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(Accessed through Maintenance / Program Options / Monthlies.)
These options make it easy to automatically set the length of monthly reservations, and the amount initially charged. Most settings only affect reservations with the Monthly reservation type.
For "Monthly" Reservations, 1 "month" means --- this setting lets you determine whether a "month" is really a calendar month or whether it's a fixed number of days. For instance if you want a monthly reservation to always be due on the same day of the month (either a common day for everyone, or based on their starting date), use the One calendar month setting. If you prefer to use a fixed number of days as a "month", set it to A specific number of days, and enter the number of days preferred, like 30. Note that this can be anything you want, in fact it could be set to 7 days if you don't really have "monthly" reservations but want the typical Monthly functions to apply to weekly reservations (e.g. auto-rates, Monthly billing, etc).
Note that if this is set to a specific number of days, it also changes the +1M buttons on the Reservation Details and New Reservation dialog to +30, for instance. Likewise, the Extend 1 month button on Monthly Billing will change to Extend 30 days (or whatever your number of days is).
There are 3 different settings allowing automatic date setting, based on the start date of the reservation, to a specified number of months, or to the end the month any number of months away, or the end of a year. These automatic settings can also be disable by selecting the "none" options.
Automatically extend reservation -- This setting determines the automatic Last Night of a new reservation when the Monthly reservation type is selected on the New Reservation dialog, if (and only if) the reservation's Last Night has not yet been selected manually or by entering a number of nights. For instance to make all monthly reservations for at least 5 months, select "by exactly one month", and enter 4 in "and then add another __ months".
Also Block the site for the reservation -- This works similar to the setting above, but instead of setting the Last Night, it sets the Block date. For instance, you may want to make the actual reservation for only a few months, but keep the site blocked for several years.
Limit the initial number of days charged to -- This is used when selecting rates for a monthly reservation. This is normally only the initial charges, since the Monthly Billing will likely be used for subsequent months. Only a few options are available here -- charge for exactly one month, to the end of the month, or to the end of next month. This setting will depend on whether you force billings on the first of the month, and whether you require at least a month's rent up front.
The combination of these settings depends partially on your monthly billing procedures (exact-month or end-of-month), but in general there are a couple different recommended ways of doing monthly reservations.
One way is to only "reserve" the site for one month at a time, but block it initially for an extended period (this can be several years if you like, or just a few months, depending on the typical length of stay). Then when monthly billing is done, extend each reservation by an additional month (this is a one-click function on the Monthly Billing dialog). This may work best if your monthlies are typically short-term (less than a year), and are billed on their month-anniversary date instead of the first day of the month.
Another good way is to go ahead and make the reservation extend out to the end of next year. Then at the end of this year, when you do the monthly billing go ahead and extend them all another year (keeping the site reserved for at least 1 year in advance). This works best for billing on the 1st of each month (presumably the first partial month is pro-rated), where your tenants are likely to stay at least a year at a time.