Landlords are in the business of providing housing in exchange for rent. Renting to tenants with pets has its pros and cons, but in the end, it can be a win win for both landlords and tenants.
Attract More Tenants with Pets
Those who own pets view their furry friends like children – important members of the family. Landlords who are willing to permit pets to reside in their rental property expand the size of their customer base. And having a larger customer base increases the number of potential tenants and thus strengthens the chance that your rental property will not remain vacant for long.
Increase Rental Income
Landlords can increase rental income by renting to tenants with pets. Due to the potential for additional damage to the property because of the pet, landlords can increase the rent amount or charge a pet deposit. Recording this additional income is easy, especially if landlords are using RentalIncomeExpense.com, which is free landlord rental income expense tracking software.
If pet owners are willing to pay a premium for their home, and landlords are willing to rent to tenants with pets, both are satisfied and a win win is for all!
For a new real estate investor, the term ‘cap rate’ can be intimidating. Fear not! This term is easy to understand and we’ll explain how to use it.
Cap Rate is the Yield of a Property
Do you understand what the interest rate on a bank account or CD means? Do you understand what the dividend yield on a stock is? If so, you already understand what cap rates are. They are the yield (in percentages) or investment return of a property.
Here it is as a formula:
Cap Rate = (All income minus expenses / Property Market Value)
Let’s look at an example. If a property’s value is $100,000 and, for a given year, after all expenses are subtracted from all rental income, there is a net income of $10,000, then the cap rate of that property is 10% ($10,000/$100,000).
How Is This Used?
Investors compare cap rates when evaluating different properties on the market. Generally, higher cap rates are more desirable. However, just as a higher return can be a signal of risk, properties with high cap rates can often be more risky. For example, an investment may have only a single tenant paying all the rent or is located an area with declining economic prospects.
That’s it! Easy Peasy, right?
Now you know what cap rates are, how to calculate them, and how they are used as a comparison tool.
If you are looking to sell a property that you already own, it is important to track your income and expenses so that you can properly calculate your property’s cap rate. There are many tools to do this. RentalIncomeExpense.com is one such free online landlord software tool that tracks rental property income and expenses.
At RentalIncomeExpense.com, we are all about free ways to improve landlording. After all, our rental income expense tracking service is free for all landlords and property managers. So, given that, what are the best free ways advertise vacancies?
If your rental market is pretty strong, you might not want to pay to advertise on Zillow when your property can be rented using other, free sites.
Free Rental Property Listing Websites
Fortunately, there are many ways to list your rental property for free. Here are three of the best:
Facebook Marketplace: Using your Facebook account, go to “Facebook Marketplace”. From there, go to a category called “Property Rentals.” There, you can easily create a new listing for your rental property. Facebook Marketplace is widely used. Best of all, Facebook Marketplace does not charge any listing fees.
Nextdoor: Using your Nextdoor account, go to “For Sale & Free”. From there, click the “Post a Listing” button. Finally, choose the category of “Property Rentals”. Nextdoor is increasingly popular. And, just like Facebook, Nextdoor does not charge a listing fee.
As you can see, when you need to list your rental property, there are some great free listing services out there. And, once your rental property is leased, don’t forget to track your rental property income and expenses with the free RentalIncomeExpense.com service!
As we’ve already discussed, landlord income expense tracking is an important yet time consuming task for landlords. With all of the options available from a worksheet to landlord accounting software, each one has its pros and cons. We are going to highlight two major pros for landlords using RentalIncomeExpense.com – automatic recording of information and price.
Automatic Landlord Bookkeeping
If landlords want to save some time on tracking rental income and expenses when using RentalIncomeExpense.com, then they should use ClearNow for online rent payment. Rent collected via ClearNow is automatically recorded as income in RentalIncomeExpense.com. Furthermore, fees paid to ClearNow to collect rent online are also automatically recorded in RentalIncomeExpense.com. So just by using ClearNow, landlords eliminate the need to manually record rental income and the associated expense and thus save time.
Free Income Expense Tracking
RentalIncomeExpense.com is free rental property software. It’s hard to beat free. Many will ask, “What’s the catch”, when something so valuable is free. Believe it or not, there is no catch. Designed for landlords, RentalIncomeExpense.com is simple yet powerful landlord accounting software. Because it is free, landlords lose little when trying it out before taking out their wallets and purchasing software for their rental property needs. Beyond free, it also provides reports, like profit and loss, that tell landlords how well business is doing.
Information is powerful. A free tool like RentalIncomeExpense.com makes the mundane task of landlord bookkeeping all the more valuable.
