Saturday, February 28, 2009

What ogres will do for money

Long ago and far away, a princess was married to an ogre who liked to raise fighting cocks. The princess was really interested in the science of it, and the ogre in the sport and money parts.

Sometimes the ogre would get mad because his beloved sport was threatened by pending Acts. The ogre would go see other ogres and they would collect money to give to an ogre representing them in front of the king. This rep ogre would plead the case of the cock fighting ogres (sometimes under great duress ~ but the ogres back home had given him a great deal of money, so he was willing to take a black eye for it) and eventually the rep ogre would win out by bartering and trading his vote around to get done what his ogre-people back home needed to get done.

What if how it was done for ogre-cock-fighting back in the day is the same way you put the wheels in motion to get the laws changed to way financially benefit vacation lodging companies? And what if it was much to the detriment of the roosters Guest and Owners?

In other words, let's start looking here* to see how a law such as TCA 62-13-104D(i) could have been introduced, passed, and unleased on the unsuspecting guests and property owners in Tennessee.



*http://www.tennesseeanytime.org/tncamp-app/search/pub/report_full.htm?reportId=1651


Sunday, February 22, 2009

Wha?

This was added to TCA 62-13-104-3 in May 2003.  The sponsors were Clabough and Miller.  Phil Bredesen signed it in to law in June 2003 (click here to see the original Act as a .pdf):

(D)  (i)  No funds shall be distributed from the escrow/trustee account until the customer's stay is complete, unless such distribution is in accordance with terms disclosed to the renter in writing at the time of making the reservation, or within a reasonable time thereafter not to exceed three (3) days, mailed to the renter through the United States postal service or transmitted to the renter via electronic mail, facsimile, or other tangible form of communication. Commissions earned by the firm and the revenue due owners shall be disbursed at least monthly. Funds held in escrow shall be disbursed in a prompt manner without unreasonable delay.

Is it just me, or do two distinct sections jump out at you, too?  I can't figure out what the first sentence has to do with the second and third sentences.  The latter two are easily understood and not hard to implement.

The first sentence talks about informing the public that the rental company is spending their deposit money as soon as they get it ~ regardless of the guests' arrival date.  In other words, as long as a vacation rental management company, in the great State of Tennessee, has the following verbiage in it's guest agreement:

Pursuant to the provisions of the Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 47, Chapter 18 and Title 62, Chapter 13, Section 62-13-104(b)(3), Subdivision (D)(i), T***** T***, LLC discloses the following policy as of June 4, 2003: "All advance rent deposits, damage deposits and balance of rent due are deposited into a bank escrow clearing account. These deposits are considered income to T***** T***, LLC upon receipt and may be used immediately. Any refund considerations are expensed from the general books of T***** T***, LLC on a case by case basis."

then that company will be considered good to go as far as plundering the monies their supposed to be holding in a trust account as a fiduciary.

Friday, February 13, 2009

But the law's in the way...

If you've been reading from the bottom up, then you're up-to-date on the hypothetical question of "What to do?" about being a really big overnight rental company that has lots and lots of money in escrow.

And, yeah, (sucking teeth). You need that juicy money, but there's a pesky law standing in your way. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 47, Chapter 18 and Title 62, Chapter 13, Section 62-13-104(b)(3), Subdivision (D) ~ Prior to May 2003. 

Prior to 2003, the VLS rules were that a vacation rental management company was not entitled to any monies until the guests' departure.


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Do you dip?

What if you started a property management company in Tennessee? Let's say you grew and grew and grew until you had almost 400 units on your program, and every time someone checked in or booked a future reservation your coffers grew and grew and grew ~ commensurately.

Are you with me? Big rental company with lots of money they are holding as deposits on future reservations?

Now, let's say the rules in Tennessee state that you, the professional vacation rental management company, are not supposed to touch this money until the guest departs.

But you need money! OMG, it's soooooo tempting! All that money sitting there in an account ~ just drawing interest.

You could pay your payroll with it ~ or back taxes ~ or, or, just about anything you might need money for to help you operate your business. Hell, if you could pay your office's electric bill with it, why not go a step further and use it to buy a new dining room set for your own personal rental cabin?

What to do? What to do? What to do? What to do? What to do?


The First Ping

If i have a personal blog for my family, a business blog for the software company ~ how am i supposed to gripe or pay homage?

Ergo: Hammer and a Feather.

My kids will tell you that i raised them with a "hammer and a feather". I came down hard, when called for ~ yet, i was the first to praise and condone when they earned it. In the business world, i heard it called "a velvet brick".

...how 'bout a velvet wrapped hammer. This blog is for what's making me insane.