What is a Rent Roll (Plus a Free Rent Roll Template)

free rent roll template

Key Takeaways

  • A rent roll is a document showing gross income from a rental property.
  • Rent rolls are used by landlords, property managers, real estate investors, and lenders.
  • Applicable for single-family homes, multifamily buildings, commercial real estate (including industrial buildings), and agricultural land.
  • Helps optimize cash flow, support lending, reduce turnover rates, simplify evictions, and ensure tax compliance.
Author’s Take

As you scale the number of units you own or manage, it’s extremely important to stay organized. If you prefer to manage things manually, Baselane has prepared a free Rent Ledge and Rent Roll document for you.

I strongly recommend that you automate your online rent collection and use Baselane’s reporting and financial statements. It will streamline your operations, avoid errors, and allow you to auto-charge late fees.

Free Rent Roll Template (Click here to access)

What is Rent Roll?

A rent roll is a financial document that shows the gross rental income generated from an investment property. Unlike a rent ledger or lease ledger, a rent roll doesn’t account for expenses such as mortgages, taxes, insurance, and utilities.

Rent rolls provide a clear view of past, current, and scheduled rents for each rental unit and lease agreement to easily see which tenants are making on-time and late rent payments. This report also indicates if a unit is occupied and records lease terms, renewal dates, late fees, and security deposits collected.

Who Uses Rent Rolls?

The rent roll is an essential tool for landlords, property managers, real estate investors, and lenders. Government agencies sometimes check rent rolls for tax adherence.

  • Investors: Rental property investors use rent rolls to evaluate property performance, assess income potential, and make informed decisions about future investments.
  • Landlords: Rental property owners and landlords rely on rent rolls to manage rent payments, oversee leases, and stay on top of rental property finances.
  • Lenders: Mortgage lenders and brokers use a rent roll to calculate net operating income (NOI) and assess your debt service coverage ratio when applying for a rental property loan.

How Does Rent Roll Work?

Rent rolls consolidate rental income details in one document instead of checking lease agreements every time you need to figure out your real estate finances or upcoming lease expiration dates. Rent roll data usually comes from a few sources:

  • Past and current leases or tenant files
  • County tax assessor (lot size, property size, zoning)
  • P&L for annual and monthly gross income
  • Appraisal report for number of rooms and square foot size
  • MLS listings (if purchased from a real estate agent)

This information can create a rent roll operating statement for any type of income property, including single-family homes, multifamily buildings, commercial real estate, and land leased for agricultural purposes.

Key Benefits of Having Rent Roll

There are multiple benefits of a rent roll for real estate investing and managing an income property.

Optimize Cash Flow

  • Rent prices below the current market rates are usually a sign that it’s time for base rent increases.
  • Late or overdue rent payments may indicate a need for online rent collection to make it easier for tenants to pay rent.
  • Compare rental income and expenses to identify overspending, cost savings opportunities, or missed reimbursable operating expenses.

Reduce Turnover and Vacancies

  • Upcoming lease renewals give you time to market the property and quickly fill the vacant space if the tenant doesn’t renew.
  • High vacancy rates could indicate that your monthly rent prices are too high.
  • Low renewal rates may suggest poor property maintenance or a need for updates or repairs.

Simplify Tenant Evictions

  • Rent rolls track non-payment so you know when to give notices for late rent and evictions according to local laws.
  • Payment history showing late or unpaid rent serves as evidence in an eviction lawsuit.
  • Security deposit records provide proof of the amount collected and withheld for any unpaid rent or property damage.

How to Create a Rent Roll Template

You can create a rent roll using a spreadsheet program like Microsoft Excel or Google Sheets. Rent rolls will look different depending on the property type and the purpose, but they usually include some general information. Here are a few simple steps to get you started with a rent roll template.

1. Document Header Details

The top of the spreadsheet should identify the property owner and investment property with the following information:

  • Property Owner’s Name
  • Rental Property Address
  • Property Management Company/Manager

2. Unit Details

Each rental unit gets its own row and includes details for:

  • Unit Number: Exactly as it appears on the lease. Could be “Apartment #2” or “2B”.
  • Lease Dates: Add the lease start date and end date or if the lease renews as month to month.
  • Square Footage: The unit size is a great benchmark for comparing rent prices to similar units.
  • Bed and Bath Count: This helps you assess whether you’re collecting fair market rent for the unit.
  • Security Deposit: Record the security deposit amount, when it was collected, and the tenant who paid.
  • Rent Due: Enter the rent amount owed from each tenant every month.
  • Rent Collected: Record when rent payments are received, the amount collected, and how they paid.
  • Extra Costs: Account for any additional tenant charges like utilities, parking, and pets.

Notes: Include any details you want to remember about the unit, such as upcoming rent increases or upgrades.

3. Total Rents

This is the total gross rent collected each month or each year for the property:

  • Total Monthly Rent: The combined monthly rent amount from all units.
  • Total Annual Rent: Multiply that monthly total by 12 to see your yearly earnings.

Case Study

One of my friends property manager overseeing 17 properties struggled with traditional rent collection methods, often missing $2,500 in late payments monthly and spending five hours weekly on record reconciliation. Initially skeptical, he transitioned to a rent roll system, which halved his reconciliation time and reduced missed payments. However, the real breakthrough came with adopting an online rent collection system like Baselane. This technology automated processes, further minimized errors, and offered real-time portfolio insights. The result? Dramatically improved efficiency, accuracy, and profitability in managing his properties, turning his skepticism into strong advocacy for such innovative solutions.

Free Rent Roll Template

Instead of creating your own rent roll, you can download a free rent roll sample with all the details you need to get started.

Remember to update your rent roll form regularly. Make updates when you collect rent, when a tenant renews their lease, if the rental rate changes, or if a unit becomes vacant. Updating your rent roll on a regular schedule will keep everything organized and clear.

Final Thoughts

Rent roll templates are incredibly helpful for rental property management, but updating them can be time-consuming. You can automate the process with Baselane.

Baselane tracks rental property income and expense, categorizes transactions by Schedule E and property, and generates real-time rental property reports and insights.

Want an easy way to track your rental property performance for free? Book a free demo with Baselane today.

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Financial Technology, Real Estate Investing, and Property Management, Accounting and Tax, Finance
Saad started his career as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) working for a top-tier accounting firm. He was responsible for helping audit alternative investment funds. He later worked at a hedge fund where he was responsible for preparing financial statements and implementing new technology. He also ran a successful private tax practice for five years.

After completing his MBA at Duke, Saad joined The Boston Consulting Group to do management consulting. At BCG his experience spanned several industries and growth projects across Pharma, Retail, and Technology companies. His passion for democratizing finances led him to Plaid, a fintech, where he worked with large Banks and Financial Institutions to make finances and money easier for all.
free rent roll template
What is a Rent Roll (Plus a Free Rent Roll Template)