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New Rent Master Users


Playing with Test Data

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When you first install the Rent Master program the installation process will automatically set up a test database called C:\RENTMSTR\RENTMSTR.MDB. This database is the same data that we use to do our sales demonstrations so you will have seen the data previously. You can't mess anything up when using this database as it is only a test database so you can feel confident to just play around with it and see what happens.

If we installed Rent Master for you we will have ALSO set up a "LIVE" database for you. This database will be called RENTxxxx.MDB where the xxxx will normally be some abbreviation of your business name. It doesn't matter WHAT it is called as long as you KNOW what it is called. We set up this "LIVE" database by using the SAVE AS option on the FILE menu in Rent Master and saving our test database under a different name. Normally we will have deleted all of the test data from this database as well (using the INITIALISE PROPERTY DATA option on the DATABASE menu) so that it is ready for you to start entering your live information.

To switch between the test database and your live database click on the SELECT NEW DATABASE option from the FILE menu in Rent Master and just double click on the database that you want to use. The database currently in use will be closed and the selected database opened for you. You can switch back and forth as often as you like.

The background picture displayed when you are at Rent Master's main menu is a standard windows bitmap (BMP) file with the same name as your database. The test database bitmap file is called RENTMSTR.BMP and the bitmap (picture) used for your database will be called RENTxxxx.BMP where the xxxx will normally be some abbreviation of your business name. You can use ANY windows bitmap file (or RLE file) as your Rent Master background so you can change the picture or generate your own using the Windows Paint program (if you know how).

The toolbar buttons at the top of the main menu screen for Rent Master are just shortcuts for options which you will also find on the menus. (Eg the EDIT LANDLORD button is the same as the LANDLORD option on the EDIT menu). When you point to the buttons with the mouse a "tool tip" will be shown to tell you what the button actually does.

Once you have started entering data into your LIVE database you should take frequent backups using the BACKUP DATABASE option from the DATABASE menu. Also a backup should ALWAYS be done before you do any major operation which affects a significant amount of the Rent Master data.


Getting Help

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There are operator notes within Rent Master - click on the HELP menu to access these notes. Also on the help menu is a support request form that you can fill out to send to us if you have a question or a problem. We also have an on-line support request form which you can use. In addition there is a reasonable amount of help on this web site which is updated regularly. You can also print out a report showing all of the menu options for any screen by clicking on the SHOW MENUS option from the HELP menu and then, when the menu list is displayed, click on the PRINT button in Internet Explorer.

Checking that your live database has been initialised

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Click on the LANDLORD option from the EDIT menu and then click on the [?] button at the top of the screen. Enter an asterisk (*) and click on OK. Rent Master will then display ALL landlord details currently on file. If your live database is ready for you to start entering details then there will be no landlord's on the list. Repeat the same process with the CREDITOR option on the EDIT menu. There should be a number of creditor's listed including (AGENT) and (GST). If the lists are clear then you can start entering data.

Entering Disbursements

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Start by checking the disbursements file to make sure that you have all of the regular types of payments that you make on behalf of the landlords (eg gardening, plumbing, electrical work, council rates) entered into the list. Print the list of disbursements by clicking on the DISBURSEMENTS option from the BRIEF MASTER LISTS option on the REPORTS menu. Then click on DISBURSEMENTS on the EDIT menu to add any items that are missing and possibly to delete any that you feel that you won't be using. Some of these disbursements are pre-defined in Rent Master and can't be changed or deleted.

Entering Landlords, Properties and Tenants

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Click on the LANDLORD option on the EDIT menu to add your landlord details into Rent Master. You can print a list of the entered details later by clicking on the LANDLORD option in the MASTER REPORTS or BRIEF MASTER REPORTS options on the REPORTS menu. While you are in the Landlord screen you can click on the button with the house picture on it to ALSO open up the EDIT PROPERTY screen and the picture of the tenant's face to open up the EDIT TENANT screen. It is possible to have several screens all open at the same time and you can switch between them my clicking on the screen that you wish to use next. If you can't see the screen that you want you can move the other screens out of the way until you can see the screen that you want or just select the screen that you want from the FILE menu. Enter the details for all of your landlords, properties and tenants. Then edit these screens and click on the CREDITOR option on the EDIT menu and add in the details for all of your tradespeople, local councils etc - everyone who you will want to pay out of your trust account at some time (excluding landlords and tenants).

When you are entering the landlords you don't enter their balances. They are entered later.

When you enter the tenants you need to enter their paid to dates as they were at the start of the period where you want to start using Rent Master. Lets assume that it's currently August but you have decided that you want to have Rent Master process the data from the 1st of July onwards. You would need to enter the tenant's paid to dates as they were on the 30th of June. Then when you process the receipts for July and August through Rent Master the dates will be automatically updated. For new tenants the paid to date is ALWAYS entered as one day PRIOR to their start date. When you process their first rent receipt Rent Master will then show the rental period as starting on their start date (it adds one day onto the current paid to date). When you are entering the tenants you only enter the BOND amount for those tenants whose bond was sent to the Tribunal BEFORE the time that you are going to start processing your data through Rent Master. For the other tenants where you were holding their bond at the start of the processing period (and for any new tenants) you enter the bond as ZERO and then process a BOND RECEIPT later.


