You can now import your expense data into Landlord Studio by simply uploading your existing spreadsheet.
At this time you can only import data for one property at a time and you cannot import income transactions. This means you will need a separate sheet for each property, listing the property expenses.
Part 1. Formatting your spreadsheet
Before you upload your spreadsheet you need to format your data so that the import wizard can accurately read and import the data.
This means ensuring your expense categories match Landlord Studio’s existing categories and that the file aligns with the upload requirements.
Matching Expense Categories
Landlord Studio’s categories are in line with IRS schedule e requirements.
You can edit and add categories before you import if you need a different category selection. However, categories must exactly match to avoid pulling errors when uploading.
US users can use this table to make sure your spreadsheet categories match Landlord Studio’s categories exactly.
Landlord Studio Default Expense Categories
What goes into this category
Any out-of-pocket expenses for the purpose of advertising your property. This includes things like newspaper ads, yard signs, online listing costs, online ads, website expenses, etc.
Auto and travel
Includes vehicle mileage, airfare, and half of the meals you purchase while traveling.
Cleaning and maintenance
Cleaning between tenants, as well as gardening or lawn care, pest control, snow removal, and pressure washing of the building exterior. This includes the cost of labor as well as any supplies you bought specifically for this purpose.
Includes commissions to someone to find you a tenant but not any commissions you pay to a real estate agent when buying a property.
Property, landlord, and rent guarantee insurance as well as any additional cover for things like flood protection.
Legal and other professional fees
Includes lawyer fees for eviction proceedings or overseeing paperwork, such as new lease documents, as well as, fees for tax preparation, and CPA costs. If you use property management software like Landlord Studio, you can also deduct these fees.
Property management fees are generally between 8% and 12% of your monthly rental income. The good news is that if you do contract a property management service, their fees are generally deductible.
The mortgage interest is deductible, the mortgage principal however is not.
Includes interest on credit cards provided you incurred the expenses wholly through actions to improve or repairs to the property. Additionally, you can deduct interest from loans from non-bank lenders.
Examples of repairs include fixing broken plumbing or a broken cupboard door, repairs to HVAC etc. Repairs return the property to its original condition. You cannot deduct the cost of any improvements you make to the property.
This normally refers to any office equipment you purchased to manage your property and other supplies you’ll use exclusively for your rental properties.
Includes any property taxes you pay to your local government as well as any taxes or fees associated with permissions to rent the property, such as local licensing fees or occupancy taxes.
If you cover things like gas, electricity, water, heating, AC, or internet for your tenants, you can deduct these as utility expenses.
You can start claiming depreciation as soon as your property is ready for rent - normally when you start advertising for tenants. Residential rental properties can be depreciated over a period of 27.5 years and claimed as a deduction. You can also depreciate the value of equipment you use in the management of the property or for improvements.
* Depreciation can be complex. Please consult with your accountant or CPA.
If you have any further expenses related to the ownership, maintenance, or management of your property, list them under the Other section.
File upload requirements
File must have columns for Payment Date, Amount, and Category
File cannot have more than 20 columns
File must have at least 1 expense
File cannot have more than 500 expenses
Maximum file size is 5 MB
File must be a CSV.
UK Expense Categories
For our UK users the Landlord Studio default expense categories are in line with HMRC requirements and are as follows:
Allowable loan interest and other financial costs
Costs of services provided, including wages
Legal, management and other professional fees
Other allowable property expenses
Property repairs and maintenance
Rents, rates, insurance, ground rents
Learn more about UK allowable expenses here.
Upload expense fields
Below are listed the fields that can be matched when uploading your spreadsheet.
Payment date (required field)
Date the expense was paid. Entering this correctly will help us auto-match it to your corresponding bank transactions.
Short text description of the expense.
Category (required field)
Expense category. Make sure the categories in your spreadsheet match Landlord Studio’s existing categories to avoid errors.
Amount (required field)
Total expense amount.
Is the expense linked to a supplier? This is important for your 1099. You will need to add your suppliers to Landlord Studio before you upload your template or ignore this column to avoid errors.
Tenant payable expense?
Is the expense payable by the tenant? Yes or No.
Is the expense a capital expense? Yes or No.
Part 2. Uploading your spreadsheet
Step 1A) Uploading your spreadsheet can be done during the initial setup process, or at any time once you’ve added your property to the system.
If you want to import your spreadsheet during the onboarding select ____ when you reach this step [screenshot].
Step 1B) If you want to import your spreadsheet at a later date navigate to the property (or add a new property), scroll down to the expenses section and select “import from CSV”.
Step 2) Format your file according to the guidelines outlined above. Ensuring your file is correctly formatted will help you avoid potential errors and ensure the data is uploaded accurately.
Step 3) Select “Upload file” and select your formatted file. Alternatively, drag and drop.
Step 4) Map your spreadsheet columns to the fields in Landlord Studio. The file must have columns for Payment Date, Amount, and Category
Step 5) If the import wizard fails to recognize transactions it will highlight which ones and why. You can either continue to import - which will NOT import the failed expenses. Or you can correct your spreadsheet and re-upload it.
Possible errors and how to fix them
Make sure all dates are formatted consistently and that you have selected the correct date format in the mapping stage.
Suppliers don’t exist
The easiest way to do this is to ignore this field entirely. However, if you need the suppliers, you can add your suppliers to Landlord Studio and then try the import again.
Missing required field
The required fields are Payment Date, Amount, and Category. If any of the expenses in the spreadsheet are missing one of these it will fail. Update your spreadsheet and re-import.
Expense categories don’t match
Update your expense categories in your spreadsheet to match the Landlord Studio expenses listed above then retry the import.
Too many columns
Make sure your CSV file doesn’t have more than 20 columns. Delete any excess columns and retry the import.
File too big
If you have over the maximum number of expenses or
Step 6) When you’re happy select continue and we will import your spreadsheet data into Landlord Studio. Navigate to the relevant property or go to the reports section and run a report and you’ll see the new expenses have been created.