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Rental Accounting

Landlord Solutions For End To End Property Management

Running a rental property, being a landlord, comes with a variety of responsibilities. From securing deals to managing maintenance requests from tenants and a dozen tasks in between. Thankfully, there are several outstanding tools and information sources designed to make a landlord’s life easier, and perhaps more importantly to ensure the success of their business venture.

In this article, we take a look at each of the key steps, from becoming a property owner to a successful property manager and outline some of the essential landlord solutions and tools needed for a complete end to end property management system.

1. Get Good Financing Options For Your Investments

Your journey as a landlord begins with finding and financing your perfect property. In this article, we are only addressing long term investment properties as supposed to those looking for loans for the brrrr method.

If you acquire the right property for the right price with the right financing it could become cashflow positive relatively quickly. However, getting a cheap mortgage for an investment property is harder than getting one for your owner-occupied home. This is because lenders charge more for investment properties – working on the assumption that they are assuming more risk.

Despite this, traditional banks and mortgage lenders do typically offer pretty reasonable interest rates.

There are several ways you might go about getting financing for your investment properties. But in general, you will want to ensure that whichever lender you go to will offer you the best possible rates.

For our UK users, we have integrated with Habito a digital mortgage brokers who are revolutionizing the mortgage industry in the UK – think Lemonade, but edgier and for mortgages. For our US users sadly there is no comparable solution.

Instead, we’ve collected a few of the top comparison sites that you might want to visit to check if your mortgage rates are the best they could be.

A few final things to consider when thinking about your rental property mortgage:

  1. They often won’t lend to LLCs or other legal entities,
  2. They report the loan to the credit bureaus, and
  3. They don’t allow more than a few (usually four) mortgages reporting on your credit report.

2. Run the Numbers: Is it a Good Deal?

We mentioned above the importance of finding the right property or the right price. But what does that actually mean and how will you know?

We explore the investor’s formula identifying the good opportunities from the bad in our blog, Key Figures for Evaluating an Investment Property.

Essentially you want to consider the following 4 things:

  1. Average House prices
  2. Expected Expenses
  3. Down payment
  4. Rental Income

You can also use software from the likes of DealCheck, which is a software that allows you to quickly and efficiently run the numbers on potential deals.

Other websites to gain key information are places like Zillow where you can compare house prices as well as average rental amounts in particular areas.

Use Rental Yield Calculator

3. Set the Right Rent Amount

You need to set a fair rental price if you want to attract great tenants. However, there is a fine line to tread. Charge too little though and you may struggle to make your property cash flow positive. Thankfully there are solutions for landlords such as software like Rentomoter or Rent Zestimates by Zillow.

Rentometer can help you quickly and accurately estimate the rental price.

4. Find And Select The Best Tenant

Once you’ve secured an awesome deal the next thing is to find that perfect tenant to occupy the property so you can start generating some cash flow. When you are looking for great tenants it’s important to understand what makes a good tenant.

We’ve written up an extensive tenant screening guide which you can download for free here.

Essentially, you want tenants that can and will pay rent on time, in full, and importantly, respect your property as if it were their own. To determine this, as part of your tenant screening process we always advise landlords to run a comprehensive tenant screening report. This can be done through our app at no cost to the landlord.

Learn more about tenant screening with the Landlord Studio app →

6. Get Your Legal Documents In Order

Once, you’ve bought the property you need to make sure you have all the relevant legal documentation that landlords need.

A few key landlord documents include but aren’t limited to:

  1. Your Lease Agreement
  2. Landlord Non-renewal Notice
  3. Notice to Enter
  4. Eviction Notice
  5. LLC Documentation

Read our full article on the essential legal documents for landlords.

You can produce your own customized and state-specific legal documents with Rocket Lawyer.

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Visit Our Documents Page

7. How Are You Going To Collect Rent

Collecting rent is a pretty key part of being a landlord. That being said not every landlord has this process down. Ideally, you will have a tool that allows you to collect rent online.

Using Landlord Studio you can actually do just that, tenants can log into the tenant portal to review upcoming and historical payments and set up automatic payments to go directly into your bank account. All payments made through the system are then automatically logged and tracked against the relevant property in our system.

Learn more about Online Rent Collection with Landlord Studio →

8. Tracking Income and Expenses

Keeping careful and accurate records throughout the year of your income and expenses relating to your rental property is absolutely vital if landlords are to take advantage of the relevant tax deductions and avoid being audited by the IRS.

Landlord Studio is a software that allows landlords to accurately and easily keep their accounts up to date. It has advanced reporting features, including a Schedule E report which we designed at the request of our users and is specifically created to make tax time easier. Other important features include our in-built mileage tracker and bank feed integration.

Bank feed integration allows you to connect your relevant bank accounts and reconcile income and expense doing away with manual inputs and removing human error.

Tracking your income and expenses is really where Landlord Studio comes into its glorious and glistening all.

Learn more about income and expense tracking with Landlord Studio →

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9. Managing Inspections

Routine property inspections are the best practice for a reason. They allow you to ensure that your tenants are looking after your property, as well as take a look around for any potential maintenance issues that have or might arise.

This is another feature that is on our long-term development roadmap. However, in the meantime there are some pretty good options for landlords dedicated to helping you properly inspect and record your inspections such as the following two software:

10. Managing Maintenance Requests

Finally on our list of end to end property management of maintenance requests. In truth, this is the bane of many landlord’s lives. Maintenance requests especially if unexpected can become huge financial costs. Unexpected maintenance costs can be reduced through routine maintenance as well as by encouraging communication with your tenant. Thankfully, maintenance requests are tax-deductible (link) however, that doesn’t mean you don’t want to deal with them quickly and cost-effectively.

Some maintenance you can do yourself which will certainly help keep costs down. Many landlords prefer to do this for this exact reason. Things like repainting or grouting between tiles in the bathroom or kitchen, for example. However, more challenging maintenance requests life wiring or structural issues will require you to employ a professional.

Whatever your policy, communication is key. Your tenants need to know how to submit maintenance issues or reach you in the case of an emergency. This could be a simple as emailing you. Or it could be more complex like setting up a website portal for each household to submit their requests.

One property maintenance software we recommend taking a look at is: UpKeep

There are other solutions too. For example, Latchel is a company that deals with your property maintenance requests. This effectively removes the stress that comes with managing your own maintenance.

Final Words

It’s our mission to improve the lives of landlords and tenants through digital innovation as such we are always looking for new ways to make our customer’s lives easier. As such we supply the tools that landlords need to help them manage tenants, gain nuanced oversight of their finances, collect rent, and more.

You can find out more about how landlord studio can help you manage your rental properties on our feature pages or set up an account and test out the software completely free.

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Ben Luxon

Ben is the editor and lead writer for Landlord Studio. He has worked with real estate professionals all over the world and written educational articles on tech, real estate, and financial growth for sites such as Forbes, TechBullion, and Business Magazine.


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