If I use an accountant for tax preparation, should I still use landlord accounting software? We think so. The two primary benefits are information and speed.
Information from Accounting Software
If you own property and rent it to receive income, then you are running a business. Anyone running a business should track income and expenses to understand how well or poorly the business is doing. Landlording is no exception. There are a variety of ways landlords can track rental property income and expenses. We recommend using landlord accounting software because of the powerful information it can provide for you through reports that tell you how your business is doing. For example, a profit and loss statement is a great financial review of the business’ revenues and expenses over a period of time. You may be deterred to pay for landlord accounting software when you are already paying an accountant. Do not fret because there are some excellent and free landlord income and expense tracking software such as RentalIncomeExpense.com and Avail.
Speed from Accounting Software
Maintaining good accounting records makes tax time easier. The reports you can generate from your rental property software will make your accountant’s work that much easier. You don’t have to give your accountant a shoebox full of random pieces of paper to sift through and figure out (which takes time!!). Instead, hand over a few reports that provide the details your accountant needs. For example, with RentalIncomeExpense.com, you can generate a Schedule E Helper report that mimics the Schedule E you will have to file with your taxes. And if your accountant charges by the hour, then by simply using free landlord accounting software to generate reports will save you more money because of the time savings!
The information and speed you will achieve when using landlord accounting software will complement the work your accountant does. You will make your accountant’s life easier, and they will likely thank you!
Landlord-specific accounting software is easier to use
Fortunately, there is a lot of landlord accounting software available as alternatives to Quickbooks. Just as a handyman has many tools in their toolbox (hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches) to fix problems, the right sized landlord software can make your life so much easier.
For landlords who just need a few reports and simple income and expense tracking, RentalIncomeExpense.com is an easy-to-use and free alternative to Quickbooks. For large property managers with complex needs, there are property management accounting services such as Appfolio and Buildium.
As one example of the benefits of using a dedicated tool like RentalIncomeExpense.com, a landlord can quickly create an IRS Schedule E helper report with just a click of a button. This report contains all categories on the IRS form that their accountant will need at tax time. Try doing that with Quickbooks!
Woah! The term “20% pass through tax break” can be confusing. What does this mean?
From 2018 through 2026 (when this tax break is scheduled to end), this tax break may allow landlords to only be taxed on 80% of rental net income; hence the “20% deduction”. This deduction is only for “pass-through entities” – these are landlords who run their rental business as a sole proprietor, LLC owner, partner or S corp shareholder. A “pass-through entity” is a common business type where individuals pay their profits on their individual taxpayer rates.
Separate books and records must be maintained to reflect the income and expenses for each rental real estate enterprise.
At least 250 hours of rental services must be performed each year with respect to each rental real estate enterprise. The safe harbor provides a list of rental services that qualify for this requirement.
Records must be kept regarding the hours of all services performed, description of all services performed, who performed the services, and when the services were performed.
Additionally, there are income qualifications. The full 20% is available if your taxable income is less than $157,500 as a single filer or $315,000 if married filing jointly. If your income is higher, a complicated calculation by your CPA or tax software will calculate the amount that can be deducted.
To qualify for the “20% pass through tax deduction”, keep good records!
Good landlords keep track of income and expenses. It helps you understand what kind of profit or loss you are making, and is invaluable at tax time. The “20% pass through tax break” for landlords – and the important “safe harbor” provisions to qualify – reinforce the importance of good recordkeeping.
Fortunately, for the first safe harbor provision, there are great online tools that can help you track rental income and expenses. One of them, RentalIncomeExpense.com, is even free!
Successful landlords want to increase rental income and the value of their rental property. There are some simple ways to achieve both goals. With any business, investing in your property so that you can offer more value can justify commanding a higher rent from tenants.
Boost Curb Appeal & Rental Income
One of the driving factors tenants consider when searching for a rental is location. If your property is located near parks, popular businesses like grocery stores, or main travel routes, stressing the benefits of the physical location of your rental property can boost interest and value. Following close behind geographic location is the curb appeal of your property. Is the exterior clean and in good shape? Is the landscaping neat and attractive? If the answers to these questions are “YES”, then you’re already one step ahead in providing value.
Take a Look Inside
You don’t have to do a major renovation to make the interior of your rental property feel fresh and clean. Instead, simple upgrades like a fresh coat of paint, new hardware, and brighter lightbulbs can create an attractive vibe. And something as simple as a good scrub – in the bathrooms and kitchen for example – make a clean unit go a long way. If the interior of your rental property looks and feels great, then it’s easier for you to find a tenant willing to pay your asking rent.
