Property management income and expenses: What you need to know

Whether you’re an aspiring real estate broker seeking to diversify your portfolio or a newcomer in the rental market, property management can present lucrative and consistent opportunities. However, as with any business venture, it’s essential to grasp the potential revenue and expenses associated with property management software.

Property Management Income:

Property management companies in Dubai draw revenue from various sources that contribute to their top-line income statement. Depending on your location, some of these income sources may be subject to specific rules and regulations. For instance, late fees are subject to strict regulation, encompassing when and how they can be imposed, their structure, the recipient, and their maximum amount. Owners shoulder numerous fees, but tenants and community residents also contribute through payments like late fees, amenity fees, and pet fees.

It’s important to note that diverse rental markets exhibit distinct trends and legal frameworks. What proves effective in the UAE, may not necessarily apply to the UK. Regardless of your operational area, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the primary income sources before delving into the finer nuances. Even, you can consider using property management software for more effective accounting.

Management Fees: 

These are standard charges for executing routine property management responsibilities, typically calculated as a percentage of the rent (or a fixed fee for association management).

Onboarding Fees: 

Many property managers levy an initial fee when onboarding a new property owner, which covers the setup process in their systems and an initial property inspection.

Fees About Lead-to-Lease: 

Various charges are associated with the process of securing tenants for vacant properties. These encompass tenant placement fees and leasing fees billed to property owners, along with application and lease renewal fees for tenants. Tenant management software keeps track of all the tenant fees paid or due and sends reminders if required. 

Maintenance and Repair Markups: 

A supplemental charge for serving as a general contractor for maintenance tasks is typically represented as a percentage of the overall property maintenance expenses. This is particularly beneficial when there is no in-house maintenance team, and external vendors handle maintenance and repairs. Real estate software maintains all the income and expenses in one place.

Lockout Fees: 

Also referred to as “re-key” fees, these are penalty charges applied when a tenant locks themselves out or loses their key, a practice commonly observed in student housing.

Late or Non-Sufficient Funds (NSF) Fees: 

Additional fees related to overdue payments, with property management firms often imposing late payment fees on tenants who miss rent deadlines. Non-sufficient funds fees are also applied in cases of unprocessed checks. While these fees offer an extra income source, establishing clear policies is vital to prevent tenant disputes. Notably, some property managers have become more lenient in imposing late fees post-pandemic, focusing on cooperative solutions and transparent communication. It is also essential to adhere to local and state laws governing late fees.

Other Fees: 

Property managers can introduce various additional charges to diversify their revenue streams. For instance, allowing pets may warrant a pet fee to offset potential damages. Alternatively, offering an amenities package for an extra charge can encompass services such as regular HVAC filter replacements or package lockers. Parking fees are applicable if you provide parking spaces, and online rent payments can entail a convenience fee.

This compilation merely scratches the surface of potential income streams available to property managers.

Property Management Expenses:

Certainly, the measure of success for property owners, and your own achievements, extends beyond the revenue generated—it must also encompass the expenditures incurred. Let’s explore some prevalent property management expenses:


This category encompasses essential expenses for sustaining your business operations, covering items like office rent, utilities, supplies (including office equipment and stationery), and costs related to company-owned vehicles.

Payroll and Contractor Fees: 

Payroll encompasses employee salaries, including benefits, bonuses, overtime, training, and development expenses. Contractor fees entail service charges imposed by contractors, along with additional costs such as materials and permits.

Insurance and Licensing: 

Depending on your location, property management and realtor licensing may be mandatory. Additionally, property managers must secure adequate insurance, including liability and errors and omissions (E&O) insurance.

Service Fees:

These are costs associated with software and services utilized across various aspects of your business, spanning project management tools, property management software, tenant screening, and marketing services.

Legal Fees:

Legal counsel is often required for tasks such as lease agreement drafting, eviction proceedings, and addressing legal issues that may arise in property management. Therefore, allocating funds for legal fees is essential.

Additional Insights on Grasping Property Management Financials

Handle all your property finances in Elate Accounting software for automation starting from step 1 to the end of the management cycle. 

  • Establish Separate Business Accounts: 
    • If you manage multiple properties, it’s advisable to open distinct accounts for each. This segregation streamlines financial tracking.
  • Select Your Accounting Method: 
  • There are two transaction recording methods to choose from:
    • a. Cash Basis: Records income and expenses upon receipt or payment.
    • b. Accrual Basis: Records income and expenses when earned or incurred.
  • Generate Financial Statements:
    • Extract data from your general ledger to create relevant financial statements.
  • Monitor Deductible Expenses: 
    • Mitigate tax liabilities on your properties by deducting eligible expenses, such as repair and maintenance costs, legal fees, and more.
  • Document All Expenses: 
    • Maintain meticulous records of both income and expenses, substantiating your claims for authorized deductions.

The bottom line

These financial reports provide valuable insights into comprehending property management financials. As a result, it grants you a clear understanding of the financial status of your rental properties. While preparing financial statements can be arduous and time-consuming, especially close to tax deadlines, consider engaging professional accountants or property managers. Also, adopt efficient accounting software like ERP Software to oversee the financial well-being of your rental properties effectively. Property management companies like Penieltech provide all the accounting and IT services that enhance your real estate business to its peak.

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