3Accepting PackagesNo package should be accepted unless there is a signed “Package Release” form.Residents must sign the “Package Release Log”.Keep packages in a secure area.Never allow residents to select their own package.
4Resident Communication Key ingredients to a successful resident retention program:Information on community activities - NewslettersInformation on community activities and eventsNotices when a problem occurs (water leak, crime)Resident surveys – provides us feedbackPOLICY: PROSPECT & RESIDENT MANAGEMENT: RESIDENT CONCERNS, COMMUNICATION AND SAFETYRemind them as notices are sent out regarding “crime” information at the property must be approved by the supervisor and the legal department.
5Resident Appreciation Activities Select activities that are applicable to your resident profile.Follow the rules below:A Property team member must be presentAlcohol can be served only with RM/DM approvalRemain within budget on activitiesActivities must be approved by your DM
6Resident Concerns Follow through with all resident concerns. Our goal is to provide our residents with a positive experienceDocument in OneSite, all resident complaints in the Activity Tab of their ledger.
7Resident ConcernsIf there is a complaint in regards to a resident, send a letter, call or arrange a person-to-person meeting to discuss.If the resident has not corrected the violation after 3 notifications, eviction may be initiated. Contact your DM. Follow state & local laws.
8Lease Violation Letters Use state/local approved lease violation letters.If a 3rd notice is sent, it should contain:Lease paragraph or policy violatedName of resident and/or guest in violationSpecific facts explaining the nature of the violationDate possession is expectedBlue Moon Software should have most lease violation letters you will need.
9Roommate Guidelines Roommates must qualify jointly. Deposits are per apartment, not the individual.If one roommate moves a partial deposit will not be refunded.POLICY: PROSPECT AND RESIDENT MANAGEMENT: ROOMMATESFORM: ROOMMATE RELEASE FORMIf one or more roommates decide to transfer, a deposit will need to be paid on the new apartment. The deposit stays with the current apartment.
10Roommate GuidelinesDeposit refunds will be made out to all leaseholders.If a roommate moves, they need to assign their portion of the deposit to the new or remaining roommate.The vacating roommate should be removed from the lease.The vacating roommate should sign an “Assignment of Security Deposit and Release of Resident Form.The change must be initialed by all roommates on the current lease or a new lease must be signed.Reminder: any time a change is made on a current lease a Berkshire representative must also initial or if a new lease is signed, a Berkshire representative must also sign.
11Military PersonnelWhen a service member requests a termination on a lease that has not been fulfilled, discuss this with your DM.Seek legal counsel to ensure we are in compliance with the Service members Civil Relief ActThe right to terminate a housing leaseProtection for evictionLegal proceeding can be postponed for 90 daysAlways seek legal counsel on military personnel.
12Resident Transfer Policy Transfer On SiteMust have complied with all lease terms in the original apartment.A move out notice is required.Must pay a transfer fee if transferring before the original lease end date.Must re-qualify if moving to a more expensive apartment.POLICY: PROSPECT AND RESIDENT MANAGEMENT: RESIDENT TRANSFER POLICIESAsk your Property Manager what the transfer fee is for your community.If a resident transfers after the original lease term has been fulfilled, no transfer fee will be charged and the security deposit will be transferred to the new apartment.Damages will be assessed and a notice sent to the resident.Prior to the Manager approving the transfer, verify that the current apartment is in good condition and the rental history is satisfactory.
13Resident Transfer Policy Transfer to another Berkshire PropertyFree Transfer ProgramMust be moving 25 or more milesNotice to vacate is requiredMust be in compliance with all lease termsBenefits IncludeNo application feeNew lease terminationDeposit can by transferredPet deposits and fees do not transfer
14Transferring Deposits The previous community will process the Final Account Statement using the property address.When the deposit refund is received, it will be forwarded to the current (new) community.The current (new) community will have the resident sign the check over to that property for deposit.
15Renters InsuranceWe do not provide contents coverage to cover resident’s personal belongings.Advise residents to carry renters insurance.Never promise to pay for damages or loss occurring inside a resident’s apartment.The interior contents of an individual’s apartment are not our responsibility. This relates to fires, floods and all other situations that are out of our control.
