How to calculate Net Operating Income (NOI) for a rental property

What is net operating income (NOI)?

Net operating income, or NOI, is simply the net profit (rental income - total expenses) that one can expect to earn from their rental property. Where things can get confusing (when first hearing all of these terms) is that this sounds a lot like 'net cash flow' or 'net operating income'; that's because it is very similar! The key difference in the context of real estate between net operating income (NOI) and net cash flow is that NOI assumes no mortgage / loan was taken out to purchase the property. The reason this metric is commonly used in real estate is because it's a key component of calculating a property's cap rate (which you can read about here).

Below we'll walk through how to calculate NOI for a rental property, walking you through an example scenario.

How to calculate net operating income (NOI) for a rental property

The formula for net operating income (NOI) is:

NOI = total rental income - total monthly expenses
where these expenses do not include a loan payment

Suppose we purchase a single family home for $100,000 outright and rent it out to a long-term tenant. As such, the net operating income would simply be calculated as:

Monthly Income:

Total monthly income: $1,400

Monthly Expenses:

Total monthly expenses: $490.38

So, our net operating income (NOI) is:

NOI = $1,400 - $490.38 = $909.62

What is considered a good net operating income for a rental property?

Typically, net operating income (NOI) is simply used as a variable in the cap rate calculation, and not necessarily benchmarked by itself. You can read more about calculating cap rates and how NOI factors into that here.