Subject etc
  • Enter the body of the email selecting Merge fields as required Note: Using Recipient merge fields will allow you to send to Owner, Tenants and Creditors using the one template if required
  • Select Banner if required
  • Click save
  • Go to Managements > Communication > Create Mail Merge
  • Choose Email and click next
  • Enter required criteria
  • Click on Send Email

For instructions on how to create and send bulk Letter mail merge please see knowledge base article link below

Bulk SMS
  • Go to Managements > Communication > Send Bulk SMS
  • Select type: Tenancy or Ownership
  • Select the tick box at the top right to select all Tenancies/Ownerships or manually select the required contacts
  • Enter the body of the Message 
  • Click Send

For more information please see articles:


Adding a Note or Comment to Automated Communications

You may temporarily want to add a note on ownership statements, inspection notices, invoices etc to communicate with your customers generally.

  • Go to Configuration > Management Tasks > Automated Communications
  • As an example, click on Accounts tab > Ownership Statements and click the edit pencil on the right hand side
  • Click into the body of the email and enter your note or comment as required
  • Click Save

Note: the note or comment should be removed once this is no longer required

For more information please see article: 

At this time, you may find that conducting inspections by video or virtual tour is becoming increasingly popular.  

The Property Tree Inspection > Documents section has a 30mb size limitation for attaching uploads or files.  Given that video files can generally be quite large, we would recommend that you save your video file (i.e. MP4, MPEG etc) to a video sharing platform (i.e YouTube etc) This will then give you the ability to imbed the URL link into the inspection report text thus averting any size requirements within the Inspection Report.

We have outlined instructions to assist with imbedding the video link into the Inspection Report below:

  • Record the Inspection via a suitable video recording platform (i.e Zoom etc) and save the file to your desktop 
  • Upload the saved video file to a video sharing Platform (i.e. YouTube) ensuring you set to private but can share via a link
  • Go to Tenancy Profile > Inspections Tab
  • Click on the preview icon next to the current open inspection
  • Set the Inspection Status to Conducted
  • Enter the Inspection Notes and Actions as usual
  • Include in the Notes section the URL link to the shared video
  • Add the Inspection Report and any other images/files to the Documents section of the Inspection page as required
  • Send Report to Owner/Tenant
  • Update Inspection Status to Closed 

For further information on how to use video conferencing recordings or video sharing platforms please contact the Third Party application Support directly

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