16Resident & Guest Safety Property Managers should send a safety letter to all residents at move-in, March and September of each year.The letter should warn of potential risks related to leaving doors & windows unlocked.Remind them to take precautionary measures for personal attacks.There is a sample safety letter on the website.
18Current ResidentsMonthly rent collection is one of the most vital functions performed by the property.Rent is due on the 1st of each month, with a grace period in which no late fee is charged.Acceptable forms of payment:Personal CheckMoney OrderCashiers check or travelers checkCredit cardsPOLICY: OPERATIONS: COLLECTION POLICY – RENT (CURRENT RESIDENTS)Personal Check – immediately endorse, lock up for security and deposit daily. Never accept two-party or post-dated checks.Cashiers Check – make sure it is made payable to the property, endorse immediately, lock up for security and deposited daily.Money Order – make sure it is payable to the property, endorse immediately, lock up for security and deposited daily.Travelers Check – make sure it is properly signed, endorse immediately, lock up for security and deposit dailyCredit Cards (if applicable) – see processing credit card section
19Current ResidentsAll checks should be made payable to the property (no 3rd party checks).Endorse immediatelyLock up for securityDeposit daily
20Accepting CashWe prefer not to take cash, but since it is legal tender, it must be accepted if resident insists.Discourage residents from making cash payments in the future.Record cash in the 3 part receipt book.Original – give to resident2nd – attach to money for deposit3rd – stays in receipt bookResident and employee must sign receipt.Count the cash in the presence of the resident.Receipt book – never remove the 3rd copy of the receipt in the receipt book. Write void on it, but do not throw away. This is an audit trail.Stress that receipt books should be numbered and have 3 parts.If at all possible, have a witness present when counting cash.
21General Collection Guidelines Make sure residents understand the collection policy to help avoid collection problems.Explain the following:Rent due dateLate charges and date charges are accessedNSF chargesEviction policiesRemember to treat people consistently andfollow the terms of the lease agreement!
22Late Notice Letter If rent is late, accept payment only with Refer to the Landlord-Tenant laws of your state for procedures on collecting delinquent rent.Late letters “officially” notify the resident that unless rent is received by a specific time, the eviction process will begin.The notice should contain the amount of rent, late fees and legal fees owed.If rent is late, accept payment only withcashier's check, money order or credit card.
23Telephone Collections After the late notice is sent, residents should be contacted by phone daily until rent is paid or a commitment to move is made.Document conversions in OneSite, in the Activity Tab of the residents ledger.
24Telephone CollectionYou may leave a voice mail or a message with whom ever answers the phone or a co-worker, but you may NOT indicate that your call concerns a delinquent payment.If a resident tells you not to call them at work, you must not do so again. Document this in OneSite.When you discuss payment with a resident, make sure that the resident understands the collection procedure.
25Previous ResidentsProperty Managers should ensure collection procedures are initiated on previous residents.The first 30 days, collection efforts should be done “in house”.After 30 days, turn collections over to your local collection agency.POLICY: OPERATIONS: COLLECTION POLICY – PREVIOUS RESIDENTSFORM: UNPAID BALANCE DUE LOGFORM: PROMISE TO PAY AGREEMENTIf you do not feel you will be able to collect within the first 30 days in house due to a skip, turn it over to the collection agency sooner. Agencies tend to collect more efficiently, the sooner they can get the information.
26Previous Residents “In House” Collections Advantage – collect 100% of amount due.Disadvantage – you may not be able to collect as effectively as an agency.Record & file all conversations with the previous resident.
27Previous Residents “In House” Collections Guard against “harassing”Discuss payments only with lease holdersDo not call more than once per dayDo not call their job if you know their employer prohibits personal callsDo not call prior to 8:00 a.m. or after 9:00 p.m.Do not send postcards. Send confidential letters.Be consistent.
28Previous Residents “Outside Collection Agency” Turn over to agencies after 30 days.Provide copies of the file. The original file must never leave the office.Advantage – they specialize in collections.Disadvantage – you pay up to 60% of the amount collected to the agency.
