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What is a Rent Roll?

November 29, 2021

Keeping all the details on your apartment rental units in your head or scattered through your paperwork can be overwhelming. Instead, you need a rent roll that details everything you need about your units and lease details. Here's a look at what rent rolls are for and how to maximize them to streamline your rental business.

What's the Purpose of a Rent Roll?

Even if you own just a few units, a rent roll is valuable for staying organized. You can reach for it to review information quickly. Maybe you want to make sure your tenant is following the lease terms, or you're imposing the agreed-upon fees for late rent. The rent roll includes everything you need to know, including the security deposit amount, so you return the correct amount to your renters.

Rent rolls are also helpful when your leases are about to expire. You can review the details, consider renewing the lease to your tenant and compare the current rent against the market conditions. You may decide to raise the rent before extending a new lease to meet the market demand.

What Information Should Be in a Rent Roll?

A rent roll is filled with valuable information, but it's easy to forget a few details as you're putting one together. Here's a round-up of what you should add to the rent rolls for your rental business.

Property Information

  • Owner - If you're a property manager or have a co-owner, list all of the details of everyone who invested in the property

  • Property Management Company- List all information about the property management company (PMC), including names and contact information.

  • Address- Include the address of your units

  • Type- As your rental business grows, a rent roll helps keep track of what types of property you invested in, such as apartments, condos, townhouses, and single-family homes.

Unit Data

  • Unit number- List the unit number and note if the mailbox number in your lobby or property differs.

  • Square footage - What is the square footage of your unit? You may want to include a separate area if the tenant also has access to a private garage in a townhouse or single-family home.

  • Beds and baths - Detail how many bedrooms and bathrooms are available in the unit. You can also include flex space, like a den, but make sure to note whether or not it's a legal bedroom or not.

  • What floor the unit's on - The floor number could mean the difference between a lucrative rental price and missed opportunity. Higher floors with views are usually the most expensive.

  • Handicap accessible - Is your unit handicap accessible with ramps and support bars in the bathroom? Learn more about what makes an apartment handicap accessible.

  • Remodeled - A recently renovated apartment should be noted on your rent roll, including the upgrades you made, like new appliances or flooring.

  • Amenities - Renters love an apartment complex or unit with desirable amenities. List everything from washer and dryer, gym, swimming pool, and rooftop terraces. You should also list an HOA or doorman under amenities.

Tenant Information

  • Name - Include all of the names of your tenants, including any co-signers or guarantors they may have.

  • Monthly Rent Price

  • Percentage of Annual Increase - Detail any ongoing annual increase percentages and whether or not they're also required of existing tenants.

  • Fees Paid - Look into any fees paid by your tenants, including parking, pets, and storage.

  • Rent Due Date - What date is your rent due? Include any information on how much the penalty is for a late rent payment.

  • Prepaid Rent - Did your tenants pre-pay rent either by request or to secure a better rent deal? Detail the terms, amount, and any other information for your rent roll.

  • Security Deposit - Not all security deposits are the same amount, even in the same apartment complex. Some landlords require a larger security deposit for tenants without a rental history or those with pets. Include any security deposit information in your rent roll, and include whether or not it differs from your usual terms.

  • Lease Term - List out the lease terms of each unit in your rent roll and any unusual details. For example, you may have agreed to a 14-month lease based on a tenant's request who will be relocating for work.

  • Rent Concessions - Rent concessions are also known as a rent discount or tenant credit. These adjustments are offered to a tenant from a landlord or property manager to the regular rental rate or security deposit. The concessions are usually temporary and used to attract new renters, like the first month's free or no application fee.

  • Vacancy Rate - The vacancy rate is the percentage of days a property could be rented versus the days it was actually rented. Knowing your vacancy rent is essential to see if you need to raise rents, invest more in marketing, or opt for short-term lease terms.

  • Misc Notes - It can be helpful to add a few notes to anything unusual in the category they represent. For example, you can add notes about an impressive lease length in the lease terms section, and everything else can go under Misc Notes.

  • Reimbursements - Did you reimburse your tenants or property management for repairs? List any reimbursements related to your rental business on your rent roll.

Income Summaries

  • Totals paid - A Rent roll also includes totals paid, which usually documents the rent collected each month and any extra expenses, including maintenance repairs or pest control.

How to Create a Rent Roll?

Rent rolls are straightforward and useful but are also incredibly detailed. Instead of keeping up with everything by hand or in a spreadsheet, create a rent roll with recommended Property Management Software.

  • Rentec Direct - Create rent rolls, manage properties, and screen tenants in one place.
  • Appfolio - Put together a rent roll and manage your entire residential portfolio on one platform.
  • Resman - Designed for multi-family and affordable housing managers to create rent rolls and reduce staff workload.
  • Entrata - Entrata is a one-stop solution for rent rolls, managing tenants, posting transactions to ledgers, automating tasks, and more.

Final Thoughts

Rent rolls are a simple tool that helps streamline and organize your rental business, so you're always on top of all the details.

Ready to attract new tenants to add to your rent roll? List your property with Apartment List to find the right tenants and improve the way you market your property. Learn more here.

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Susan Finch
Susan Finch is a freelance writer and content manager focusing on local experiences, travel, and anything relating to really good food and craft brews. Her work has appeared in travel guidebooks and national magazines and newspapers. Read More
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