Who doesn’t like great amenities especially if they are included in the rent? You may be able to earn more if you charge a la carte for extras, but no one likes to be nickeled and dimed. If you offer great amenities just include them as part of your rent and thus get the asking rent that you want. Here are some amenities that can increase the value of your property and your rental income:
Online rent payment: Tenants want an easy way to pay rent. If rent payment is on auto pilot for tenants, it will make your life easier to get paid. Consider services like ClearNow or RentPayment for online rent payment.
Short term leases: Typically, rents tend to be higher for shorter term leases. So if you have a prospective tenant willing to pay more for a shorter than standard lease term, you can enhance your rental income.
Boosting curb appeal, improving the look and feel of the inside, and offering great amenities will help you increase your rental income and value of your rental property. These steps are easy to take and can make a lasting difference. Whatever you decide to do to increase rental income and the value of your rental property, be sure to keep track of what you spend. Tracking your rental property expenses with a free tool like RentalIncomeExpense or other form of rental property accounting software will make your life so much easier!
Landlords can manage their recordkeeping task in a variety of ways which can range from using a simple paper ledger to expensive sophisticated software. We’re going to take a look at RentalIncomeExpense.com as an ideal landlord accounting solution because it’s free, and it generates powerful reports when tracking rental property income and expenses.
FREE & EASY
Yes, you read correctly . . . RentalIncomeExpense.com is free. Landlords do not need to pay anything to use this tool. Most accounting software, like QuickBooks, Buildium, and RentecDirect, are fairly expensive, especially for the small landlord. Tracking rental property income and expenses is not the most exciting task, but it is a very important task. Making landlord accounting easy where you simply just record dates, vendors/customers, and amounts according to simple drop down menus makes the entire process painless.
Every business wants to know how well it is doing, and landlording is no exception. Generating reports from income and expenses that are tracked is powerful. RentalIncomeandExpense.com provides instant reports that matter, like Profit & Loss and a 1040 Schedule E helper. Because RentalIncomeExpense.com follows the income and expense categories used by the IRS’ Form 1040 Schedule E, the helper report makes tax time easier. You wouldn’t be able to generate such powerful reports if you were using a paper ledger or a simple spreadsheet for landlord accounting.
There is a lot of different accounting software to choose from. Because landlord accounting is such an important task, we encourage you to consider RentalIncomeExpense.com. It’s free and provides powerful reports that tell you how your landlording business is doing all the while making tax time a whole lot easier.
Every business needs customers to generate revenue. For landlords, those customers are tenants. So when a tenant vacates, it is critical for the landlord to fill the empty unit as quickly as possible. The longer the rental property is empty, the longer the landlord does not make any money. Here are some tips on how landlords can advertise rental property effectively and associated costs:
1. Decide Where to Advertise
Landlords should think about where most of their tenants will search for an available property to rent. Online advertising is one of the most popular and wide-reaching methods today.
Landlords can advertise listings with a real estate specific site such as Zillow or Apartments.com. Note that Zillow has recently started charging $9/week for advertising each property whereas before they had been free. Other online options include social media platforms like Facebook or Nextdoor or a more general site such as the ever popular Craigslist. Many of these online advertising options are free, which is a real plus for the landlord’s bottom line.
A simple yard sign can still catch the eyes of a promising tenant. The cost for the “For Rent” sign in your yard is minimal.
2. Post High Quality Pictures
For tenants who prefer to search online, pictures become a critical basis for decision making. Landlords should post high quality photos of the empty unit so tenants searching online have a good idea of the rental property and can make a decision from the photos alone. With today’s smartphones, landlords can take their own high quality photos instead of hiring a professional photographer. Once a tenant is serious about renting a particular property, they benefit from a physical walk through of the rental property.
3. Be Responsive to Inquiries
In describing your rental property, identify key selling points. For example, you will want to mention if you accept online rent payment, as that may be an important criteria for tenants. While the description of your property for rent should be thorough, tenants may have questions. Providing accurate contact information and responding promptly to inquiries makes your unit and your reputation as a landlord positive selling points. In terms of cost here, it will be your time again. Being a responsive landlord will help you meet your goal of filling your vacancy as quickly as possible.
Good Advertising will Fill an Empty Unit
Advertising your rental property online or on paper, showing your rental property with good pictures, and being responsive to inquiries are all steps in the right direction to filling your vacancy. The cost to advertise your rental property is reasonable, especially for some online listings. For any costs you do incur to advertise your rental property, be sure to track them with a good tool such as RentalIncomeExpense.com, which is free, follows the Schedule E income and expense categories, and enables you to generate reports.