29Previous Residents “Outside Collection Agency” Monitor all “in house” and “outside agencies”.All monies received on the collection account must be recorded in the file.Make sure you receive monthly reports from collection agencies.Change agencies if collection results are unsatisfactory.File collection files alphabetically and keep in a secure location.
31Office AppearanceOffices should be neat, clean and ready for business at all times during the day.Prior to business:Desks – clean & clutter freeSmoking – no smoking in any office, maintenance shop, make-ready or occupied unitAtmosphere – soothing background music with low volumeOffice should smell fresh & cleanPOLICY: OPERATIONS: OFFICE APPEARANCEFORM: OFFICE CHECKLIST OF DAILY ACTIVITIES
32Office Appearance Do not burn candles Spray air freshener as needed Kitchen – clean & empty of dishesLunches & Snacks – never eat the front deskIf there is no kitchen use an area in the back of the office for lunches and snacks.
33Office Hours & NoticesPost office hours & emergency numbers for residents & prospects to view.Keep the website updated as office hours change.Although offices may be open after dark, do not show an apartment after daylight hours.If offices are to be closed for a holiday, notify residents via newsletters or notices.POLICY: OPERATIONS: OFFICE HOURS & NOTICESIf the office is closed for a holiday, post a note on the door. Try to let residents know in advance.
34Office Hours & NoticesBe at the office 10 to 15 minutes before the office opens.Do not close offices for lunch unless only 1 staff member is on duty.Time should be set aside for administrative duties:Computer input and paperworkTraining, safety, staff, vendor meetingsWalking apartmentsDistributing notices to residentsMaking deposits
35Office Hours & Notices Required notices in offices: Federal Fair Housing Poster3rd Party Qualification GuidelinesPhoto identification sign“No cash” sign“Thank you for not smoking” signSign to post when showing an apartment
36Office Hours & Notices Signs posted for employees are: Required state/federal employee law posters (all in one)Other state and local required postings
37Answering Service Used to ensure our residents have 24-hour access. Do not utilize as a tool for uninterrupted work time.Provide the answer service with:Answering Service GuidelinesMaintenance Emergency Situation ListCurrent Employee Contact ListPOLICY: OPERATIONS: ANSWERING SERVICE/VOICE MAILFORM: ANSWERING SERVICE GUIDELINESFORM: MAINTENANCE EMERGENCY SITUATION LISTFORM: ANSWERING SERVICE AUDIT
38Answering ServiceIf the on-call person does not respond within 10 minutes, the service is to contact the 2nd person on the list.The Property Manager should be contacted if the 2nd person does not respond.Courtesy Officers should handle disturbances that are not an emergency.
39Voice Mail Systems Do not use as a tool for uninterrupted work. Message should be professional, clear and concise.Keep instructions simple.Keep the emergency number current.Follow up with messages.
40Desk SetupProperty files should never be left in view of prospects or residents.Desks should be free of clutter.Limit personal items.Unnecessary pens, paper, forms, etc… should be in drawers.POLICY: OPERATIONS; DESK FILE SET-UPRefer to the policy on items that should be located in each desk.
41Filing SystemsRefer to the policy on guidelines for setting up the following files:Active Resident FilesInactive Resident FilesMove In FilesFormer Resident FilesEmployee Personnel FilesPayroll FilesVendor FilesContract FilesPOLICY: OPERATIONS: FILING SYSTEMSDiscuss how long to keep files
42Binders, Notebooks, Manuals Statistical and Financial ReportsProcedure ManualsIncident ReportsFair Housing NotebookState Law BooksMarketing (Ad, Follow-Up, Leasing Kit, Competitive Analysis)MSDSMonth End BindersPOLICY: OPERATIONS: NOTEBOOKS, BINDERS, MANUALS AND FILESStatistical & Financial Reports – Property statistics, matrix report, budgets, trend reports, financialsProcedure Manuals – Employee Handbook, Water & Sewer Guide, Training GuidesMonth End Binders – A/R and A/P
43Fair Housing Notebook Market Rent changes Qualifying guidelines Rent special approval formsShow Unit ListDocument for all corrections and/or exceptions from operating proceduresOther Fair Housing documentation that would apply to all residentsPOLICY: OPERATIONS: FAIR HOUSING NOTEBOOKVery important to keep this manually updated daily. Information must be updated as changes are made, filed in calendar order and maintained for the most current 2 ½ year period.
