Becoming a Landlord? Track Your Expenses Well
by Tim Gules
My biggest regret was that I didn't bother keeping records of my property expenses when I was becoming a landlord for the first time. I only realized my folly when tax time came and I had no way to claim most of my tax deductions.
As we all know, one of the big benefits of being a landlord are the generous tax breaks offered to you. And to enjoy these tax deductions, you will need written records and receipts of all your property expenses.
I will strongly suggest that you print out a complete list of your rental property tax deductions and learn it by heart. Always ask for a receipt whenever you spend money on your property - Many repairmen and gardeners don't have a habit of issuing receipts so it's up to you to pester them for it.
Keeping excellent records of your property expenses has another little known benefit:
In case your rental property is making a loss due to high vacancy or falling property value, you will have a much easier time claiming your tax breaks because your written records are proof that you were an active landlord (and didn't just leave your rental property sitting around).