Many commercial landlords and their tenants are facing new and unique challenges amidst the Covid-19 lockdown, with rising insolvencies and a shift in working behaviour which could be here to stay for many industries. As landlords and managing agents seek to recover costs their tenants may also be challenging costs in order to drive efficiencies, including utility bills.
Accurate invoices are essential for maintaining a harmonious long term relationship between landlords and tenants, so software that creates and dispenses accurate invoices that provide clarity and accuracy to both parties is essential for avoiding errors and the pitfalls of excessive back-billing.
Optima’s Tenant Billing software is used by landlords and managing agents to simplify the process of producing accurate tenant invoices. Accurate utility bills can be generated for all Utilities, including Heating and Cooling, from floor areas, sub-meters, supplier meters, AMR meters, BEMS systems or manually read meters, in any combination or proportion based on a number of methods. For complex sites, meters can be added or subtracted to calculate the net consumption, and even the most complicated tariffs can be used to mirror the fiscal utility invoices if required.
The costs applied to the consumption can vary from simple cost per units charges to the most complex recharging tariffs using standing charges, capacity, demand and multiple unit bands.
Once meter data is loaded, invoices can be created in bulk and issued as electronic PDF’s or printed for issue. There is even the facility to export invoice data for loading directly into their finance system. Payments can be recorded and debtor statements produced.
One client recently picked up errors in their sub-metering accuracy and noticed that not all of the fiscal consumption was being passed on, which in turn led to a meter survey and plans for meter replacements and upgrades.
Another aspect for larger properties is the calculation of the Landlord Residual costs, which are the difference between the total energy used on site and what is directly used by tenants. This can be used in common areas, and in buildings with centralised heating, ventilation or air conditioning. New methods are required to apportion these costs so that they can be recharged accurately. Working with some of the UK’s largest landlords, Optima’s Tenant Billing software has the flexibility to address this to produce accurate and robust figures.
Changes to tenant occupancy is an ongoing challenge for managing the billing process, but this is another area where a dedicated software package can make things easier. With all data stored on a historic basis, it’s easy to facilitate changes in Tenants, and even changes of meters or addition of new meters, with no manual intervention required to generate the correct consumption and costs.
A comprehensive approach to managing tenant recharges saves time and money, provides transparency, builds trust, and ultimately reduces billing queries and complaints about unfair charges.