45Banking ProceduresFunds should be collected, posted and/or scanned daily.Manually posted checks should be deposited on the same day they are posted.Do Not endorse checks that will be scanned, stamp only manually posted checks.For Security Deposits only, cashiers checks and money orders should not be stamped until application has been approved.Do not hold or accept post-dated checks.POLICY: OPERATIONS: BANKING PORCEDURES2nd Bullet - Checks – includes personal checks, cashiers checks and money ordersDo not hold checks expect in the case of a deposit pending approval.Security deposit checks should be stamped “For Deposit Only” after the grace period is over or when depositing the check.
46Property SafeOnly the Property Manager and Assistant Manager should know the combination.When turnover occurs, the combination should be changed.All funds should be stamped immediately and kept in the safe until deposited.Only security deposit checks do not have to be stamped “for deposit only”.
47NSF ChecksSend a letter to the resident immediately upon notification of an NSF check.ERIN report ed by Boston daily.NSF check sent to you by bank.Enter NSF in OneSite. Charge late fees and NSF fee.POLICY: OPERATIONS:NON-SUFFICIENT FUNDS CHECKS (NSF CHECKS)FORM: NON—SUFFICIENT (NSF) NOTICE SAMPLEFORM: MONEY ORDER ONLY LETTER SAMPLE
48NSF Checks Do not run resident’s check through bank twice. Re-Payment of the NSF must be in cashiers check or money order.Collect NSF check amount in addition to late and NSF fees.After 2 NSF’s in 12 months, residents may no longer pay with personal check.After 12 months with no late payments, they may resume payments with a personal check.Must pay 12 consecutive months with no late payments before they can pay with personal check again.
49Late FeesLate fee amounts and date late fees occur, are based on your lease agreement.Late payments must be paid with cashier’s check, money order or credit card.Payment must include late fees.Late fees can not be arbitrarily waived.POLICY: OPERATIONS: LATE FEES – STAND CHARGESKnow your lease and how much your late fees are and what day they are charged.Personal checks are not to be accepted after late charges are assessedLate fees can be waived ONLY with Property Managers and DM approval.
50Specials, Discounts and Resident Credits All Specials or Concessions will be entered into the OneSite system by your DM/RM before implementing.Any discount or credit must be approved by the Property Manager.POLICY: OPERATIONS: SPECIALS, DISCOUNTS AND CREDITS TO RESIDENTSFORM: RENT SPECIAL APPROVAL FORMSpecials – i.e. military, teachers, police officers.Specials and concessions should be kept in the fair housing notebook for 3 years.
51Move Out Procedures Attempt to get the resident to stay. If they still want to move, have them complete the “ Move out Notice” form. Get the resident’s forwarding address and cell phone number!Discuss the move out procedures so they know what is expected of them.Enter notice into OneSite.POLICY: PROSPECT & RESIDENT MANAGEMENT: NOTICE TO VACATE AND MOVE-OUT PROCEDURESFORM: NOTICE TO VACATE FORMFORM: MOVE-IN/MOVE OUT INSPECTION FORMNote: on forms, use the form in Blue Moon if it is available before using a Berkshire form.Examples: if a resident tells us they are going to purchase a house, point out the advantages of renting vs. owning. If they are moving to a competitor try to find out where and why and attempt to retain them.Discuss importance of getting forwarding addresses. It costs a lot of money for Boston to put “stop payments” on checks.Pull the residents file while they are in the office to see if their lease has expired.If the resident leaves a move-out letter in the night drop, call the resident to discuss and try to retain.
