I thought it would be helpful to create a resource page that you can always come to for all of your landlord needs. I’ll add to it as I learn more, but you’ll notice that I will reference these resources quite often. I recommend bookmarking it for your reference and convenience. Enjoy!
Disclosure: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase. Please understand that I have experience with all of these companies, and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something. Please do not spend any money on these products unless you feel you need them or that they will help you achieve your goals.
Tools For Tenants
EZ Landlord Forms: State specific landlord forms. Create a custom tenant rental/lease agreement that includes all of your state’s legally required disclosures and addenda. You can download general forms for free, but you’re leaving yourself exposed by not having the state specific parts.
TransUnion SmartMove: Tenant screening that includes credit and background checks. My favorite feature is that you can have your applicants pay directly. That why I don’t have to handle any money during the application process. I also like that the credit check gives you their score and TransUnion’s full credit report.
LegalZoom: Get affordable legal advice whenever you need it. LegalZoom can provide an attorney that knows your state’s law to review contracts before you sign them and/or help you set up legal entities for your real estate holdings. Once you get bigger, you’ll want someone local you can talk to (and afford), but some much of what happens in real estate is standard that there’s no reason to pay extra.
AllState Insurance: In addition to home insurance, AllState offers “Landlord Insurance” which has to benefits above and beyond regular home insurance. First, if your property becomes uninhabitable, AllState pays you the rental income you would have received from your tenants for as long as it takes to replace or repair your rental unit (up to 12 months). It also includes liability protection by paying for legal counsel, fees and any damages that you have to pay (assuming it’s covered, of course). They also offer renter’s insurance which each of your tenants should have.
The Go-Giver: A Little Story About a Powerful Business Idea: A quick read in the form of a short story that offers a business person’s interpretation of the old adage ‘give and you shall receive.’ As landlords, it’s important to remember why we’re investing in real estate: it’s to help people, and not just squeeze every last dollar out of a property. This books serves as a fun reminder.
Landlording: A Handymanual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves: This book is a complete guide covering all aspects of landlording. The best use for this book is to skim all the headlines to find out what’s in the book. Then use it as a reference when the need arises. It’s a little old school, but the principles are solid.
Landlording on Auto-Pilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches: Mike Butler managed 75 rental properties while working full-time as a police detective before he hired any part-time help. This book, goes into the systems he created to be massively productive. One if his key insights: treat tenants like employees. How would you screen and train an employee before handing them the keys to your property? How would you reward them for “good behavior”? That was a “light bulb” moment for me.
The Book on Estimating Rehab Costs: This is another great reference which takes you through the costs, and things to consider, for many real estate projects.