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Landlording: A Handy Manual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves [Paperback]

Leigh Robinson , David Patton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Express Publishing (CA) (Oct 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0932956254
  • ISBN-13: 978-0932956255
  • Product Dimensions: 27.5 x 21.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,585,056 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Book by Robinson Leigh

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely must have! 19 Jun 1998
By A Customer
I first read an older edition of this from the library, and immediately ordered the current edition. If you are going to own only one book on being a landlord, this has to be the one. Very easy to read and understand, and every bit of advice is practical and do-able. Not a book on how to get rich in real estate, but how to get the most from rental property you own without going nuts, whether its a spare sleeping room or a 200 unit multiplex.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Rent without it!!!! 18 May 1998
By A Customer
This book is a "MUST HAVE" for anyone who would like to rent/lease their own property. The down to earth way the book is written makes each detail understandable. If all you get from the book is the forms i.e. Rental Application, Rental Agreement etc. your rental experience will be greatly improved. It seems each time I review the book I find another pricless nuggett.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The landlords bible!!!! 27 Nov 1997
By A Customer
This book is unquestionably the best everyday source of information for landlords. It is a treasure trove of throroughly practical information which will help property owners avoid a host of potentially serious problems, especially those that could end up in lawsuits by rentors.
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3.0 out of 5 stars bloated 22 Dec 1998
By A Customer
Author is getting out of touch with the landlord business and must be paid by the word. I have bought a couple editions and this last one is filled with fluff.
As a small landlord I am short of time, including reading time. Get to the point dear writer.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
231 of 231 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative, tons of information. 30 Jan 2003
By Kevin Stevens - Published on Amazon.com
I recently (within the past 6 months) acquired a rental property, and the book has helped me manage my properties better and had many many excellent tips. His advice is pretty candid- he tells you its ok to say no and be a little bit heavy handed. He has many anectodes as example scenarios to drive his points home. His main focus is on finding good tenants, and leases, as it should be, since they are the source of your revenue. In addition, he discusses many easily implementable ways to increase your profits, especially if you have multiple properties. The book tries to be the one book you will need to be a landlord, and achieves that goal. However, you may find that some of his discussions topics are overly long (IE dealing with pets, waterbeds) and some not long enough (IE legal/liability issues). It is on the issue of law that you will NEED another reference, but nothing short of an entire book or library of books will properly inform you of all the legal issues involved.
The cons of the book is that it seemed to be a bit overly long. For example there is about 20 pages of comic strips at the end of the book that I suppose are supposed to be humorous ways to convery things to your tenants (like paying rent) but I found them to be completely useless. The forms included are nice, but they would be far more useful if they were included on a CD. If you really want to be a better landlord, you would be far better off printing new forms w/ your name on them, and not distributing photocopies- This brings me to my next weakness. Some parts of the book push his other products a bit too much. He sells forms on CD ...and a program he wrote to manage properties ...and he mentions them a bit too much in the book for me to say that he is being completely objective. If he eliminated the 20 pages of comics and 30 pages of forms, it would have been quite cost effective for him to distribute all of those things on a CD. In addition, the chapter on computers could probably be omitted. The information was outdated on the first day of printing, bores those born since 1975 who have had to learn to use them, and on top of that does not really inform the target reader enough to the point where they could effectively use one. He should have raised the bar a little and targeted those already familiar w/ office suites on how to make useful databases, word processor templates of the forms, and advanced spreadsheets.
The book has a focus squarely on property management. Do not buy this book if you are looking for how to evaluate a property, or estimate cashflow. Landlording covers the ART of property management, not the science of analyzing the potential income of a property.
Do not let the negatives discourage you. I mention them because most Amazon reviews tend to all be "5 stars! this book was great!" Overall, this book is excellent, and the best I found at the bookstore on managing property. The book appears a little bit 'no frills' and does not have much shelf appeal( IE pretty layout and pictures), but the information contained inside is the invaluable experience of someone who has successfully managed over 200 properties.
138 of 140 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The absolute BEST, accept NO substitute! 26 Jan 2003
By Real Estate Investor - Published on Amazon.com
I just finished reading the 9th edition of Leigh Robinsons's super, excellent, definitive tome on being a Landlord or Landlady. I had bought and read his 3rd edition in 1981 and found that to be excellent. I have used the Rental Application form from that book hundred's if not thousands of times. That earlier edition is worn out the back is broken and the pages are dog eared. I was long over due for a new copy. There are many, many updates from the earlier version, and the book has grown from 270 pages to 494 pages! The latest edition has over 60 forms made and revised over the years by the author, a hand-on landlord himself.