52Abandonment or SkipWhen an apartment is declared legally abandoned, photograph inventory and move all items to storage.Keep copies of all invoices and other expenses.If items are sold, keep records.In all cases, before you take any action, contact your DM.POLICY: OPERATIONS: ABANDONMENT OR SKIPNot all states recognize abandonment. Refer to your state landlord-tenant laws.Examples of expenses: moving and storage facility, selling expenses, in house labor, accelerated rents, make ready expenses.
53Eviction Procedures Know your state and local laws. Prior to filing an eviction or dispossessory action, the Property Manager must “demand possession”.If the resident is in default for reasons other than non-payment of rent, refer to your specific lease.POLICY: OPERATIONS: EVICTION PROCEDURESFor reasons other than non-payment of rent, talk to your DM before filing an eviction.In Maryland, when filing an absolute eviction, accepting the money will not stop the eviction process.
54Final Account Statements (FAS) Inspect the apartment with the resident or as soon as possible after move out (complete the move out portion of the M/I M/O Inspection Form).Complete the FAS in OneSite within 5 business days of move out.Take pictures of damages for file.Charge all applicable fees (i.e. notice fee, termination fee, damages).POLICY: OPERATIONS:FINAL ACCOUNT STATEMENTS AND REVISIONSFORM: FINAL ACCOUNT STATEMENT TRANSMITTAL FORMFORM: FINAL ACCOUNT STATEMENT – ADDITIONAL REFUND REQUESTFORM: FINAL ACCOUNT STATEMENT – REDUCED REFUND REQUESTStates have regulations on when we must refund their deposit. In order for the check to be processed in Boston and mailed, FAS must be completed in 5 business days.
55Credit Card Processing Properties may use OneSite Payments or Rentpayment.com.For more information ask your Property Manager or Regional Training Director.POLICY: OPERATIONS: CREDIT CARD PROCESSINGFORM: RENTPAYMENT.COM CREDIT CARD TRANSACTION FORMBecause processing credit cards with the 2 systems is so different, this topic will be discussed with you at a later date by your Property Manager or Regional Training Director.
56Month End Accounts Receivable Accounts Payable OneSite Leasing & Rents – processed on the last day of the month.Reports should be kept for 1 year + current year.Refer to the “Month End Checklist” for detailed instructions.Accounts PayablePurchasing – processed on the last day of the month.Refer to the “Accounts Payable Month End Checklist” for detailed instructions.POLICY: OPERATIONS: MONTH-END CHECKLISTFORM: MONTH END CHECKLISTFORM: ACCOUNTS PAYABLE MONTH END FOR ONESITEBoth of these topics will be discussed in detail in OneSite training.
57Purchasing Guidelines Every employee has an obligation to the company to spend money wisely.It is the Property Manager’s responsibility to ensure all expenditures are entered into Ops Technology before items are purchased.Items requiring approval must be approved before making the purchase.POLICY: OPERATIONS:PURCHASING GUIDELINESPOLICY: APPROVAL LIMITSFORM: W-9FORM: PURCHASE REQUISITIONPurchasing and Approval Limits will be discussed in more detail in OneSite Purchasing training.
58Petty CashEach property has a petty cash fund for making small purchases.The Property Manager is responsible for the use of the fund and making sure it balances.It should be in a locked cash box with only the Property Manager having access.POLICY: OPERATIONS: PETTY CASH PROCESSFORM: PETTY CASH FUND AGREEMENTFORM: PETTY CASH REIMBURSEMENT FORM
59Petty CashPetty Cash is used only for small items such as postage, food, gas etc…It is never used for personal loans, payroll advances or resident appreciation parties.When removing money from petty cash a voucher should be signed by the person taking the money.After the purchase, the receipt and remaining cash should be placed in the box and the voucher discarded.Petty cash should be submitted weekly through OneSite.When a Property Manager leaves the company an audit will be performed by the DM to make sure the fund balances.
60Check RequestSubmitted for resident appreciation parties, legal filings, etc…Submit 30 days prior to requiring the funds.or fax to DM for approval.POLICY: OPERATIONS: CHECK REQUESTSFORM: CHECK REQUESTNo more than 3 check requests can be outstanding at any time.Extra monies should be deposited through OneSite as miscellaneous income. The bank deposit should be included with receipts sent to the Regional Admin.