Electronic Funds Transfer

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Electronic Funds Transfer is the preferred method for payment of landlords and creditors as well as your own commission and other fees because it's quicker, easier and much cheaper.

To use the bank diskette function all you need to do is make sure that you have the correct bank and account details for each person/company that you are paying and that their payment method is set to 'E' (for EFT).

Then you need to go into EDIT CONTROL DETAILS then OTHER OPTIONS then EFT/Cheques and make sure that USE EFT is ticked!

Then you need to go into the bank diskette screen and make sure that the information there is correct. You need to find out from your bank what your CEMTEC USER ID number is and enter it (1 six digit number - this is NOT your Internet banking account number or password).

Unless you are going to send the info to the bank on a different computer then you can use drive C: to export the disk otherwise use drive A: to export it to a diskette.

You also need to know (ask your bank) whether your bank requires a self balancing file or not.

When you do the payments the details will be put into the pending EFT file which you can view by clicking on the PREVIEW button on the bank diskette screen.

When you click on the EXPORT button the system exports this data into a file that your bank software can read. The name of the file exported is displayed on the screen and you need to enter that name into the banking software when it asks for it.Once you have exported the data then you can click on the PRINT button (on the form) to print a report of what was actually exported.

Once you have sent the info off to the bank and they have confirmed that it is ok then you need to go back into the bank diskette screen and press the CLEAR button so that you are ready to process the next lot of payments.

For further information about EFT look at our FAQ-EFT (Frequently Asked Questions) page.


Entering Opening Balances

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Before you start entering balances into Rent Master you need to balance your trust account. You need a list of landlords who have a non-zero balance, a list of all bonds held in trust and a list of all unpresented cheques. When you add the totals of these three lists together you should get a balance which is EXACTLY equal to your trust account balance shown on your bank statement.

Change the processing date back to the start of the period that you are going to process by clicking on the PROCESSING DATE option on the EDIT menu. You can change the processing date at any time by using this option. If you exit Rent Master and come back in the processing date will revert back to today's date.

Lets assume that it's currently August but you have decided that you want to have Rent Master process the data from the 1st of July onwards. When you come to enter the landlord balances you would enter them as they were on the 30th of June. Hopefully most of them would have been zero. To enter the balances you enter a SUNDRY receipt against the current tenant (or you can do a landlord-only receipt - it doesn't matter). Once you have entered all of the landlord opening balances you then print a TRIAL BALANCE from the MONTH END menu to check the balances.

If any balances are incorrect then you need to correct them with further SUNDRY receipts. If a balance is TOO MUCH then use a NEGATIVE sundry receipt to reduce the balance. For the tenants where you were holding their bond at the start of the processing period you process a BOND RECEIPT for the initial bond held through RECEIPTS POSTING from the EDIT menu. Once you have entered all of the opening bond balances you then print a BONDS HELD IN TRUST report from the REPORTS menu to check the balances.

If any balances are incorrect then you need to correct them with further BOND receipts. If a balance is TOO MUCH then use a NEGATIVE bond receipt to reduce the balance.

When you start using Rent Master you will have a number of cheques that have been written from the trust account and not yet appeared on a bank statement. You should also enter these cheque details into the list of un-presented cheques. If there are a lot of these that have already been presented subsequent to the starting period then you could omit these from the unpresented cheque list as when you process your historical data you will only be presenting them anyway. Any cheques that have been outstanding for more than a few weeks prior to your start date MUST be entered though. These cheque details are entered using the BANK RECONCILIATION option from the MONTH END menu. Click on the MAINTAIN button on the right of the form, then enter the cheque details (one at a time) into the boxes at the top of the form and click on the SAVE button to save each cheque. When you've finished click on the UNPRESENTED button to get a report showing the list of cheques.

Once they are correct then you must print the BANK DEPOSIT SLIP and clear it (from the REPORTS menu) and CLOSE OFF THE MONTH and CLOSE OFF THE YEAR from the MONTH END menu before you start entering the normal receipts and expenses.

At this time do a final check to make sure that the trial balance is correct, the list of unpresented cheques is correct and the tenant paid to dates are correct.


Catching Up your Data to the Present Time

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Change the processing date back to the period that you are going to process by clicking on the PROCESSING DATE option on the EDIT menu. You can change the processing date at any time by using this option. If you exit Rent Master and come back in the processing date will revert back to today's date.

Enter your receipts and expenses for the first month that you want to process. After entering each week's worth of receipts and expenses you should do a bank reconciliation to make sure that you haven't made any errors. You should also be doing frequent backups using the BACKUP DATABASE option from the DATABASE menu.