First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home

( 4 )

Overview

Earn rental income

The declining U.S. economy has forced many homeowners to make tough decisions about their property. If you're one of the millions of Americans affected by the credit crisis, struggling to make your mortgage payments, and are considering renting out your home to make ends meet, you'll need to learn the basics of being a landlord.

Let First-Time Landlord show you how to start your landlording business and maintain it in your ...

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First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting Out a Single-Family Home

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Overview

Earn rental income

The declining U.S. economy has forced many homeowners to make tough decisions about their property. If you're one of the millions of Americans affected by the credit crisis, struggling to make your mortgage payments, and are considering renting out your home to make ends meet, you'll need to learn the basics of being a landlord.

Let First-Time Landlord show you how to start your landlording business and maintain it in your spare time. Get the concise information you need to start making money with a single-family home, written for property owners with little business savvy — and even less time and patience. Learn how to rent out your property lawfully and safely with valuable information on:

. how to determine whether or not the property will turn a profit
. landlord business basics
. finding the right tenants
. preparing and signing the lease
. handling repairs
. complying with your state's rental laws
. dealing with problem tenants, and
. preparing for sale of the property.

From timely tips to true stories from successful landlords, First-Time Landlord is an indispensible book for property owners who want to rent out a single-family home without the hassle — quickly, efficiently and legally.

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Editorial Reviews

National Association of Real Estate Editors
Silver Award, 2010 Robert Bruss Real Estate Book Awards
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781413316278
  • Publisher: NOLO
  • Publication date: 9/26/2011
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 376
  • Sales rank: 695,628
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Stewart writes and edits books on landlord-tenant law, real estate, and other consumer issues. She is the co-author of First-Time Landlord, Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home, Every Landlord's Legal Guide, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Leases and Rental Agreements, and Renters' Rights.

Bray is an author and legal editor at Nolo, specializing in real estate, immigration law, and nonprofit fundraising. She is co-author of Nolo's Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home and also edits a number of Nolo's small business books. Bray's working background includes solo practice, nonprofit, and corporate stints, as well as long periods of volunteering, including an internship at Amnesty International's main legal office in London. She received her law degree and a Masters degree in East Asian (Chinese) Studies from the University of Washington.

As Nolo's managing editor, 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 Landlord's Guide to Finding Great Tenants, Every Tenant's Legal Guide, Renters' Rights, Negotiate the Best Lease for Your Business, Leases & Rental Agreements, The California Landlord's Law Book and California Tenants' Rights. 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