61ReclassificationsTo avoid Boston generated reclasses, make sure expenses are coded to the appropriate G/L account.Use the Chart of Accounts for coding questions.Examine the Spending Detail Report at A/P cutoff to review reclasses.POLICY: OPERATIONS: RECLASSIFICATIONSFORM: RECLASSIFCATION FORMFORM: CHART OF ACCOUNTS
62Income ReportCompleted by the Property Manager at Month End or as requested by your DM.Use the Monthly Transaction Summary Report from OneSite to complete.Informs management where the property stands on Total Income.POLICY: OPERATIONS: INCOME REPORTFORM: INCOME REPORTFORM: INCOME REPORT INSTRUCTIONSFORM: MNEMONIC CODES LISTThe Income Report tells management where the property stands on Total Income. This includes rent collections as well as other income (i.e. laundry, late fees etc…) The Financial Analyst will complete a consolidated income based on the property income reports.
63Market Rate ChangesMarket rent is the prevailing monthly lease rate for each specific unit. The market rent should be changed in OneSite to reflect the amount we will lease the apartment for. Therefore, anyone that looks at the Availability Report will know exactly what the rate is for each individual unit.POLICY: OPERATIONS: MARKET RATE CHANGES
64Market Rate ChangesSince rates are changed per unit, the correct rental rate will be shown on the Berkshire Website, On-line Leasing and or all ILS’s.There will be no need for “manual pricing over-rides”(note: If a property gives an “up-front” concession such as ½ month free, this would show as a concession for the month and not affect market rent).Please refer to the Operations Policy located on the Berkshire web-site “Market Rent Changes”Click on Hyperlink – Market Rent Changes
65Concession Management Your DM/RM will enter all concessions directly into the OneSite systemClick On Hyperlink – Concession Management
66Lease Renewals Lease renewal programs are set monthly with your DM. Fair housing and discrimination laws must be adhered to. Set a definable basis.Programs should be documented in writing for your protection should a discrimination claim arise.POLICY: RESIDENT & PROSPECT MANAGEMENT – LEASE RENEWALSDefinable basis – all residents renew at the same rate, or renew at a set $ increase over their current lease rate or renew at a % increase over their current rate.
67Lease Renewals Lease Expiration Management Month to Month Leases No more than 10.9% of total units should expire in any given month.Month to Month LeasesNo more than 5% of the total units should be on month-to-month.If a resident goes month-to-month, they must pay current market rate plus a month-to-month fee.MTM fee is determined by property.
69Innovative Business Products On-Line ordering through OPS TechnologyBusiness CardsMaintenance Door HangersParking StickersBrochure PagesPocket FoldersLife Made Simple Stationary5 star programPOLICY: OPERATIONS: INNOVATIVE BUSINESS PRODUCTSFORM: INNOVATIVE ON-LINE ORDERING INSTRUCTIONSUse “Express Links” on the website to access Berkshire Websites5 star program – Send Off Card, Welcome Card, Maintenance Satisfaction Card, Service Card
70Legal Related Matters Legal Counsel Before contacting our legal department, consult your DM for guidance.For legal issues related to a specific property it is advisable to consult with a local attorney due to their knowledge of local laws and processes. The legal department in Boston should be consulted for recommendations.POLICY: OPERATIONS: LEGAL RELATED MATTERS
71Change in Property Manager The DM is responsible for the timely and organized transfer of property and operation information to the new Property Manager.The “Property Manager Change Over Checklist” provides the new Property Manager with a status report on key areas for the property’s operation.Both the outgoing and incoming Property Manager should complete the checklist.POLICY: OPERATIONS: CHANGE IN PROPERTY MANAGERFORM: PROPERTY MANAGER CHANGE OVER CHECKLIST
72Key Contact ListThe “Key Contact List” is found in the Standard Forms section of the Berkshire Website.This is a listing of individuals in the Regional, National and Boston offices that you can contact with questions or problems.FORM: KEY CONTACT LIST