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
- Generating emails and notices for alternate contacts
- Adjusting documents to include alternate contact information
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.
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.
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.
You can assign Additional Contacts a unique gate access code and access card or fob if they are used at your facility. You can find instructions to grant contacts access in our article: The tenant profile.
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 emails and notices for Alternate Contacts
Once the alternate contact setting has been turned on, if you'd like to automatically send emails and notices to the alternates at the same time they are sent to tenants, adjust your delinquency stages and documents so that alternate contacts will receive the notices.
Adjusting delinquency stages to include Alternate Contacts
In Corporate Settings -> Software Settings, select Current Schedule in the Delinquency section. Choose a schedule to edit. In the list of stages, add or edit any stage that involves printing a letter, sending an email, or sending a notice through the mail house. Then add or edit any action that involves printing a letter, sending an email, or sending a notice through the mail house. A drop-down will appear that will ask you to select additional recipients to send the email or letter to. Select Alternate Contact.
Adjusting documents to include Alternate Contact information
In order for alternate contacts to receive delinquency letters or emails, you must update your documents to ensure alternate contact information populates appropriately in them. Doing so is simple; just access your Corporate Settings -> Software Settings, select either Letters or E-mails in the Documents section, and select the appropriate templates to adjust.
The following replacements can be added to your documents to pull in alternate contact information. You will find them 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
When these replacements are used, two copies of the document will be generated: one for the tenant and one for the alternate contact. It is essential to add all applicable bracket replacements in order for both people to receive the notice at their respective addresses. Using these bracket replacements will ensure that the tenant's information is populated in one copy and their alternate contact's information in the other copy. You can learn more about adjusting document templates on our help site.
Additional replacements available for use are:
- [[event_document.recipient_name]] - Alternate contact's name
- [[event_document.recipient_email]] - Alternate contact’s email address
- [[event_document.recipient_address.full_address]] - Alternate contact’s full address
⚠ If you are using Mail House, keep in mind that you will be charged separately for the 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.
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 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. Have you selected the Alternate Contact as an additional recipient for the notice?
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 was generated for the tenant, but not the alternate contact:
- Process the Past Due tenant as you normally would.
- Check the 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 generated and processed appropriately for the tenant and their alternate contact, you’ll see a confirmation screen that displays the alternate contact’s details when completing the action again.