Top positive review
24 people found this helpful
A Seasoned Landlord Recommends this Book (5 stars) / Forms (3 stars)
on October 14, 2009
I have been a hands-on landlord for 17 years and a specialty real estate lawyer for 11 years. It is from this perspective that I review "Leases & Rental Agreements".
If you are a new landlord or contemplating becoming a landlord, this is a good book to read and own.
Chapter 2: The lease agreements, written for a nationwide audience, are basic but a good start. I do like the way the authors break down each lease paragraph and explain the logic behind the language.
Chapter 3: Choosing Tenants: Your Most Important Decision. This chapter is well written and contains great information. My only complaint is that it only explains credit reports and doesn't give other options if the landlord is unable to obtain a credit report because the landlord can't qualify to pull credit reports. A paragraph or two on "social security traces" should have been included in this chapter.
Chapter 4: Getting the Tenant Moved in: Excellent & useful chapter.
Chapter 5: Changing or Ending a Tenancy: Excellent & useful chapter.
Appenix A: State Landlord-Tenant Law Charts: Nice information to compile into one book, but keep in mind that laws are not static. Be sure to keep yourself updated on your state & local landlord/tenant laws & case law. A good landlord's organization will be helpful in this area.
Appendix B: How to Use the Landlord Rental Forms/CD-ROM - not sure why this chapter is in the book since most people know how to open files that are on a CD
Appendix C: Tear Out Landlord Forms: Some forms are useful and some just are not practical at all. The forms are generally ok. The lead paint form & brochure are federal forms and available on-line in a pdf format. My biggest complaint is about the Rental Application Form. The rental application form is the form that you will use the most, and, at 5 pages long, it is just not practical to hand out to prospective tenants. Your local landlord organization is also a helpful resource for landlord forms.
All in all, this is a very good book for a new landlord or a landlord to be. I recommend the book mostly because it explains the language in the lease paragraphs & tells you why they are important. I cannot recommend all of the forms.