SmartMove’s 6 most popular articles for independent landlords in 2023

The 6 Most Popular Articles for Independent Landlords in 2023

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This year-end roundup includes all the most popular SmartMove articles that were helpful to independent landlords in 2023. The top six articles include: Why Skyrocketing Rents Aren't Always Good for Landlords, 15 Tax Deductions for Landlords During Tax Season, 7 Renter Screening Warning Signs That Aren’t So Obvious, How Landlords Can Maximize Rental Income from Rental Properties, and Could Including Utilities Costs In The Rent Could Be A Good Decision for Landlords?



Remember that this material is intended to provide you with helpful information and is not to be relied upon to make decisions, nor is this material intended to be or construed as legal advice. You are encouraged to consult your legal counsel for advice on your specific business operations and responsibilities under applicable law. Trademarks used in this material are the property of their respective owners and no affiliation or endorsement is implied.

Though 2023 zoomed by like a cheetah driving a Jaguar, this past year brought slightly more balance to the housing market after several volatile years. According to housing and mortgage site The MReport, U.S. rental prices reached their all-time peak in summer 2023 and are starting to stabilize.

While a more familiar market brings us forward, now is the perfect time to reflect on the previous year. To help prepare for 2024, we’ve put together a roundup of SmartMove’s most popular articles from 2023, as determined by our readers and staff.  These blogs and visuals have been shared thousands of times across various platforms, email, and social media sites.

From rental trends like managing soaring rents and maximizing revenue, to landlord nightmares like rental nonpayment and eviction walkthroughs, these blogs contain helpful tips for independent property managers. 

Along with keeping up with market trends, running comprehensive tenant screening can also lead to more success for independent landlords. Checking out renters with a reputable service like SmartMove® can help put the brakes on potential fraudsters and scammers.

As you speed into 2024, here are 2023’s top SmartMove blogs for independent landlords:

Why Skyrocketing Rents Aren’t Always Good for Landlords.

The phrase “The cost of everything’s gone up!” could be one of the most common expressions of last year. While the U.S. Department of Labor’s Consumer Price index shows a trend of inflation calming down in 2023, this past year saw continual spikes and  increases in the price of goods, transportation, services, and housing.

For independent landlords, this also means potential increases in the cost of rent. While more money from renters sounds amazing on paper, the reality is that some rental increases could be a potential misstep for your business. Check out the article to find out why.

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Pro Tip:

Setting a fair rental rate is one way to attract and keep great renters. Read the article to find out the others. 

5 red flags that your rental applicant might stop paying rent

Do you know the warning signs of future rental non-payment? Asking renters the right questions before signing the lease can give you a better chance of finding reliable renters. However, what happens if your tenants just decide to stop paying one month when they’re already in your property?

This article covers what to watch out for when working with current tenants and rental applicants, so that you don’t get burned.

15 Tax deductions for landlords during tax season

As the saying goes, a penny saved is a penny earned. And, for landlords, this popular SmartMove article covers how to save those pennies during tax season.

Discover some potential new ways to save money from business expenses, including things like: travel, professional and administrative costs, special deductions for insurance and property value, and even repairs, upgrades, or adding in the top amenities today’s renters want

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Pro Tip:

Deductions aren’t the only way to hold on to your hard-earned money. Discover even more ways to save during tax season.

4. Most Shared on X, formerly known as Twitter: 7 Renter Screening Warning Signs That Aren’t So Obvious

7 renter screening warnings signs

Most landlords know that renting to someone with Mariana Trench-levels of debt and an eviction record as tall as Mount Everest is probably a risky choice. However, as a landlord, it’s critical to recognize the more subtle signs of potential dangers.

This heavily-shared blog covers seven less-than-obvious signs someone might be a high-risk renter. Knowing potential warning signs and how to verify things like employment history can help you make more confident leasing decisions. 

How landlords can maximize rental income from rental properties

Making money as an independent landlord requires renters to pay their rent on time, in full, and every month. To help maximize rental income, there are several things you can do. These include: screen tenants with a reputable service like SmartMove, rent parking spots to tenants, install money-saving items like solar panels, require renters insurance in case of damages, and considering short-term rentals.

Rated “Most Helpful”, this article provides some tips and ideas for increasing your profit margin, while providing a positive experience for your tenants––it’s a win-win.

Should you include utility costs in the rent?

Chosen after long deliberation, the 2023 Staff Pick for article of the year dives into a common question independent landlords face: Utilities––to pay or not to pay? As a landlord, there are several perks to attracting tenants, such as including utilities costs in their rent. Paying for utilities, such as water, electricity, and gas, in addition to rent, can be difficult for some renters, which can narrow your applicant pool.. This article breaks down the pros and cons of including utilities with rent and how to maximize your rental revenue.

Help Get Ahead in the Coming Year with Efficient Tenant Screening through SmartMove

No matter the time or season, thorough tenant screening is one of the best ways to help safeguard your rental business. With SmartMove, you can get lightning-fast, reliable tenant credit reports, criminal history reports, and past eviction checks in just a few minutes. Help protect your investment with thorough tenant screening through SmartMove.

Know your applicant.

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Additional Disclosure:

The information posted to this blog was accurate at the time it was initially published. We do not continue to guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided. The information contained in the TransUnion Rental Screening Services, Inc. blog is provided for educational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situationFor complete details of any product mentioned, visit This site is governed by the TransUnion Rental Screening Privacy Policy Privacy Notice located at TransUnion Rental Screening Solutions, Inc. Privacy Notice | TransUnion.