Cash Flow Business Ideas for Landlords

When faced with a 26% vacancy rate in 2009, I began collecting ideas on how to pay the mortgage without tenants. Here’s a summary of my ideas along with some gems from helpful contributors. Do you have an idea to contribute? Please send in your realistic or futuristic cash flow business ideas and  I’ll add them to the list. I’ll also give you a trackback link to boot.

Here’s the Idea Matrix that links that indexes our blog posts on cash flow ideas.

Resident-Independent Cash Flow Business Ideas

  • Convert large closet or unused space into a back office space and rent to a small businessperson – Gary Zaremba
  • Convert yard space into business equipment or machinery storage space (if they can access area without disturbing tenants)  – G. Zaremba
  • Sell on-site generated power to a utility company (solar, thermal, wind, etc.)
  • Rent parking stalls to zipcar
  • Rent driveway/parking stalls to non-tenants (Check out
  • Rent unused or newly created parking to car, boat, trailer, or RV owners that don’t reside at your rental.
  • Build an inexpensive garage and rent it out – Green Building in Denver
  • On-site sewage treatment/scalping plant
  • Add on a greenhouse and growing plants or food for sale
  • Install a webcam and 1) selling ads on feed or 2) using it to catch illegal dumpers for reward
  • Lease space for a cell phone tower
  • Lease top of your building to a public WiFi company. Allow them to mount a long-range antenna. –
  • “Rent” Wi-Fi to neighbors and have them start from your affiliate home page –  Loft Gardens
  • Add a billboard to your building – G. Zaremba
  • Collect management fee for providing landscaping services – Camille Baptiste
  • Rent unused lots space to someone who wishes to live in a Tiny House. – J. Martin

Resident-Dependent Cash Flow Business Ideas

  • Bikeshare program that’s sponsored or sell mobile advertisement
  • Convert space into a youth hostel – T. Sumpter
  • Redeem collected recyclables
  • Install vending machines
  • Install coin operated washer & dryers
  • Provide free Wi-Fi with residents using owner’s home page affiliate program
  • Rent furniture
  • Rent out use of common area to view fireworks, parades, or special events – assuming you have an awesome view. – Camille Baptiste
  • Rent storage lockers – G. Zaremba
  • Display ad boards in laundry room and lobbies – G. Zaremba
  • Convert roof decks into patio area – rent extra space to tenants – G. Zaremba

Equipment Rental    

  • Vacuum cleaner rental

Electronics Rental  

  • Rent TV or audio-video entertainment equipment rental
  • Rent cell phone

Concierge-Type Services

  • Charge a little extra each month for bi-annual carpet cleaning
  • Charge for door-to-door trash collection service
  • Provide on-site weekly car wash or detailing service – DeMaster  Landlord Marketing Secrets
  • Provide weekly housekeeping service  – DeMasters
  • Offer gardening/landscaping service as an ad-on  – DeMasters
  • Pet sitting / dog walking / on-site grooming service  – DeMasters
  • Plant watering service  – D. DeMasters

Financial Services

  • Paycheck-cashing service (for rental payments)  – D. DeMasters

Favorable Lease Terms

  • Early Lease Termination Fee = 2 month’s rent. You’ll make money by filling vacancy before 60 days. –
  • Sublestting Fee – $500 –