Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants


The only book devoted to the most important decision a landlord can make!Landlords face many challenges, but choosing new tenants has the greatest potential to affect ...
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Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants

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The only book devoted to the most important decision a landlord can make!Landlords face many challenges, but choosing new tenants has the greatest potential to affect your bottom line. Fortunately, Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants can help! Let this book guide you through the process of attracting, screening and choosing the best renters possible.

It covers:
*effective advertising
*phone screening
*presenting the unit
*evaluating applications
*examining credit reports
*checking references
*discrimination basics
*making a rental offer
*rejecting applicants
*and much more

Every Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants provides dozens of forms and checklists for every step, with easy instructions to fill them out.
Plus: The included CD-ROM provides invaluable audio dialogues that show how to conduct interviews and get the information you need without running afoul of the law.
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Editorial Reviews

"How you choose your tenants is one of your most important decisions. Here's an extensive and helpful reference book."
Library Journal
Nolo's successful formula for creating law books for lay audiences combines user-friendly formatting and attorney authors with intuitive organizational schemes. Nolo books include information on variances in the laws from state to state, and readers can go to the publisher's web site to learn about changes in the law. Typically, there are abundant lists of additional resources and appendixes or accompanying CD-ROMs with self-help forms or checklists. These three new titles exemplify these traits. With Divorce, attorney and mediator Doskow covers the before, during, and after of divorce, counseling readers on the types of divorces, how to make decisions about living arrangements and the division of property, and how custody decisions are made. She advocates minimizing conflict but includes sections on domestic violence and kidnapping if the worst happens. Appendixes contain state-to-state grounds for divorce and financial inventory forms. Federal Employment Laws, published in cooperation with the Society for Human Resource Management, is designed as a tool for human resources officers. Organized in chapters by the 20 most important federal employment laws, it covers such issues as discrimination, disabilities, workplace safety, and equal pay. Employment law specialists Guerin and DelPo provide an overview of the intent and application of each statute and explain how it is enforced. Compliance sections in each chapter help employers understand what they must report, the records they must keep, and what penalties might befall them if they fail to comply. There are extensive lists of contacts for applicable government agencies. In Finding Great Tenants, landlord/tenant lawyer Portman pairs business and legal advice for those who own or manage rental property. She helps readers with everything from conducting an open house to screening tenants without engaging in discrimination. Portman covers the legalities involved in obtaining credit, criminal background, and Megan's Law reports. Her advice on negotiating with tenants and evaluating applications and credit reports will be particularly useful to new landlords. An accompanying CD-ROM includes 40 common forms of agreement or correspondence. All three titles are available as e-books and are recommended for public libraries.-Joan Pedzich, Harris Beach, PLLC, Rochester, NY Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Los Angeles Times
Offers balanced advice on the topic, shedding light on both the legal and practical aspects of finding great tenants.
From the Publisher
"At last, the long-needed, ultra-complete guidebook every residential landlord should have to find and select quality tenants." Robert Bruss, syndicated real estate columnist

"Pairs business and legal advice for those who own or manage rental property.... Helps readers with everything from conducting an open house to screening tenants without engaging in discrimination." Library Journal

"Offers balanced advice on the topic, shedding light on both the legal and practical aspects of finding great tenants." Los Angeles Times

"Covering all the angles, this book is a must read for landlords before handing out the keys to their investment." Helene Lesel, syndicated real estate columnist

How you choose your tenants is one of your most important decisions. Here's an extensive and helpful reference book.
Includes sample scripts to help you learn what to say and not to say, in particular when handling objections, avoiding discriminatory statements, and dealing with questions about competing properties.
Tom Kelly
Janet Portman is an effective, lucid communicator whose latest work is an understandable, thorough roadmap for landlords -- and for tenants looking to get a leg up on the competition.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413304138
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 8/6/2006
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 488
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

As Nolo's managing editor, Janet Portman oversees editorial work on all Nolo books. She specializes in residential and commercial landlord/tenant law, legal issues related to courts, landlords and tenants, and neighbor disputes. She is the author or co-author of Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Tenant's Legal GuideRenters' Rights, Leases & Rental AgreementsThe California Landlord's Law Book: Rights and Responsibilities and others. A nationally syndicated columnist with Inman News, Portman's column, "Rent It Right," appears regularly in the Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and other prominent newspapers and websites. Portman received undergraduate and graduate degrees from Stanford University and a law degree from Santa Clara University. Before joining Nolo in 1994, she practiced law as a public defender.