I Your First-Time Landlord's Companion 1

1 Is Owning Rental Property for You? 5

Great Things About Being a Landlord 7

Tough Parts of Being a Landlord 13

Cute, Cheap, and More: Features of the Ideal Rental Property 17

Thinking About Buying an Investment Property? 23

What Will Your Monthly Profit Be? 28

What Will Your Long-Term Gain Be? 37

Setting Your Goals 40

2 So Happy Together: Landlording With Family or Friends 43

The Pros and Cons of Landlording Together 44

Having a Compatible Co-Owner 46

How to Take Title 49

Creating a Co-Ownership Agreement 56

3 Preparing and Marketing Your Rental Property 63

Make Sure Everything Is Up to Code 64

Should You Make Major Repairs or Improvements? 65

Prepare the Rental for an Attractive Showing 66

Set the Rent and Other Important Terms 69

Get to Know the Neighbors 70

Come on Down! Advertising Your House for Rent 71

How to Show Your Property 73

Pardon Those People: Renting Property That's Still Occupied 75

4 Screening and Choosing Good Tenants 79

Creating a Rental Application 81

Check References and Run a Credit Report 84

Avoiding Illegal Discrimination 90

Is This the One? Characteristics of the Perfect Tenant 93

Whom to Reject 95

5 Preparing a Lease and Getting the Tenant Moved In 99

Which Is Better, a Lease or a Rental Agreement? 103

Typical Provisions in Leases and Rental Agreements 108

Signing a Lease or Rental Agreement 125

Getting the Tenant Moved In 128

Organizing Your Rental Records 130

6 Manage Your Rental Income to Maximize Tax Deductions 133

Keeping Your Business Finances Separate 135

Shielding Yourself From Liability for Business Debts 138

Spent a Lot ofMoney? Take More Tax Deductions! 141

Proving What You've Spent: Record Keeping 158

Are You Rich Yet? Tracking Income and Expenses 162

How Much Cash to Keep in Reserve 164

What to Do When Expenses Exceed Income 165

Finding Professionals to Help You 167

7 Keeping Things Shipshape: Repairs and Maintenance 169

Dealing With the Legalities: Your Repair and Maintenance Obligations 171

Adopting a Good Maintenance and Repair System 180

No Thanks! Hiring Someone Else to do the Work 186

8 Landlord Liability for Injuries, Crimes, and More 195

Ouch, That Smarts: Liability for Tenant Injuries 196

Liability for Environmental Health Hazards 203

Keeping Tenants Safe: Liability for Crime 215

Insurance Coverage for Property and Liability 218

9 Living in Perfect Harmony? Dealing With Difficult Tenants 227

Common Tenant Problems-And What to Do About Them 228

Resolving Disputes 237

When All Else Fails: Terminations and Evictions 243

10 Don't Want to Do It Alone? Hiring a Property Manager 253

What a Professional Property Manager Does 254

Is Property Management Right For You? 259

How to Find the Best Property Manager 265

Put It in Writing: Drafting An Agreement With Your Property Manager 269

11 Ready to Quit? Exiting the Rental Property Business 273

What's the Driving Force? Identifying Your Exit Plan Objectives 274

What Are Your Options? Exploring Opportunities 275

What Rights Does the Tenant Have If You Sell? 283

If You Decide to Sell: Getting Ready 285

Index 299

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 18, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A good book with a wrong title

    "First-Time Landlord: Renting out a Single-Family Home" is a good book with a wrong title. It covers the general process and things that a landlord needs to be aware of. The information applies to all rentals, not just for a Single-Family Home. Condos and townhouses may have some special rules (HOA, CC &R, etc.), but this could have been easily covered in an additional chapter, and make the book much more useful.

    It includes 11 chapters:

    Is Owning Rental Property for You?
    So Happy Together: Landlording with Family or Friends
    Preparing and Marketing Your Rental Property
    Screening and Choosing Good Tenants
    Preparing a Lease and Getting the Tenant Moved In
    Manage Your Rental Income to Maximize tax Deductions
    Keeping Things Shipshape: Repair and Maintenance
    Landlord Liability for Injuries, Crime and More
    Living in Perfect harmony? Dealing with Difficult Tenants
    Don't Want to Do It Alone? Hiring a Property Manager
    Ready to Quit? Existing the Rental Property Business

    This book gives you general information on rental property. It may be more helpful if it can give some sample lease, or other standard forms for a landlord to cover the basic of rental agreement, etc. In many states, you can also buy standard lease agreement to modify for your use.

    If I am a landlord, I'll like to have general information but I also want the book to be practical and helpful and solve my problems. I'll NOT re-invent a lease agreement based on the info of this book. I'll buy a standard lease agreement and modify it for use. It may be helpful for the book to include the links to buy these standard forms. I agree with another reviewer that Craig's list is one of the most effective tools to advertise your rentals.

    Overall, "First-Time Landlord: Renting out a Single-Family Home" is a good book that can help a potential landlord. It gives you general knowledge but can be improved to be more practical and helpful.

    Gang Chen, President, ArchiteG, Inc.
    AIA, LEED AP, Real Estate Broker (DRE# 01232392)
    Bestselling Author of books on LEED, Architecture and Landscape

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Not what I was expecting.

    After reading it I did not get some of the answers that I had questions.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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