The Everything Landlording Book: A comprehensive guide to property management [NOOK Book]


In today's market, many property owners find themselves first-time landlords for a variety of reasons. Some homeowners turn to renting when they can't sell a house. Empty nesters may consider making money on their extra space. And buyers might look into the revenue-producing idea of purchasing a multi-family home. Whatever the reasons for becoming a landlord, it's often a ...
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The Everything Landlording Book: A comprehensive guide to property management

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In today's market, many property owners find themselves first-time landlords for a variety of reasons. Some homeowners turn to renting when they can't sell a house. Empty nesters may consider making money on their extra space. And buyers might look into the revenue-producing idea of purchasing a multi-family home. Whatever the reasons for becoming a landlord, it's often a challenging role.

This guide helps new and experienced landlords alike:

  • Find (and keep!) responsible tenants
  • Determine legal liabilities for landlords and tenants
  • Market, show, and profit from rental property
  • Handle repairs and general maintenance
  • Handling of evictions properly
Featuring expert advice and money-saving tips, this step-by-step book helps you earn maximum profit-with minimum hassle.New in this edition:
  • Finding the right mortgage
  • Using home equity loans for renovations and repairs
  • Updated information on evictions and legal issues
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781605506975
  • Publisher: F+W Media
  • Publication date: 8/18/2009
  • Series: Everything
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 668,920
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Judy Tremore (Grand Rapids, MI) is a veteran reporter, editor, and business writer. Her stories and articles have appeared in several publications, including The Grand Rapids Press, Cadence, The Grand Rapids Business Journal, Grand Rapids Magazine, and Cosmopolitan Home. She is the author of The Everything Landlording Book and co-author of The Everything Grant Writing Book.

Deborah Boersma Zondervan (Grand Rapids, MI) has been a rental property owner and manager for over 25 years. She has coordinated complete renovations and owned as many as twenty-four units at a time. She currently lives in and owns a six-unit building.

