A rental business requires a significant initial investment. It’s imperative to plan for any prospective costs. Loan payments and taxes are two examples of expenses that cannot be avoided. Landlords must be prepared for all expenses, both planned and unforeseen.

Even if you make every attempt to plan, forecast, and calculate costs, as a rental property investor you understand that occasional overspending can occur. Your finances can be strained by unforeseen expenses related to a rental property. 

Acknowledging these unplanned costs and budgeting for them will prevent you from incurring debt and guarantee the continued profitability of your rental property.

Legal Fees 

A wise choice is to have a legal ally on your side, particularly to assist with evictions and lease agreement terms. However, you’ll be racking up more expensive bills if you’re working with an inexperienced legal advisor or if there’s a lot of legal work going on. 

Occasionally, landlords don’t become aware that they’re racking up those timesheets until they receive the invoice. These expenditures appear small when taken separately, but when added together, they really mount up. 

These consist of:

  • Tenancy contracts
  • Signing up for a deposit protection scheme
  • The acquisition of an energy certificate
  • Ground rent and other utilities
  • Protection measures

Regularly discuss legal services with your legal advisor. Make sure the attorney you choose has experience and knowledge in the real estate industry. Additionally, be sure to ask all the necessary questions in advance so that you’re aware of the costs involved. 


If you find yourself hiring attorneys far too frequently, it may be a hint that you need to improve your tenant screening.

Problem Tenants 

Some real estate investors sign tenants who don’t meet the tenant screening requirements because they can’t bear having a vacant property for an extended period of time.

In other cases, landlords get so preoccupied running their businesses that they unintentionally shortchange the vetting procedure. Unfortunately, leasing to tenants who don’t meet your leasing requirements will wind up costing you far more money than a lengthy vacancy.

Ask the relevant questions and be thorough when reviewing tenant recommendations in order to find great tenants. If your screening procedure becomes too lax, you risk incurring additional, unplanned charges for property destruction, late payments, evictions, and court-related expenditures.

Maintenance Costs

To maintain your rental property in great condition, it requires continuous upkeep and repairs. Under-planning regular maintenance can have an impact on your financial situation. 

Fixing a faucet leak won’t break the bank because it’s minor. However, if you put off taking care of it for too long, or if you skip the general routine examination to identify potential bigger problems, that leaky faucet could develop into a burst pipe, a damp basement, or mold growth. 

Additionally, the costs of all those servicing calls will be far higher than that of a quick plumbing job.


Plan expert and contractor assessments on a regular basis to prevent overspending on building maintenance. These inspections will identify possible issues before they become serious ones, giving you plenty of time to plan ahead for future large-scale projects and make proactive replacements and improvements.

Costs of Vendors and Contractors

Your suppliers and contractors may be contributing to additional expenses that you may be unaware of. You must establish a group of experts to assist you as a landlord, which includes general handymen, electricians, plumbers, HVAC specialists, contractors, and gardeners. 

For emergency maintenance issues performed beyond regular business hours, there can be additional fees. Those costs may mount up quickly. If the work you hired wasn’t well done in the first place, it can lead to more unexpected costs.

As crucial as vetting prospective tenants is, screening your suppliers and collaborators is equally as important. Spend some time locating the best service providers so you can establish a good relationship with them. When discussing pricing for recurring services, take your time. 

If necessary, install further security measures via service audits. Don’t take it for granted that all of your partners have your best interests in mind. 

Instead, create a detailed plan that enables you to input mechanisms for checks and balances, as well as screening procedures so that expenses don’t mount up without you noticing.

Lengthy Vacancies

You may assume that not much is happening on your property when it’s vacant, however, the more the area is vacant, the more bills you incur without any rental income to cover them. 


Seasoned investors will suggest that you put aside money to serve as a safety net so that you can weather such vacancy periods without suffering too much loss. If not, your expenses will exceed your income.

If a vacancy persists for several months, you may have to use your reserve funds to pay utilities, HOA dues, and taxes, in addition to your regular monthly expenses.

If you have prolonged vacancies, you might need to assess the quality of your property and make renovations to make it more desirable to tenants. To make sure the rent is in sync with the local housing market and economy, you may need to review it. 

If those factors are strong, you might need to polish your real estate marketing techniques to draw in tenants and create buzz about open positions that will soon or already be available.

Hire a Property Management Company

Hiring a property management partner to take care of everything might help you avoid situations of overpaying and unintentional accrual of fees. 

To help you and your property, East Bay Property Management offers a range of high-quality property management services, including tenant screening, property upkeep and repairs, rent collecting, and financial tracking.

Our team currently oversees over 400 properties, with a focus on managing multifamily, commercial, and apartments throughout the East Bay. We promise top-notch services based on our extensive real estate management expertise.

Bottom Line

As a landlord, it’s important that you keep track of the different costs and fees you’re accruing. If not, you risk amassing debt and putting you and your investment in a dire financial situation.

Are you looking for a property manager in East Bay, California? In that case, hire East Bay Property Management

Give us a call today if you’re interested in working together! Our staff will exceed your expectations to provide first-rate property management services!