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Rental/Landlord Board&Suggestions for Beginner?
Old 07-12-2007, 06:21 PM   #1
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Rental/Landlord Board&Suggestions for Beginner?

Hello all,

Can anyone refer me to a site that deals with rental property owners?
But, I need to start w/ the basics. I don't know the lingo or the rules and I would love to read up on rental property, how to generate income and so on.

Currently, we own 1 piece of land with 3 plots. 1 has our existing house and the other 2 are buildable (as far as we know). We're in the very beginnning stages of deciding if our land is buildable as 1 plot with a multi-family or if it would be better to build a structure on each plot. I'd like to run some numbers. Luckily I alrady own the land. We need to do some more research about rent pricese in our area. But, I'd love to hear suggestions and/or stories from other rental property owners who have had success.
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:35 PM   #2
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This is a GREAT book on the subject:
Amazon.com: Landlording: A Handymanual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves: Books: Leigh Robinson
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Old 07-12-2007, 06:37 PM   #3
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In most areas there are landlord associations that offer classes. The advantage of those programs is that you also learn techniques to manage the issues that arise. Landlord - Tenant law is State / County / City specific.
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Old 07-12-2007, 08:14 PM   #4
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Welcome to MR LANDLORD for free rental forms, management software, real estate books and landlord advice to better manage and lease rental property.

Be forewarned, sometimes certain posters can be harsh in their replies. Try to read up on things as best you can first, so you can ask an educated question. The list's archives are very helpful, too.
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Old 07-12-2007, 10:32 PM   #5
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Do a lot of reading at Welcome to MR LANDLORD for free rental forms, management software, real estate books and landlord advice to better manage and lease rental property.. You will go into landlording with your eyes wide open...if you decide to do it after you understand the reality.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:02 AM   #6
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I agree with the other posters regarding the Landlording book and any of the books by Robinson. I also like John Reed (John T. Reed Publishing Home Page) and recommend his book "How to Get Started in Real Estate Investment." Be forewarned, Reed is brutally honest.

What I've learned over the past few years:
- Any landlord that does not do a credit check, background check, employment verification and reference check on an applicant is absolutely nuts. Obviously geography matters, but the single thing that surprised me the most about landlording has been the low quality of the applicant pool.

- In the vast majority of cases (not all), rental property in most US markets will not earn you out-sized returns versus other passive investment alternatives.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeb View Post
...What I've learned over the past few years:
- Any landlord that does not do a credit check, background check, employment verification and reference check on an applicant is absolutely nuts.

Obviously geography matters, but the single thing that surprised me the most about landlording has been the low quality of the applicant pool.

- In the vast majority of cases (not all), rental property in most US markets will not earn you out-sized returns versus other passive investment alternatives.
I am absolutely nuts.

Lots of bad fish out there. Enough good ones. Greed and eagerness to fill a vacancy is my biggest enemy.

Passive investment. Unearned income. Absolute hooey. Go into rental expecting it to be and treating it like a job and you will do well. Expect it to be like a savings account and you will get creamed.
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Old 07-13-2007, 12:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeb View Post
What I've learned over the past few years:
- Any landlord that does not do a credit check, background check, employment verification and reference check on an applicant is absolutely nuts. Obviously geography matters, but the single thing that surprised me the most about landlording has been the low quality of the applicant pool.
Never done a credit check!! What is a background check? You with the FBI? Employment verification? I do it but it really doesn't mean much. Most employers will only verify time/position/salary.....did they neglect to tell you they were issuing the pink slip tomorrow? Reference check?? I may call just to have a number if there would be a problem.

Know the landlord tenant laws and don't be afraid to enforce and abide by them. Rental properties return hundred of thousands of dollars per year on very small leveraged investment that I could never get anywhere else.
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Old 07-13-2007, 09:45 AM   #9
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A credit & eviction report is easy to do... surprisingly easy.
  1. A perspective tenant fills in an application with a signature giving you permission to check them out; also ask for a copy of last yrs W-2
  2. Once you have an account with these guys: National Credit Reporting - Tenant Screening, you call them with the tenants' name, last address, SS #.... and they fax you a report within minutes
  3. You read through it, see what they owe, compare to what they earn, and determine if they can afford you.
I don't think it has to be a full time job if you spell out in detail in the lease who's responsible for what. I go under-market and have the tenants do everything. When a hot water heater went out, they got 3 quotes, they took care of all logistics, they met with Sears, they (initially) paid them..... I, of course, had to reimburse for this, but I didn't have to deal with logistics.
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Old 07-13-2007, 02:24 PM   #10
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When I started out I used mrlandlord.com. They're some grouchy folks there but if your a lurker you can gain an immense amount of knowledge just by reading previous posts.
As another poster said, "treat it like a job and you'll make money" but "treat it like a savings account with kid gloves and you'll get creamed (if you're lucky)"
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