Tenants often provide information about relatives or friends who may have access to a tenant’s storage unit or may be contacted in case of emergencies or for collection purposes. In storEDGE these people are designated as Contacts. In addition to the main tenant, a tenant account can have an unlimited number of contacts. Some states, which as of the publishing of this article include California, Nevada and Minnesota, require facilities to have a place in the lease for a tenant to add an official alternate contact in addition to the tenant's primary address. An alternate contact is the person or address other than the tenant's primary address where legal notices can be sent. In storEDGE, each tenant may only have one alternate contact.
Your software has an easy way to enter and keep track of contacts and alternate contacts for your tenants. Once you’ve entered information for a contact, you can easily find their information on a tenant’s page, and you can set your software to generate lien notices and other pertinent delinquency documents for an alternate contact. The alternate contact’s information is typically gathered during the move-in process, but can also be added to a tenant’s account after move-in.
This guide will advise you on:
- Adjusting your software settings to require alternate contacts
- Adding Contacts and Alternate Contacts to a tenant’s account
- Special considerations for alternate contacts
Adjusting your software settings to require alternate contacts
To add alternate contact information to a tenant’s file, you must first activate the feature. To activate, access the Corporate section of your software and access your Tenant Settings.
You’ll find a section titled Require Alternate Contact at Move In in your settings. From here, you can adjust your settings for each facility individually by selecting the facility and choosing to require an alternate contact by selecting Yes.
You can also adjust your settings to allow you to generate pre-lien, lien, or auction notice for Alternate Contact in addition to the tenant. You can update the settings for all facilities at once by checking the box next to Facility and editing them together. Once your changes are complete, select Save.
Adding Contacts and Alternate Contacts to a tenant’s account
Your software makes adding contact information to a tenant account simple. You can add the information easily as part of the move-in process, or you can add this information later on the tenant's profile.
Adding contacts at move-in
The move-in process includes an opportunity to gather optional contact information at move-in. You can add either a standard tenant contact or an alternate contact during move-in.
If you’ve adjusted your settings to require an alternate contact at move-in, you’ll be prompted to enter or decline to provide alternate contact information during the move-in process. When this setting is in place, offering to gather information about an alternate contact is required, and the Contact section will appear during the move-in process right before you enter the tenant’s gate code. To add the alternate contact, click + Add contact.
If the tenant declines to provide an alternate contact, click the box next to Tenant declined to provide alternate contact. You'll be prompted to confirm that the tenant declined.
Note: Some states have enacted laws that require facilities to give tenants the option to provide an alternate contact who can receive lien notices in addition to the tenant. If your state has such laws enacted, it’s important that a tenant actively declines to provide an alternate contact before you take any action to decline to add an alternate contact in your software. This will help you keep your facility in accordance with your state laws. Check your state’s lien laws to ensure your facility’s practices are in compliance.
Adding contacts to the tenant profile
The Tenant Profile includes an area where you can keep up with both standard tenant contacts and alternate contacts. If you’ve adjusted your software settings to require tenants to provide an alternate contact, any tenant account without an alternate contact will have a banner at the top of their tenant profile reminding you that an alternate contact is required.
From the banner, you can click Manage contacts to add the alternate contact or decline an alternate contact to keep record that the tenant declined to provide alternate contact information.
You can add contacts on the tenant page in the Contacts section just below General Information by clicking New.
The next screen allows you to enter a contact’s information. If the tenant’s profile does not have any contacts added, the first contact you add will default to the alternate contact (if your settings require alternate contacts). Enter the contact’s relationship to the tenant and their details and click Create Contact.
You can make changes to a contact or alternate contact’s information by clicking Edit next to the contact details from a tenant’s profile.
To keep a contact on file but remove the alternate contact designation, you can click Alternate Contact when editing the contact. This removes the alternate status.
To mark an existing or new contact as the alternate contact, select Set as Alternate Contact.
