Lease records are essential to SimpleRent, they are at the core of every fee, receivable, payment in the system, and you can’t really do much without having at least one lease added to your account.
Although most of the time you’ll only have one active lease on a property at a given time, SimpleRent will accommodate you if you need to add multiple, active leases on the same property at the same time. SimpleRent is flexible enough to handle any situation, including the (more likely) scenario of one active lease with multiple former/inactive leases that have expired or closed.
SimpleRent will support single or multiple tenants per lease – you can add any number of persons to the lease, and each one can pay a portion or the full amount of any fee/charge on the lease.
Fixed date (start date à end date) leases are supported, as well as open-ended / month-to-month leases. Any number of charges/fees can be added to the lease, including (of course) rent, other recurring or one-time fees, utility bills, etc. Every charge/fee can be configured to recur one time, or monthly, weekly, bi-monthly, every two weeks, daily, quarterly, or yearly. Each charge can be billed independently (on different recurrence patterns if required) and appear as a separate line items on an invoice. Charges can exist within lease start and end dates, or even outside of that on their own date boundaries.
Adding a New Lease
There are a number of ways to create a new lease entry in SimpleRent, depending on if you are coming from the perspective of the person (and you want to move that person into a particular property), or from the perspective of the property (and you want to lease that property to one or more people).
From Properties (adding tenants to a property)
On the Properties page, check the box next to a particular property you want to lease:
Then click the “Lease Selected Properties” button:
TIP: you can lease more than one property a time; this greatly decreases the time it takes to lease all of your properties when you are first getting set up in the system. Just check more than one box before you click the “Lease Selected Properties” button:
The “Add People to Selected Properties” popup screen appears:
As you can see, you can assign multiple tenants to this property on this screen.
If you selected more than one property, each property will appear on a separate line, each with its own tenants dropdown list to assign separate (or the same!) tenants to each property:
Click in the Tenants dropdown list to select from the list of people and assign him/her to the lease:
You can create a new person record on the fly by clicking the “Add Person” link:
When you do so, the new person will be added to the tenants dropdown list.
Set Start and (optional) End Date
Next, select a Start & End Date for the lease:
Every lease in SimpleRent must have a valid start date. End date is optional; omitting the end date implies that the lease is month-to-month. Under the hood, SimpleRent really just extends the end date out ten years for calculation purposes on an open-ended lease – if you have leases longer than this, you can always create a new one or renew the lease when the time comes.
Add Rent & Other Charges
Click the “Add Charge” link to display the “Add Lease Fee” popup screen:
Select the fee type – you can choose from a large number of different types of charges, including rent, section 8, recurring fees and charges (eg garage or parking fee), one-time charges (application fee, security deposit, etc), or utility bills. If you don’t see the specific charge type you need, contact us and we’ll add it for you.
You must specify the Amount of the charge, when it is due (monthly, weekly, etc) and the start and end date range for which the fee is valid. If you leave start or end date blank, the lease start/end date will be implied. If the lease end date is blank (month-to-month), and you leave the fee’s end date blank, it will also be considered to be open-ended.
SimpleRent will generate the payment schedule for the charge based on the Start Date and recurrence setting specified in the “Due” dropdown list. For example, a fee with a start date of January 2 and a “due” setting of monthly will generate receivables for January 2, February 2, March 2, etc.
Specify whether the fee/charge is to be paid by tenants, or a different person or entity. Normally, you will choose “Tenants” for this option – exceptions might be Section 8 payments where the tenants don’t actually pay this portion, but a government housing authority does – in cases like this, select “Other, Non-Tenant Payer” and type the name of the payer into the “Specify Payer Name” textbox.
Each and every charge/fee whether it is rent, or otherwise, can have late fees enabled for it. To do so, switch the “Enable Late Fees for this item?” dropdown to “Yes”. The Late Fee Settings options are shown:
Select the type of late fee structure you want to use – either Flat Fee, an Amount Per Day, or Percent of fee per day. Changing this option will determine what additional settings you’ll need to set up.
Flat fee – a one-time late fee is assessed when this charge is considered late. Enter the amount to be assessed.
Amount per day – a fixed dollar amount to assess for each day the item is considered late. You can enter a base amount plus the amount per day. For example $50 + $2 per day will result in a $56 late fee for an item that is considered 3 days late. Just use a $0 base amount if you just want a per day charge only.
Percent of fee amount per day – this option will apply a percentage to the actual amount of the item due and calculate a late fee from that. For example, entering 1.2 into the “% per day” field on a $1000 rent charge will result in a $12 late fee ($1000 x 0.012) per day assessment.
Grace period – in all late fee cases, you can add a number of days before the item is to be considered late. For example if the item is set up to be due on January 1 (and subsequently monthly on the first of the month), but the grace period is set to 2 days, the item will not be ‘considered late’ until January 3rd.
When you are done configuring the Charge, click Save to add it to the lease:
Continue to add charges to the lease – when you are done, click the “Create Lease” button to save the Lease record. Note that if you originally selected multiple properties before you initiated the Add People to Selected Properties popup, all charges you have added will be added to each lease. If you want to customize each charge separately across properties, you must configure each lease separately.
If you were on the Properties page, the property will move from the Vacant tab to the Leased tab. If you were on the People page, the person will move from the Inactive/Applicant or Former tab to the Active tab, and the lease(s) is/are created.
From People (linking a property to a tenant)
Similar to creating a lease from the properties screens, you can also do it from the perspective of the People screens in SimpleRent. In this case, start on the Properties page, and check the box next to a particular person (or persons) you want to add into a property.
Then click the “Lease Property” button:
TIP: using the ‘from properties’ method in the previous section you can lease more than one property to any number of tenants at a time. From this perspective of the Persons screens, you can only add multiple people to a single property. Either method will give you the flexibility and options you need depending on your scenario.
The “Assign a Property to Selected People” popup screen appears:
If you’ve selected a single person, he or she will show – if you’ve selected multiples, they will appear in a list as shown above. Also displayed is the Property dropdown list where you will choose which property is leased to these people.
Select the property you wish to lease from the dropdown list.
Note: all of the other options on this screen are exactly the same as those on the “Add People to Selected Properties” popup screen when you create a lease using the “From Properties” method described in the previous section. These options include setting the start/end date for the lease, adding charges & fees, and setting late fee options. See the “From Properties” section for more details about those lease options.
Once you have saved the new lease record, the person will move from the Inactive/Applicant or Former tab to the Active tab. The property will now be active and not vacant.