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Table of Contents

1.  Choosing Good Tenants Makes Good Business Sense
What's the law got to do with it?
Is this book for you?
Ten ways to keep your rental business profitable
How to use the Landlord's Forms Library
Why good record keeping is so important-and how to do it
Icons used in this book

2.   Complying With Discrimination Laws
Fair housing complaints are numerous and costly
Legal discrimination: Valid reasons for rejecting applicants
Rental properties exempt from antidiscrimination laws
Types of illegal discrimination
Occupancy standards: How many tenants are too many?
Managers and discrimination

3.   How to Deal With Current Tenants-Before You Look for New Ones
Send departing tenants a move-out letter
Do a pre-move-out inspection of the rental
Inform tenants of your plans to advertise and show the rental
Ask departing tenants to complete an exit questionnaire
How to work with tenants who are not leaving voluntarily
What happens when you can't deliver the rental on time?

4.   How to Advertise Effectively
Identify your market
Create a Marketing Worksheet
Use word of mouth
Set up a tenant referral program
Post "For Rent" signs
Advertise in the newspapers
Check out rental magazines
Post flyers on neighborhood bulletin boards and online
Use an online rental service
Make your own website
Take advantage of free listings on craigslist.  org
List with local employers
Use a real estate office to advertise for and screen tenants

5.   How Should You Show Your Rental?
Individual property tours
Private open houses
Public open houses

6.   Preparing Your Rental Application and Screening Materials
Your Rental Policies
Your Rental Application
Consent to Contact References and Perform Credit Check
Credit Check Payment
Receipt for Credit Check Fee
Consent to Criminal and Background Check
Legal Status in the United States
Lease or Rental Agreement

7.   Fielding Initial Questions and Phone Screening
Make it easy to reach you
Prepare a Rental Property Fact Sheet
Prepare a Rental Property Comparison Chart
Prepare a Tenant Information Sheet
How to prescreen over the phone or in person
Carefully document your conclusions
Dealing with on-the-fence callers
Schedule a site visit
Should you negotiate on the first call or conversation?

8.   Prepare Your Rental for an Open House or Showing
Prepare the rental unit for an attractive showing
Prepare the rental unit for a safe showing
Prepare the rental unit for a secure showing
How to plan for and do repairs and refurbishing

9.   Face to Face: Showing the Rental and Negotiating with Prospective
How to hold an open house
How to conduct an individual showing
Talk with your visitors and answer questions
Field questions thoughtfully
Sell your property, but don't puff
How to negotiate with prospective tenants
Discussions with disabled applicants
Identify prospective tenants
What's the next step for your visitors?
Conduct a wrap-up

10.   Evaluating Rental Applications
Log in every application
Confirm receipt of credit check fee and consent form
How to review Rental Applications
Step 1: Summing up the answers
Step 2: Evaluating the application answers
Step 3: Rank your applications
Step 4: Decide how many applications will advance to credit checks and
reference checks

11.   Checking Applicants' Credit Reports
How to get a credit report
What's in a credit report?
The limits of credit reports
How to evaluate an applicant's credit report
Rerank your applications
Handle credit reports, criminal background reports, and tenant-screening
reports carefully

12.   Checking Landlord, Employer, and Personal References
Contact past and current landlords
Contact current employer
Contact personal references
Reranking and rejecting applicants after talking with references

13.   Checking Applicants' Criminal Backgrounds
Your qualified legal right to reject tenants with criminal backgrounds
How to avoid renting to people with dangerous criminal backgrounds
The basics of criminal background checks
The risks of running a criminal background check
The risks of not running a criminal background check
How to decide whether to do a criminal background check
Inform prospective tenants of your policy and get consent
How to do a Megan's Law search on your own
How to get a criminal background report
How to reject following a Megan's Law or criminal background check

14.   How to Choose and Work With a Tenant-Screening Agency
How useful are tenant-screening services?
Obtain written consent from applicants
How to find a tenant-screening service (and how much they cost)
How to evaluate services provided by tenant-screening firms
How to use the screening report
Accepting and rejecting applicants based on screening reports

15.   Choosing Your New Tenant
What to do when you have no qualified applicants
How to choose among qualified applicants
How to communicate an acceptance
Conditional acceptances and adverse action letters
How to deal with cosigners
Holding deposits
Signing the lease or rental agreement

16.   How to Reject-What to Say, What to Write
Ten tips on how to reject
Adverse action letters
Rejections: How to say them, how to write them
Communicate postapplication rejections by mail or email
Appendix: How to Use the CD-ROM
Installing the files on to your computer
Using your word processor to create forms
Listening to the audio files

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