Special considerations for Alternate Contacts
If you give tenants the option to provide your facility with an alternate contact person who can receive lien notices and other delinquency documents (in addition to the tenant) on their behalf, you’ll want to take measures to ensure that the appropriate documents are generated for the alternate contact in addition to the tenant. Your software provides an easy way to generate documents for alternate contacts.
Generating pre-lien, lien, and auction notices for Alternate Contacts
When you adjust your software settings to require alternate contacts, you have these settings in place, documents will automatically be generated for the alternate contact as long as the appropriate document bracket replacements are in place within these documents.
To ensure that the appropriate documents generate when a tenant reaches specific levels of delinquency, ensure that your delinquency stages are set to generate or send these documents when a tenant reaches particular stages of delinquency.
Note: If you are using Mail House, keep in mind that you will be charged separately for the lien and auction notices that are sent to the tenant and their alternate contact. If you are sending these documents via Certified Mail, you’ll also incur charges for both. A cost-saving method of ensuring that documents are sent to the tenant and their alternate contact, print and mail the documents yourself and generate a Certificate of Mailing to keep record of your sent documents.
Adjusting documents to include Alternate Contact information
In order for alternate contacts to receive pre-lien, lien, and auction notices, you must update your documents to ensure alternate contact information populates appropriately for these documents. Doing so is simple; just access your Documents & E-mails settings and select the appropriate document templates to adjust.
The following document replacements can be added to your documents to pull in alternate contact information. You will find in the Documents section of the document replacements:
- [[event_document.tenant_name_care_of_recipient_name]] - Tenant’s name, care of Alternate contact’s name
Example: John Doe (tenant) c/o Bill Doe (Alternate contact)
- [[event_document.recipient_address.address1]] - First line of alternate contact’s address
- [[event_document.recipient_address.address2]] - Second line of alternate contact’s address
- [[event_document.recipient_address.city]] - Alternate contact’s city
- [[event_document.recipient_address.state]] -Alternate contact’s state
- [[event_document.recipient_address.postal]] - Alternate contact’s postal code
- [[event_document.recipient_address.full_address]] - Alternate contact’s full address
It is essential to add all applicable bracket replacements in order for the alternate contact’s full address to populate. Using these bracket replacements will ensure that information is populated in your documents for both your tenant and their alternate contact. You can learn more about adjusting document templates on our help site.
Finding tenants who have neither provided nor declined an alternate contact
The facility level of your software provides a report detailing alternate contact information for your tenants. This report is in the Occupancy section on your reports tab and lets you know if a tenant has provided or declined alternate contact information. It will also let you know with a status of Neither if a tenant has not been asked to provide or decline this information. You can read more about the Alternate Contacts Report on our help site.
Troubleshooting documents for alternate contacts
If you’ve added the appropriate bracket replacements to your pre-lien, lien, and auction notices, but documents are not generating for alternate contacts, there are a few things you can do to mitigate the issue.
First, check your delinquency stages. Are the appropriate resulting actions added to the delinquency stage?
Check the documents that are attached to your delinquency actions. Are the documents that are set to be generated the exact same copy and file name as the document to which you inserted bracket replacements for alternate contacts? Are those documents turned ON in your documents and templates? Are other documents for the same delinquency actions turned OFF?
Check which documents are attached to a tenant’s delinquency on the Past Due tab. There will be two documents, one for the tenant and one for the alternate contact, if the alternate contact information has populated correctly. You can click these documents to view them before processing them.
If the document generated for the tenant, but not the alternate contact:
- Process the Past Due tenant as you normally would.
- Check document again for bracket replacements. It’s possible the document was generated before the brackets were added.
- Check your delinquency stages to ensure the correct document is attached to the delinquency stage.
- Filter your Past Due tab for Completed tenants for the past due action, select the box next to the tenant's name, and select Undo. Then, filter for Incomplete and process the tenant again.
If the documents are generating and processing appropriately for the tenant and their alternate contact, you’ll see a confirmation screen that displays alternate contact’s details when completing the action again.