Costs Landlords Don’t Realize They’re Accruing

As a landlord, it’s essential to be aware of all the costs associated with owning and managing rental properties. While some expenses are obvious, such as repairs and maintenance, there are other costs that landlords may not notice they are accruing. In this article, we’ll explore some of the lesser-known costs that landlords should be aware of and how to mitigate them to help increase profitability

Marketing and Advertising 

Attracting tenants to your rental properties is crucial for maintaining occupancy and generating income. However, the cost of marketing and advertising can add up quickly. This can include the cost of creating and placing ads and the time and effort required to show the property to prospective tenants.

To minimize these costs, consider using free advertising platforms, such as online classifieds or social media, and utilizing word-of-mouth referrals from satisfied tenants. 

team of professionals

Taxes and Insurance 

Landlords are responsible for paying property taxes and insurance on their rental properties. These costs can be significant, and landlords should budget for them accordingly.

Landlords may also be eligible for tax deductions on certain expenses, such as repairs and maintenance, so it’s important to keep good records and consult with a tax professional. To reduce the cost of taxes and insurance, consider seeking discounts or working with a tax professional to identify potential deductions. 


Depending on the terms of the lease, landlords may be responsible for paying some or all of the utilities for their rental properties. This can be a significant cost, especially if the property is not energy-efficient. 

Consider investing in energy-efficient appliances and features like LED light bulbs and low-flow toilets to reduce utility costs. You could also consider passing some or all of the utility costs onto your tenants through a utility allowance or a split-utility arrangement. 

Professional Development 

As a landlord, staying up to date on the latest laws and regulations affecting the rental industry is crucial. This may require investing in professional development courses or seminars, which can be a significant cost. 

To reduce the cost of professional development, consider seeking out free resources, such as online courses or webinars, or joining a landlord association that offers educational resources to members. 

person on computer

Vacancy Costs

When a rental property is vacant, the landlord is not generating any income from it. This can be a significant cost, especially if the property is vacant for an extended period of time. To minimize vacancy costs, consider implementing strategies such as offering rent concessions to new tenants, utilizing a lease-up program, or offering short-term leases. 

You could also consider diversifying your portfolio by owning multiple rental properties, which can help mitigate the impact of vacancy on any one property. 

Maintenance and Repairs 

While it’s obvious that landlords will have to pay for repairs and maintenance on their rental properties, the costs can quickly add up if they are not properly managed. 

To reduce maintenance and repair costs, consider implementing a preventive maintenance program, which involves regularly inspecting and maintaining your rental properties to prevent small issues from turning into larger, more costly repairs. You could also consider setting up a reserve fund to cover unexpected repairs rather than paying for them out of pocket. 

Financing Costs 

Landlords may need to borrow money to purchase or renovate their rental properties. This can involve incurring financing costs, such as mortgage interest or home equity loan fees. 

To reduce financing costs, consider shopping for the best rates and negotiating with lenders to secure the best terms.

person holding money

HOA Fees 

If your rental property is part of a homeowner’s association (HOA), you will be responsible for paying HOA fees. These fees can vary depending on the size and amenities of the development and can be a significant cost for landlords with multiple properties. 

To reduce HOA fees, consider negotiating with the board to request a lower fee or eliminate unnecessary amenities. You could also consider passing the cost of HOA fees onto your tenants through a separate fee or by including them in the rent. 

Eviction Costs 

In some cases, landlords may need to evict tenants for non-payment of rent or other lease agreement violations. This can be costly and time-consuming, as it may require hiring an attorney and going to court. 

To reduce the risk of evicting tenants, consider implementing strict rental policies and conducting thorough tenant screenings. You could also consider working with a property management company which can handle the eviction process on your behalf. 

Landscaping and Exterior Maintenance 

Landlords are responsible for maintaining the exterior of their rental properties, including the lawn and landscaping. This can be a significant cost, especially if the property has a large yard or requires frequent landscaping maintenance. 

To reduce landscaping costs, consider implementing drought-resistant landscaping or using low-maintenance plants. You could also consider passing the cost of landscaping maintenance onto your tenants, either through a separate fee or by requiring them to maintain the yard as part of their lease agreement. 

blue and white house with mowed lawn

Bottom Line

There are many costs that landlords may not notice they are accruing when owning and managing rental properties. By being aware of these costs and taking steps to mitigate them, landlords can increase the profitability of their rental properties. 

Property owners can mitigate these costs by working with a property management company, such as Five Star Property Management. Our staff is always on hand to assist clients, manage their investments full-time, and keep a close eye on each of our clients’ properties. 

By working with a property management company like Five Star Property Management, property owners can increase the profitability of their rental properties and minimize the costs they may not be aware of. 


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