Web Reviews: Become a Landlord
Web Reviews: Become a Landlord
Owning and managing rental properties can yield profits for you today and form an essential part of your retirement strategy for tomorrow. But rental ownership presents new challenges, from tenant screening to property maintenance. Landlord.com can help you navigate these obstacles, whether you are about to invest in your first property or want to perfect your management skills for buildings you already own. The site provides resources on acquiring, owning, and managing investment properties.
If you’re just beginning your career as a landlord, you’ll probably want to research the laws regarding rental properties. The “Landlord Law” feature is a great time-saver for finding relevant legal information for your area online. It links you to state government agency sites, where you can browse property rental codes and statues. Simply click on the U.S. map to find information in your state. The amount of information differs by state; most offer state-wide statues, while others include county and city landlord/tenant laws and additional information on property management from universities and other educational sources. You can also request further information from state and local apartment associations. The site supplies contact numbers for these groups through the “Apt. Associations” link. Another section, the “e-Forms Center” features free forms, checklists, and letters including a lease renewal agreement, a security deposit checklist, and a smoke detector agreement. To access these forms, which are saved in PDF format, you must fill out a free registration.
Both new and experiences landlords can benefit from the site’s “Info Central” section, which collects the site’s original articles on rental properties. Subjects span management issues, from “The 21st Century Landlord as a Cop,” which explores liability issues, to “You and Your Cockroach,” which details ways to control creepy crawlies. The section also picks up articles from other sites; its “Top Internet Picks” compiles eight articles a week from real estate news sources, such as Realty Times and Inman News. Still hungry for more real estate news? Return to the homepage, and click on the “The Landlord Daily News” for additional real estate news links. Finally, the site’s bookstore provides recommended reading on landlord law, creating wealth, and legal forms.
Other sections allow you to learn from others’ experiences as landlords. Select the “Forum/Discussion” link to access Landlord.com's message board, where you can communicate with other users on topics such as collecting rent from problem tenants and checking out tenants past credit histories, as well as general advice on investing in real estate. Additionally, you can pose questions to the Landlord.com’s staff through the “Ask the Experts” feature; the staff will either answer your question via e-mail or post it online. Each week the site selects the most interesting questions and posts them on the site. You must fill out a short form to submit a question.
The site also links to other services beneficial to landlords. For instance, the “Find a Contractor” and “Find a Handyman” links both put you in touch with site partner ImproveNet.com, which provides a searchable directory of home improvement specialists. Other links, such as “Collect Rent” and “Screen Tenants” provide directories for collection agencies and tenant screening agencies, respectively. You can also “Advertise a Vacancy” with the site’s list of nearly 300 local, regional, and national apartment and rental property locator companies.
Real estate ownership and investing can present you with a profitable sideline that can become a full-time job when you’re ready to leave real estate sales. With Landlord.com, you can make sure you understand the complexities of the business before you get involved, giving you a better chance of success.
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