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Five Costs That Landlords Don’t Notice They’re Accruing.

As a property manager, it’s essential to keep a close eye on the various costs associated with maintaining rental properties. While most landlords are aware of the more prominent expenses such as mortgage payments, property taxes, and major repairs, there are several less obvious costs that can quietly accumulate. These hidden expenses can significantly impact your bottom line if they’re not managed properly. In this blog post, we’ll explore five commonly overlooked costs that landlords may not realize they’re accruing.


  1. Inefficient Energy Usage

Impact of Inefficiency

Inefficient energy use is often a silent budget drainer. Older, inefficient appliances, poor insulation, and outdated HVAC systems can lead to significantly higher utility bills. Additionally, properties that lack modern energy-saving features such as LED lighting and smart thermostats may also contribute to excessive energy consumption.

Strategies for Improvement

Investing in energy-efficient appliances and fixtures can reduce long-term costs. Consider upgrading to ENERGY STAR® rated appliances, installing better insulation, and replacing old windows with energy-efficient alternatives. Implementing smart home technology like smart thermostats can also help in monitoring and controlling energy use more effectively.

  1. Deferred Maintenance

Consequences of Delaying Repairs

Deferred maintenance refers to postponing necessary repairs or maintenance on properties. While delaying minor repairs might seem cost-effective in the short term, it can lead to larger, more expensive problems down the road. Issues such as a small leak can eventually lead to significant water damage, requiring extensive repairs.

Preventive Actions

Regular inspections and maintenance schedules can help catch and address minor issues before they become major ones. Establishing a routine maintenance checklist for each property can ensure that no critical element is overlooked.

  1. Tenant Turnover and Vacancy Rates

Financial Impact of High Turnover

High tenant turnover and vacancy rates are often underestimated costs in property management. Every time a tenant leaves, there are costs involved in marketing the property, screening new tenants, and preparing the unit for occupancy, which may include painting, cleaning, and minor repairs.

Reducing Turnover

To minimize these costs, focus on tenant retention strategies such as maintaining good landlord-tenant relationships, promptly addressing repair requests, and considering incentives for lease renewals. Offering competitive rent prices and keeping the property in top condition can also attract long-term tenants.

  1. Legal and Regulatory Non-Compliance

Risks of Non-Compliance

Failing to comply with local, state, and federal regulations can lead to costly fines and legal fees. This includes everything from neglecting to install proper smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to failing to follow fair housing laws.

Ensuring Compliance

Staying informed about current landlord-tenant laws and building codes is crucial. It may be beneficial to consult with a real estate attorney to ensure all legal and regulatory obligations are met. Regular training sessions for property management staff can also help maintain compliance.

  1. Ineffective Property Management

Cost of Poor Management

Ineffective property management can lead to various hidden costs, including missed rent collection opportunities, inadequate tenant screening, and poor financial management. These issues can ultimately affect the profitability of your properties.

Professional Management Solutions

Employing a skilled property management company such as Real Property Management Prestige, or enhancing the training of your current management team can help streamline operations and improve efficiency. Utilizing property management software can also aid in better financial tracking, tenant communications, and maintenance scheduling.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What are some common signs of inefficient energy usage in rental properties?

Common signs include unusually high utility bills, frequent heating or cooling complaints from tenants, and older appliances that are not ENERGY STAR® rated.

How often should property inspections be conducted?

Property inspections should be conducted at least annually, though more frequent inspections might be necessary depending on the age and condition of the property.

What are effective tenant retention strategies?

Effective strategies include maintaining open lines of communication, responding promptly to maintenance requests, providing incentives for lease renewals, and keeping rental rates competitive.

How can landlords stay informed about legal changes affecting property management?

Landlords can stay informed by subscribing to real estate newsletters, attending property management seminars, and consulting with legal professionals specializing in real estate law.

What are the advantages of using property management software?

Advantages include streamlined rent collection processes, efficient maintenance request tracking, easier tenant screening, and improved overall financial management of properties.

This comprehensive guide should help landlords and property managers recognize and manage hidden costs more effectively, ensuring a more profitable and smooth operation of their rental properties.



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