Easy expense tracking methods for landlords
As landlords, we deal with a lot of expenses. Right from renovation to maintenance to emergency repairs, a lot of bills accumulate when you rent out a property. On top of this, all landlord expenses aren’t the same. There are tax-deductible expenses like property mortgage interest, and pro-rated expenses like fixing a roof. The frequency of these landlord expenses for short-term rentals like Airbnb and vacation homes are exponentially higher.
Keeping track of these landlord expenses is no easy task. While there are several applications out there that are designed for managing expenses, these are often expensive and have a learning curve. Here is a simple process you can make use of to stay on top of your landlord expenses without spending a single dollar.
Every expense pertaining to the rental property, small and big, should be diligently recorded. As tech specialist Damien Conway says, “Documentation is a love letter that you write to your future self.” There are two ways to organise this -
Individual bank account :
Have a separate bank account for each property. All rental income comes in, and landlord expenses go out of this account.
- It’s a foolproof method of measuring the ROI. The money left at the end of the year is how much you made from that property.
- Accounting is easy.
- This works well for joint ventures or corporations.
- It could be too many bank accounts to manage.
- There is no consolidated view.
You can make use of an excel sheet to log all landlord expenses and income. Here is a nifty little template you can download for free - your accountant will love you for this. This template is set for upto 4 properties. Enjoy!
- Consolidated view
- Better note taking for landlord expenses
- Will save you accountant hours during tax filing
- Too much admin work
Storing your receipts
Depending on where you live, your requirements to store receipts might vary. In Ontario we are expected to save our receipts for 7 years. Here are a couple of ways you can do this -
While I use Google Drive, you can choose Onedrive, Dropbox or whatever document storage software you are comfortable with.
Once I enter the landlord expenses on the excel sheet, I take a photo of the bill, and upload it directly to my drive from my phone.
Create an email id just to store receipts
Create an email address to store all your receipts. When you receive an invoice via email, forward it to that email address to keep a copy of the receipt. If you have a paper receipt, take a pic and send it to the email address. This way, you can always access your receipts instantly, right from the palm of your hand.
Use the Tenantcube app
With the Tenantcube mobile app, log all your incomes and expenses as a landlord in one secure place. You can also attach the relevant receipt or bill to each income and expense, and keep them safe forever. Every detail of each transaction like name of payee, payment method, transaction ID, reason for payment, category of payment, etc can be captured. You can now track exactly which tenant’s payments are completed and which are still pending. Stay on top of your accounting game.
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