Finance FAQ

  • Property Tax Assessment

    Every parcel and structure in Rhode Island has been applied a valuation intended to establish general worth of a property. This "assessment" or property value has been established through an appraisal process, typically facilitated by the local municipality.

    It is important to remember that the tax assessed value is primarily established as a means to determine how much property taxes the owner of the parcel will pay. The value established by the tax assessor is typically not appropriate for establishing market value which is how much a property should be expected to sell for if placed on the market for sale. For this purpose, a Comparative Market Analysis (CMA) should be performed by one of our agents.

    Access Rhode Island's Tax Assessor database by clicking here.

  • Rent Pro-Rations (Per-Diem)

    On a lease, the "per diem" or "per day" amount is what is costs to rent a property on a daily basis. This is particularly useful for pro-rations in rental rates when there is a move-in/move-out in between rent cycles. It is also helpful when establishing other various credits and charges to be assessed to a tenants ledger.

    The per-diem rate is often incorrectly calculated using a 30 day or monthly rent cycle. It should instead be calculated based on the annual rental rate.

    Monthly Rent x 12 months / 365 days = per diem

    Here is an example:

    Sally and Sam Tenant are accepted to rent the property at 2980 Main Street at a rate of $1,000 per month. If we apply our standard formula listed above, we take $1,000 (monthly rent), multiply this by 12 months and then divide this by 365 days (in a year). This gives us a per-diem of $32.87.

    Although leases typically start on the first of the month, Sally and Sam are ready to move early and would like take possession of the property on September 20th. They are therefore liable for the days occupied from September 20th to September 30th (or 11 days). 11 days times $32.87 per-diem equals $361.57. This would be considered the first month's rent.

  • What is a denial of service fee?

    We keep a very busy schedule maintaining the safety and quality of our units.  To achieve this, we often will need to obtain access to a unit to conduct an inspection or perform maintenance.

    We understand that these intrusions can at times be an inconvenience to our residents and to their rightful enjoyment of the dwelling.  We therefore give careful consideration for ensuring that proper notice is provided through at least two modes of communications (when available).

    Once proper notice is provided, it is up to the resident to report back to management if a scheduled visit to the unit needs to be changed.  Our team will always do our best to accommodate these requests however there are at times where obtaining access to a unit is absolutely critical to maintaining proper safety and security of the dwelling and its occupants as a whole.

    If we are denied access to the unit or the unit or, is not ready to be serviced under these circumstances, we will need to reschedule our team members or vendors.  This often adds a financial burden to the owner.  As such, that burden is passed to the resident in the form of a "fee" .

    "Denial of access fees" will always be clearly communicated with our residents with each and every visit to the unit.  If there are no fees communicated, none will be charged.

  • Rent Collection

    A tenant may from time to time fall behind or become late on their rent payments. We employ both passive and active measures to ensure we obtain rent payments as quickly as possible while minimizing any loss of revenue for a building.

    Collection efforts are automatic and will typically be applied in the following escalation manner (unless otherwise stated in the lease):

    1. ADVANCE NOTICE: A notice is sent out before the rent due date reminding tenants of their balance owed for the upcoming month.

    2. DUE DATE: On the 1st of every month the rent becomes due. Tenants have the ability to pay by check, money order, credit card or EFT.

    3. GRACE PERIOD: A five day grace period (which typically equates to the 6th of the month) is awarded to the tenant before any penalties are applied.

    4. LATE FEE/NOTICE: If rent has not been paid in its entirety by the 6th day of the month, a one time 5% late fee will be automatically applied and will be accompanied by a late notice.

    5. 5 DAY DEMAND: If rent has not been paid in its entirety by the 15th day of the month, aFive Day Demand letter will be sent on the 16th day of the month, in accordance with Rhode Island General Law § 34-18-35.. Tenants will have 5 days from the mailing to bring their account balance current.

    6. EVICTION: If after issuing a Five Day Demand letter a tenant has not brought their balance current, the eviction process will automatically be initiated with the Law Offices of Richard Palumbo, LLC.

    7. POST VACANCY COLLECTIONS: Upon vacancy of the unit (whether through eviction or cooperative) and application of any security deposits, a tenant has a balance owed on their account, Zen Real Estate Group may elect to assign the account to a collection agency, small claims court, in house collections or may take no action at all. A variety of circumstances will be considered to determine which course of action to take.

    It is important to note that Zen Real Estate Group will always try the "path of least resistance" when trying to collect on overdue balances. This includes maintaining open communications with tenants and being flexible with each circumstance. Our primary objective will always be maximizing loss in whichever constructive combination of means that may be.