Bought 1st Mobile Home Park in CA...Collecting Rent and Fines

4 Replies

Just purchased a 24 unit Trailer Park, purchase price $300K.  All the trailers are tenant owned.  There is a long term onsite manager.   Currently a 3rd party reads electric meters, prepares a statement for each tenants, mails statements to onsite manager, OM gives tenants statements, tenants pay OM by money order and old owner picks up funds on the 8th of each month.  Previous owner also never charged tenants for Water, Sewer and Trash. So we gave a 60 day notice to all tenants for the new monthly fee.

Our plan is to have Onsite Manager read electric meters,  send meter data to Off Site manager, we prepare statements on who owes what,  send statements to OM to distribute to tenants, and then we hit the tenants bank accounts, or Credit/Debit Cards remotely.  Goal is to no longer accept money, or checks.  Our current process for +80 residential units we already own is electronic payment only through Buildium.

Question is what's is everyone else process for collecting rent at trailer parks that have variable billings with meters?

Also,  what are other trailer park owners charging fees/fines for?  We sent notices to tenants that there will be $25.00 fines for... Dog outside yard, vehicle blocking, offsite dumping, dumpster diving...?

Any thoughts to maximize efficiency and revenue?

Thanks,

Franklin

My indirect experience on collecting variable based fees is to try and do it less frequently. Instead of monthly reading, review and invoicing, do it maybe quarterly or bi-monthly. Implement a monthly fee that is approximate to what items should be, and then 'true up' at the meter reading interval. For example water runs between $25-$35/mo per resident. So bill them $30/mo and then do a quarterly accounting...or maybe even bi-annual. High months and low months will tend to even out. If you are over for a bill period it's likely minimal and then tenant can probably absorb that amount in the monthly payment. If a resident leaves in the middle of a billing period, then you read and adjust that one statement as needed. 

I own multiple mobile home parks and other multifamily and single family.  I previously used Cozy.co for online payments until they were acquired by Apartments.com, but switched to TenantCloud due to the acquisition.   I currently use TenantCloud.com for online payments (it allows for both ACH bank payments, credit card, and debit card payments). However. it can be a little difficult for tenants to use at times.  They could make the user experience much better in my opinion.  

For those few tenants that can't pay online (because they don't have a credit card or bank account) we use PayLease which is now owned by ZeGo. PayLease allows tenants to pay at Western Union, Walmart, etc... in cash and it gets routed properly.  

This combination works well.  We process rent, late fees, and water fees, and sewer fees.  We also accept deposits through these two platforms. 

We don't allow any cash payments.  This lowers our accounting overhead by about 50% and lowers record keeping errors by about 90%.  

We use Metron for automated water billing and the water bills are located into TenantCloud for payment.  

I hope this helps.