Audience: Landlords & Property Managers
When adding a Tenant to Housters, you specify the Property that the Tenant resides in, and if it’s a multi unit Property then you also specify the unit they reside in. A Tenant could be an individual, a group of people, or a company, but it’s basically the entity that has the lease agreement with you.
In case there are multiple people who signed the lease, Housters allows tracking separate Residents. As long as they all are under the same Lease, you can add multiple Residents under one Tenant record. If they have separate Leases, then you’ll want to create separate Tenant records for each so that you can track their rent statuses separately.
When specifying a Tenant’s lease terms, it’s important to input them right because this is what Housters uses to track how much rent the Tenant is expected to pay over time. Housters is very customizable and supports any variation of payment frequencies, e.g. every month on day 5, every 2 weeks, every 4 days, and so on. It also allows marking rent as due “in arrears”, e.g. rent is due on the last day of each month.
What you should set the Lease Start Date to depends on how you want to use Housters. If you set it to the next time that rent is due, then you can start adding Rent Payment Transactions at that time and start fresh with Housters. In this scenario, you will have no backwards history of rent that was paid by the Tenant before you started using Housters. If you set it to the original date that the Tenant moved in, then Housters will expect Rent Payment Transactions for each of those old payment periods so you will need to add Rent Payment Transactions, otherwise the Tenant will show as owing all of that rent from the past.
To aid in this, Housters asks if you want to log the old rent payments automatically or manually as part of the Add Tenant process. If you choose to add them automatically, Housters will auto-generate a Rent Payment Transaction on each day that rent was due for the amount that was due. The Tenant will show as being fully paid on their rent. If you choose to add their old Rent Payment Transactions manually, then you can specify the date and amount of each rent payment that they made in the past.
Read the Tenant Invoicing help topic to understand how Housters uses the Tenant’s lease terms to generate Invoices for the Tenant, and how it uses Rent Payment Transactions to update the Amounts Paid on those Invoices.
If you choose to create a Recurring Rent Payment Transaction, Housters will auto-generate a Rent Payment Transaction on every day that rent is due for the amount that is due. The Tenant will always show as being fully paid on their rent. This is the “set it and forget it” option. The downside is that if the Tenant doesn’t actually pay at some point, Housters will inaccurately show them as still having paid.
You can choose to have Housters auto-generate late fee charges whenever the Tenant is late on rent. For example, if your Tenant is expected to pay $1,000 on the first of every month and they haven’t paid by the 5th, you can charge them a $75 late fee. The late fee will be charged as an Invoice adjustment of type “Increase Amount Due” for that month’s Invoice, so the Amount Due on the Invoice will increase to $1,075.
The “gotcha” with auto-generating late fee charges is that Housters doesn’t really know whether a Tenant has paid or not on a given date, we only know whether you as the Landlord or Property Manager actually added the Rent Payment Transaction to Housters or not. So if you are tardy on adding that Rent Payment Transaction even though they already paid, then Housters will add a late fee charge to the Tenant’s Invoice and they will incorrectly show as owing more rent than they actually do. So basically, don’t set up auto late fee charges unless you plan on adding the Rent Payment Transactions immediately to Housters when you receive them from your Tenants.