Setting up budget categories for rental properties?

We have just purchase our first rental property, and will be adding another soon.   I'm setting up a separate budget in YNAB to handle all of our rentals (hoping to have several down the road!). 

Per the suggestions I've read here, I'm going to have each Address as its own category group, and each will include the following expense categories (Pretty much taken from IRS Schedule E):

Mortgage payment
Property Taxes
Cleaning & Maintenance
Travel expenses
Legal & Professional Fees
Property Management Fees

Are there any "hard" categories I am missing that I should budget for monthly?

I've also decided to handle income as suggested in the YNAB "small business"  blog and create a tracking account for monthly invoicing of rent and any other charges such as late fees, which I will then transfer to the proper Property as they are paid.

What I'm wondering is how to handle budgeting for  Quarterly Taxes, V & C and CapEx?  Should I just create a category within each property group and fund it monthly, or have a separate Category Group for saving these amounts since they aren't necessarily regular expenses and because I might need to cover expenses at some point that might come before I have amassed enough in either property separately (Not sure if that makes sense. Essentially I might need to "borrow" from one property's savings to cover another's)

And last, I'm a little unclear how to account for the startup funds that I used from our personal accounts.

I'm trying to set it up from the beginning to make tax reporting the clearest and easiest without having to do a lot of manipulation for my CPA at the end of the year.  Am I on the right track?

Thanks in advance!

3replies Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • I KNOW there were at least 2 replies to this post but they are not showing up now.  What happened?

    • Tracy Schiller Great question! It's possible that the folks who posted then deleted their comments. To be sure, I'll check and see if this is a bug and will post here if that's what was going on.

      No matter what, this comment will bump your post so more folks will see it! :)

  • I'm not sure what V&C or CapEX are, but I feel like quarterly taxes are covered under the "Property Taxes" category that you already are planning for each address.  Just add a certain amount every month to make sure you have enough when you need to pay taxes, whether that's once a year or quarterly.


    If the tax is some other tax than property tax, then I think you handle it the same way: set up a category and add to it regularly so it's there when you need it.  In theory, this should work for any true expense you are budgeting for.


    As for whether to do it by property, or 1 single category group, I feel like I would do it by property, as it makes is clear what's going on where.  The costs aren't going to be the same at every property.  But that's just me. 


    Basically, organize it in whatever way makes the most sense to you.

Like1 Follow
  • 1 mth agoLast active
  • 3Replies
  • 71Views
  • 3 Following