1. Setting up RentTracer After you have downloaded and run the RentTracer installer, double click on the desktop shortcut to run RentTracer. On the opening screen, click on the Evaluate button. The program will lead you through a simple setup process:
1.1 Date format
Choose the date format, dd/mm/yy or mm/dd/yy.
1.2 Currency symbol
Enter your currency symbol, eg £ or $.
1.3 Business details
Enter the name and the contact details for your business. The other field could be used, for example, for your tax number. The only required field is the name of the business.
1.4 Management fees
Enter the percentage of the rent that you withhold, and check the box for first month's rent if appropriate. If you are the landlord and all the properties are yours, enter a percentage of zero and do not check the box.
If you make a mistake during the setup you can correct it by selecting the appropriate item from the Setup menu.
2. The Setup menu commands
The Setup menu has the following commands:
1.1 Business details
Here you can edit your business details.
1.2 Currency symbol
Allows you to change the currency symbol.
1.3 Date format
Edit the date format (dd/mm/yy or mm/dd/yy).
1.4 E-mail configuration
If you wish to send e-mails using RentTracer you should configure your e-mail here. The port number defaults to 25, you should not need to change this.
1.5 Export reports
If you check the box to export reports, each time you display a report it will be saved as a csv file which can be opened in Excel. The name of the file is report.csv and it will be saved in your Documents folder.
1.6 Management fees
Allows you to edit the percentage fee and first month's rent.
Here you can set up or change your password. After you have set up a password it will be required to access the Setup menu commands.
To add a landlord click on Add New landlord from the main screen menu, select Add landlord from the Landlords menu or press the F1 key. The only required field is the name of the landlord. If you are the landlord and own all the properties, enter your name.
To edit the details of a landlord click on Edit landlord from the main screen menu, select Edit landlord from the Landlords menu or press the F2 key. From here you can click on the Make payment button to pay the landlord. The payment amount defaults to the balance owed. Select the date of the payment. You can also e-mail a statement to the landlord.
To add a tenant click on Add New Tenant from the main screen menu, click on the tenant icon on the toolbar, select Add tenant from the Tenants menu or press the F5 key. The only required field is the last name of the tenant. If there are other occupants as well as the main tenant, list them and indicate if they are under 18. Indicate whether the tenant is actively seeking accommodation.
To edit the details of a tenant click on Edit tenant from the main screen menu, click on the second binoculars icon on the toolbar, select Edit tenant from the Tenants menu or press the F6 key.
To add a property click on Add New Property from the main screen menu, click on the property icon on the toolbar, select Add property from the Properties menu or press the F3 key. The only required fields are the first line of the address, the rental rate and the deposit. If the property is divided in to sub divisions such as apartments enter the description of the sub division (eg Apartment 1). Indicate the number of adults and children that the property will accommodate.
If you have added a subdivision and you want to add more sub divisions, select Add sub division from the Properties menu. Search for the property by entering part of the first line of the address or by entering the postcode or zip code.
To edit the details of a property click on Edit property from the main screen menu, click on the first binoculars icon on the toolbar, select Edit property from the Properties menu or press the F4 key.
6. Service providers
Service providers might include electricians, plumbers, builders, etc. To add a service provider select Add Service provider from the Service providers submenu of the Services menu or press the F9 key. The only required field is the name.
To edit the details of a service provider select Edit service provider from the Service providers submenu of the Services menu or press the F10 key.
To attach a service to a property select Add service from the Services submenu of the Services menu or press the F10 key. Identify the property. Select the service provider. Enter a description of the service (eg clear drains), the cost and the date the service was provided. If the cost of the service has been paid by the landlord or by your company check the appropriate box. You will be asked to enter the payment date.
To edit the service, for example to show that payments has been made, select Edit service from the Services submenu of the Services menu. Identify the property and select the service.
To start a new lease click on Add New Lease from the main screen menu, click on the lease icon on the toolbar, select New lease from the Leases menu or press the F7 key. Identify the property then select the tenant. Select the start date and the period of the lease.
To edit a lease click on the third binoculars icon on the toolbar, press the F8 key or select Edit lease from the Leases menu. Identify the property. Select the lease if there is more than one for this property. Here you have the following options.
You can accept payment from the tenant by clicking on the Accept payment button. Enter the amount paid ,which defaults to the amount owed, and select the payment date.
You can complete the lease when the end date has been reached. Click on Complete and extend if the tenant is to remain in the property with a new lease; the new lease will be displayed. Click on Complete, no extension if the tenant is vacating the property.
To cancel a lease select Cancel lease from the Leases menu. Identify the property. Select the lease if there is more than one.
If a lease is complete and the tenant has left owing money which is unrecoverable you can write off the balance. Select Write off lease from the Leases menu. Identify the property. Select the lease if there is more than one.
8. E-mailing tenants
RentTracer allows you to e-mail tenants who have balances due. Select Send e-mails from the Tenants menu. Choose whether to e-mail tenants with completed leases or with current leases.
You may edit the e-mail subject and the message but you should not remove the character strings <amt> and <date> (in the case of current leases) as these will be replaced by the actual values.
If you are e-mailing tenants with completed leases the program will remember the date you sent the emails and alert you next time.
If you are e-mailing tenants with current leases, you should select a range of dates and the program will e-mail tenants with payments due within these dates. The program will remember the dates and advance them for the same period next time you send e-mails so that you don't send duplicates. We recommend setting a period of one week.
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