From the Homeowner’s perspective, their only touch point with the names that you use is the letters, statements and correspondences you send. On the Owner’s Portal, the directory will show the Homeowner name, but will display the Business Name, if there is one. (So, if the Homeowner name is John Adams, but the business name is Johns, LLC, then Johns, LLC will appear on the directory.) The name they see when logging in is sourced from their Login.
This then brings us to which merge tags you are using. As a best practice, for collection letters and violation letters, I see using the merge tag for Deed Name as best, as this tag will look for deed name, then business name, then owner name with respect to order of priority. Therefore, having your letters with statutory requirements of referencing the, “owner of record as recorded on the deed,” or similar language, such as Collection and Violation letters can reference Deed name, but your statements and friendly correspondences can reference Homeowner name.
Our Best Practices for the use of Merge Tags in Communication with Homeowners:
- Only enter a Business Name on a Homeowner Account if it is actually a business, or legal entity and in that scenario, do not use the First or Second Homeowner fields.
- If the business uses a dba, use the Business Name for the dba and the Deed Name for the name recorded on the deed.
- The business Name trumps Homeowner Name, so if there is both a Business Name and a Homeowner Name on an account, the Business Name will be used on merge tags instead of the Homeowner Name, even if the merge tag is First and Second Owner or Homeowner Name.
- All property records should reference the name as reflected on the deed.
- If the Homeowner’s preferred name differs from the name recorded on the deed, use the First and Second Homeowner fields for their personal names and the Deed Name field for the name recorded on the deed.
- Every Account should have either a Homeowner Name or Business Name
- Merge tags used for friendly communications should reference the First and Second Owner merge tag
- Merge tags used for statutory-regulated communications should reference the Deed Name merge tag
For more information on merge tags, read the article titled Merge Tags.