Module 2 Sample
What is "Rent"?
Webster's Dictionary defines "rent" as "a payment by a tenant, in regular intervals, for the right to occupy the property of another". But in simpler terms, rent is the bond between the tenant and the park owner. The park offers a service - a plot of land with functioning utilities and reasonable access by roads - and the tenant pays money for this service. It is very important to understand that rent is the essence of the bond between the park owner and the tenant. There is no other bond between the parties; the park owner has no obligation to provide any service without receipt of rent. Some people get confused on this issue and believe the park owner "owes it to them" to provide their lot regardless of whether or not they pay - in fact, they think that a landlord that tries to collect the rent is "greedy" and "heartless". This is completely false. The landlord has no more obligation to provide their service with non-payment than the restaurant has to serve food without payment or the gas station has to provide gas.
Why is Rent Important in Keeping the Property a Good Place to Live, and Essential to Pay Our Bills?
Rent is the only source of revenue that the mobile home park has. Without this revenue, the park has no way to pay its bills, including your salary. Parks that consistently show poor collections are faced with a dilemma; how do you keep the park utilities flowing, the roads passable, the grass mowed - and many other items - without the money to pay for them? What normally happens is the park owner has to elect to let things slide. They may keep the utilities going, but the roads begin to deteriorate, the mowing gets bad, and anything that breaks, and is not absolutely essential, remains broken. So, essentially, the best thing that the tenant can do is to pay the rent, so that their community remains maintained and in good working condition. Every time they pay rent, they are doing so for their own benefit. Without rent - in the worst case scenario - the park would close its gates and the tenant would be left with the expensive proposition of moving their home out.
How is Each Month of Rent Calculated?
The rent is due in equal amounts each month. It is not calculated in terms of days. For example, the rent in October, which has 31 days, is the same as February, which has 28 days. It's important to note that, if the rent was calculated every four weeks, there would be 13 payment periods each year! So the rule is that rent is due in equal amounts each month of the year.
The amount of rent is based on the charge shown in the original lease, coupled with any amendments or notices of rent escalations given since the lease was originally signed.
What Constitutes Timely Payment of Rent?
Rent is due on the first of the month. However, most industry leases allow for the rent to be counted on-time as long as it is received by the 5th day of the month. This period between the 1st and the 5th is called the "grace period". This "grace period" has been in effect for decades, and probably ties back to the fact that most tenants get paid on the 1st of the month, and need time, therefore, to get the rent to the manager.
Any rent received after the 5th (on the 6th, for example) is considered late and subject to a late fee, as well as an official demand notice for it not being paid.
Accepting Rent Payments On-Time: If a tenant approaches you to pay rent, have your rent roll available to write the date, amount of payment, whether the payment is check or money order (no cash accepted) and the check or money order number. While the tenant is with you, make sure the payment has the date, tenant name, lot number and is payable to the correct name (typically the community name or company that owns the property). The payment must also be signed by the payer.
Keep a receipt book available with the rent roll so you can write the tenant a receipt if they would like one. Each receipt should include the amount paid, date, type of payment and reference number of check or money order, and balance due. Cancelled checks and money order receipts may be used by the tenant as a form of receipt of payment as well. A receipt is only required to be given if the tenant requests one.
What Do I Do With the Rent the Tenant gives me?
Log the payment on the rent roll.
Follow the procedure that the corporate office has designed for you in regard to making deposits. Some managers will prepare the deposit and take it to the local bank. Others will mail the checks to the corporate office. Some managers will be provided with a check scanner, which electronically deposits the money into the bank.
Mailing Checks to the Corporate Office: If you mail your checks to the corporate office be sure to keep a record of the check or money order number, the payment amount, the name on the check and the lot number the payment should be credited to, as well as the date they were sent to corporate in case they would be lost in the mail. You should always mail payments via certified mail.
Check Scanner: If you have been provided with a check scanner, you will be required to take an online instruction class from the bank. The corporate office will also provide instruction on how to set up and use the system.
How to Complete a Bank Deposit Slip: No matter what, write legibly! Try to print instead of using cursive, and use a pen that has blue or black ink. Make sure the Company Name and account number are correct on the deposit slip.
Write the date the deposit is being made on the appropriate line of the deposit slip.
List all checks individually on the deposit slip; include the tenant last name and lot number in the first column and the amount of the check or money order in the next.
Add the check and money order amounts and place the total deposit amount in the section(s) provided at the bottom of the deposit slip.
A deposit sheet provided by the corporate office will need to be filled out and it should be faxed with a copy of the bank deposit receipt as soon as the deposit has been delivered to the bank.
How often should I deposit in the bank?
If you have a check scanner, you should deposit every day that you have payments. If you are going to the bank, you should take the payments to the bank every day the first week of the month. The rest of the month, you should go to the bank when you have $500 worth of payments or a minimum of once a week. If you are mailing to the corporate office, you should mail payments every other day during the first week of the month and once a week for the rest of the month.
A rent roll is a document that the corporate office compiles at the beginning of the month which lists the tenants? names and amounts due. The manager and corporate office will update the rent roll throughout the month when payments are received, late fees are accrued, and any move-ins or move-outs of tenants. This is used by the Manager and the Corporate Office for record keeping.
A rent roll should include the Lot number, First and Last Name of tenant, mailing address, phone number of tenant, and amount of rent and other fees per month for the lot and/or home rental.