Lettings: A real-life example of how to use Lettings

The Lettings and Time Based Module allows you to rent selected rooms and resources to external hirers and raise invoices, etc. This article sets out an real-life example of how it might be used. 

The example we will use is that of a Sports Hall that it is intended to rent out, to a number of organisations, on an hourly basis. One of these is John's Badminton Club, which takes place on Wednesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm. The school charges £30/hour for the Hall itself and £1 to hire each badminton racket. The example also assumes that neither the resource or the resource category already exist. 

The requirements are as follows:

  • Create a time-based resource category
  • Create a "Sports Hall" resource which will be placed in the new category so that it can be booked by the hour. 
  • Create a badminton racket Chargeable Item so that racket hire is shown on the invoice. 
  • Add the club as an external hirer on the system so that bookings can be made for it. 
  • Make a Wednesday evening booking for the Club. For the purposes of this example we'll just create a single booking, but you can make recurring bookings as required.
  • Generate an Invoice.

Resource Category

From the Admin home page, go to the  Resources tab and click the Resource Categories sub-option. Add a new Resource Category called "Sports Facilities" - making sure that the Booking Slots setting is set to Time Based

Click Add Resource Category to save the new category.

Resource

Click the  Add Resource sub-option on the Resources tab and create the "Sports Hall" resource. In the category section, assign it to the "Sports Facilities" category. You can also define opening and closing times, etc on this page. 

The  Lettings section is where you define Price Plans for the resource. In this example we will set the resource to have a £30/hour charge associated with a Price Plan named "Standard". 

Once completed, click  Add Resource at the bottom to save it.

Chargeable Item

As one-off, rather than time-based, costs the badminton rackets need to be added as Chargeable Items. Go to the Invoices tab then select the Chargeable Items sub-option. As there are a number of rackets, you need to select Quantity as the Item Type and set the cost per item. This price is is inclusive of VAT. You can also select which resources will show the item as an option when a booking is made.

External Hirer

You can now set up a  external hirer record for the club - so that we know the name of the hirer, email address, organisation, and address for billing, etc. Go to the Invoices tab then select the Manage Hirers sub-option and click Add Hirer. On this page, amongst other things, you can set up hirers with their own booking colour and VAT rates, which help make the system easier to use when there are many hirers or ones that are VAT exempt (such as charities). 

Note:  external hirers cannot log into the system and their bookings must be made by one of your Room Booking System administrators. Correspondingly, you cannot invoice your ordinary system users. There is more on creating hirers  here.

Making a Booking

In the  Calendar tab, find the Wednesday you want to make the booking. Select the club's account using the Add Booking For drop down on the left. Your External Hirers are listed alphabetically, by organisation name, at the top of the drop down. Click a space on the Calendar to select the start time of the booking (in this case 18:00). A pop-up will appear asking you for more information. Select the end time (20:00) then select the number of rackets (10). Select the price plan. As you make these choices you will see the total price for the booking changing. Click Book to save the booking.

Generate, Manage and Edit the Invoice

Before you generate invoices for the first time please follow  this guide to setup your invoice template with payment information, address, logo and so forth. 

Click the Generate Invoices sub-option on the Invoices tab. From here you can generate invoices only for specific Hirers if needed, so select John's Badminton Club from the Hirers list, a date range that includes the booking made previously, and then set an Invoice Date of your choice. In this case, as he is a new customer, you want John to confirm he is happy with what he is being invoiced for, so set the Invoice Status to Draft and enable the option Email Invoices to Hirers. This will send out a draft invoice when the process of generating invoices is complete.

Click Next and select which of the invoices, covered by your choices on the previous page, you want to generate. In this case, select the invoice for John then click Next to create and email the invoice.
After generating invoices the Manage Invoices page displays, showing you all your extant invoices. Click the invoice for John's booking to preview and/or edit it.

Suppose John calls up, after receiving the draft invoice, to advise that he used 3 more rackets than listed. To edit the invoice, click the Adjust Draft button on the left of the page. You can now directly edit all the items billed and add more if needed. In this case, edit the Description for the rackets and change 10 to 13 and click Update to save your changes. 

You can find more on this in our editing invoices guide.
You can now either re-email the new draft to John by clicking the Email Draft button on the left, or if you are happy with the changes, you can convert the draft to an invoice using the Mark as Invoice button, also on the left. This will add a red UNPAID flag to the invoice.

Once his invoice is paid, simply click the Mark as Paid button on the View Invoice page. Alternatively, you can click the Void Invoice button to cancel it. In both cases, no email will be sent.

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