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Table of Contents

Top 10 Things Every Landlord Should Know x

Introduction xi

01 Getting Started 1

Is Landlording Right for Me? 2

The Qualities of a Successful Landlord 3

Can I Make Money? 7

Gathering Resources 9

Setting Goals 10

How Do I Get Started? 11

02 Renting Space in Your Home 13

Legal Considerations 14

Other Things to Consider 16

Finding the Extra Space 17

Maintaining Your Privacy 21

Will You Be Happy Sharing Space? 22

03 Buying a Space to Rent 24

Selecting a Rental Property 25

Start Big or Start Small? 25

How to Determine a Property's Value 26

Finding the Right Location 27

Considering Repair Costs 29

Finding Great Deals 30

What to Ask For 33

When to Pull In Experts 35

04 Tight Credit: Landlording After 2008 38

Will You Be Able to Borrow Money? 39

Work with Experienced Professionals 41

Compare Prices and Products Before Making Decisions 43

Understanding Mortgages 45

How Can You Reduce Closing Costs and Interest Payments? 48

How to Identify Shady Lending Practices 50

05 Laws, Codes, and Permits 52

Federal Fair Housing Laws 53

State and Local Laws and Regulations 56

Occupancy Regulations 58

Zoning Ordinances 60

Building Codes 61

Lead Paint 62

Mold, Mildew, and Other Concerns 63

Requirements for Landlords and Tenants 67

Be a Knowledgeable Landlord 69

06 Fixing Up Your Property or Purchase 71

The First Steps 72

Repairing Versus Maintaining Property 74

Will You Have to Hire Help? 76

Valuable Inexpensive Renovations 76

Other Valuable Improvements 78

Amenities Tenants Like 80

Getting the Most for Your Dollars 82

Security and Safety 83

07 Better Safe Than Sorry: Insurance Issues 86

What Should YouThink About? 87

Homeowner's and Landlord Protector Policies 87

What Is the Tenant's Responsibility? 93

Don't Get Unnecessary Coverage 94

Keeping Premiums Affordable 95

08 All You Need to Know about Liability 99

How Much Liability Coverage Do You Need? 100

Keeping Costs Down 102

Falls and Injuries 103

Tenant Carelessness 104

Natural Disasters 104

Environmental Hazards 105

Do You Need Terrorism Coverage? 108

Theft or Violent Crimes 109

Your Tenant's Insurance Responsibility 111

09 Making Money from Your Space 112

How Much Should You Charge? 113

Calculate Return on Investment (ROI) 116

What to Do if a Unit Stays Empty 118

Depreciate Building and Contents 119

Your Property Will Appreciate-Eventually 120

Sticking with the Budget 120

10 Marketing Your Space 122

For Rent 123

What You Can't Say 123

What You Should Say 124

Newspaper Ads 125

Other Ways to Advertise 128

Rental Agencies 132

11 Showing Your Property 133

Getting the Unit Ready 134

When Prospective Tenants Phone 134

Walking Them Through the Apartment 137

Avoiding Discrimination Complaints 137

Who Said What? Write It Down 138

Rental Applications 139

12 Finding the Perfect Tenants 143

Interviewing Applicants 144

Applicants with Section 8 Federal Housing Assistance 145

Applicant with No Social Security Number 148

Verifying Rental Applications 149

Background Checks and References 150

How to Do a Credit Check 153

Valid Reasons to Reject Applicants 157

13 Providing a "Perfect" Home 159

Cleanliness Counts with Tenants You Want 160

Make Them Feel Secure 160

A Quiet and Restful Space 163

Schedule Periodic Upkeep and Maintenance 165

Don't Forget the Grass and Snow 166

The Importance of Keeping Tenants Happy 166

14 Move-In Procedures to Safeguard Your Space 168

What Are Tenant's Checklists? 169

How to Use Tenant's Checklists 169

How Do Checklists Protect You? 172

Move-In Letters 174

Move-Out Letters 175

15 Rental Agreements and Leases 177

What's the Difference? 178

When to Make Rental Concessions 181

Lease and Rental Agreement Basics 181

Clauses about Rent and Fees 184

Clauses about Policies 185

Clauses for Protection 186

Security Deposit Policy 188

Renewing (or Not Renewing) Leases 190

16 Collecting and Increasing Rent 192

Collecting Rent 193

Late Payments 194

Bounced Checks 197

Partial Payments 198

How to Handle Rent Increases 199

17 Maintenance, Repairs, and Emergencies 203

What's the Difference? 204

Repairs 204

Maintenance 205

Is It Really an Emergency? 208

Your Rights in Emergencies 209

Calling In the Pros 209

Paying for Maintenance and Repairs 212

18 Save a Buck: Do-It-Yourself Repairs 213

What Can You Handle? 214

Tools 215

Simple Repairs You Can Do 215

Quick Projects That Save Money 218

Scheduling Work with Your Tenant 220

What If Your Cash Flow Is Still Tight? 221

19 Recordkeeping 224

Developing Your Recordkeeping System 225

Tenant Records 226

Property Management Records 229

Financial Records 230

Maintenance and Repair Records 233

How to Avoid an Audit 237

Should You Hire an Accountant? 237

20 Dealing with Difficult Tenants 239

Tenant Responsibilities 240

Noisy Tenants 240

Tenants Who Harass or Intimidate Neighbors 241

When the Apartment Is Wrecked 242

Tenants Who Get Behind in Rent 243

What If Drugs Are Suspected? 245

What You Should Never Do 247

Incentives for Difficult Tenants 248

21 Handling Evictions 249

The Procedure for Evicting Tenants 250

Drug Evictions 252

Going to Court 253

Do You Need a Lawyer? 255

How to Avoid Legal Hassles 255

What If They File for Bankruptcy? 257

When They Abandon Property 257

22 Keeping Good Tenants 259

Think of Them as Your Customers 260

Stay Professional at All Times 262

Be Personable, but Not Personal 263

Respect Their Privacy 264

Answer Phone Messages Promptly 265

Be Responsive When Repairs Are Needed 267

Schedule Periodic Upkeep and Maintenance 268

A Good Reputation Is Worth It 268

Appendix A Resources 269

Appendix B Sample Forms and Worksheets 273

Index 287

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