Since our upgrade in mid-August, some users who pay landlords the balance of their whole portfolio in one go, allowing charges on one property to be settled using funds from another property where necessary, have experienced considerable drawbacks in the landlord payout process.
Another related area which was slow to use in similar circumstances, was the ability to pay charges quickly on a property, or across properties, using available rent income (or any other available credit).
We've made some improvements to two areas which will speed things up and make these processes simpler.
Paying landlords quickly across all properties
The default option is still to constrain payments on a per-property basis within a landlord's portfolio. In other words, funds are not shared between properties. First of all, we have found this is the more common requirement for agents, and secondly, it's also the safest option since at least if funds are paid out with no cross-property payments then another run through the process will complete the payouts, whereas accidentally sharing funds across properties is much harder to undo.
On the landlord payout screen, if some properties have insufficient funds to pay their own charges, you can tick the "allow payment of charges from any property" checkbox and this will show the sum total of credits and charges across all properties, and allow the full payout of the resultant balance. This is much quicker than sorting property balances individually, but at the expense of the system automatically allocating funds on your behalf.
It's also worth noting that if you are paying a landlord the funds due at the end of last month, for example, the balance due to pay out for that date, as of today, may vary from the balance shown for that date on the statement. Consider a landlord with available funds of £1000 on 31 August, but subsequently £100 is allocated to charges on 10 September. If, on 20 September, you try to pay out the balance from 31 August, the full £1000 is no longer available, and will instead be £900. The balance may appear incorrect at first glance, but this is the reason.
Allocating credit to pay property charges
You may wish to settle up charges on a property, or across all properties on a landlord's portfolio, without actually processing a payout yet.
This can now be quickly done by clicking on the charge balance on the property or landlord overview screen, to see a list of all charges (either on this property, or on all properties).
Similar to above, if a property has sufficient funds to pay its charges itself you may just tick the relevant checkboxes, or the uppermost checkbox on each property to pay all its charges.
If, however, a property does not have enough funds, the default position is that you naturally cannot pay the charges. In this case, as above, tick the "allow payment of charges from any property" and as you tick charges to pay them you will see credit being allocate from other properties.
Properties are listed in order of the amount of credit available, or "richest properties first". When funds need to be shared across properties, the richest properties are the first to have their balances shared, ensuring of course that they keep enough funds to pay their own charges also.
Additionally, you have a date selector to show the charges and available credit on a particular date, e.g. to allow settlement of all charges at the end of the previous month.
We hope you find these improvements a big saver on time, over the most cumbersome manual process in the last month, but as always we welcome any and all feedback from our users.