This book is a tremendous value, filled to the gills and them some with useful, practical, down to earth advice from somebody who actually is a landlord. Leigh Robinson knows his stuff, there is no question about it. If you are currently a landlord/lady then you should run, or trot to your keyboard and order this book from Amazon.com. If you think you might want to become a landlord/lady then this book is recommended for you also.
One example contained in the book is having escrow accounts for the tenant's security deposits. I have personally used this for years even though not required by state law. The bank I use does not charge me anything to set up the escrow account with a separate sub-account for each tenant. Even people sharing one place have a separate individual sub-account with interest accruing to the tenant. Another example from the book is the landlord/lady's car. You can drive your Mercedes, Porsche, or BMW, just not to your rental properties. Personally I like a 1982 Cordoba, but a beat up car or pickup truck will do. The reason for this is many tenants think that all of their rent ends up in the landlord/lady's pocket. They forget about mortgage, taxes, insurance, utilities, repairs, supplies, etc.
The author recommends that no appliances be furnished. Usually for houses we don't provide any appliances except ranges, but supply refrigerators for apartments. Very rarely would we supply washer, dryer, air conditioners, etc. Leave that to the tenants, this reduces repair bills and responsibility. One owner that I talked to had a refrigerator fail and the tenant claimed that the owner was responsible for spoiled food.
Since then that landlord does not provide any tenant with a refrigerator, and therefore is not responsible if the appliance breaks or for food spoiled.
The author notes that 50% of tenants have pets and discusses at length the pros and cons of renting to the pet's owner. Coin operated laundry is also discussed with the author`s recommendation being that you only provide if there are 16 people or 12 bedrooms in the building. For smaller building than that it is not feasible to provide that to tenants. Leigh Robinson's recommendation on page 273 for wording on a section 8 lease could save thousands of dollars. In my opinion this book is invaluable and worth many more times the asking price. There is no better book on "Landlording" and I think I've read most of them. Buy it, enjoy it, use it, and profit from it.
33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A vital first book for optimizing success as a landlord 16 Oct 2001
By TRich15000@msn.com - Published on Amazon.com
This book was very thorough in dealing with the multitude of decisions a landlord has to make. Practically all small details and major concerns are addressed. The forms are of great value for the beginner who has none. One could learn from trial and error at some expence and head-ache or they could utilize this book to hit the ground running as they start landlording or just become better at it. The only draw back is that about 1/2% is subtley influenced by the laws and practices of California, paricularly the forms. But, this is not major at all, and can be overcome by learning your own state's statues on rental property. This book is not merely about landlord law but how to be a prosperous landlord. The landlording techniques for dealing with tenants makes this book invaluable! Overall, it is the most usefull book I have read on this subject.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best of the bunch... 1 Dec 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
I went to a physical bookstore and skimmed through several landlording books before settling on this one. (I paid (...) more than you can get it for here as a result.) Now I've finally finished reading it and found it to be an invaluable resource. I sell many of my real estate books after I'm through with them, but this one is staying on my shelf for a long time, to be used as a reference. There is SO MUCH information and SO MANY good ideas in this one, whether you are just starting out or are a seasoned pro. I guarantee you that you will make or save much more than the cost of the book just by implementing a few of his ideas. Seriously. I own about 30 units. I don't do any management myself because I use a professional property management firm. However, this book helps me know where my managers are doing a good job and where they aren't. And it gave me a lot of great ideas to pass onto them and/or insist they implement. In fact, I am going to buy another copy and give it to my managers (and hope they'll read it).
If you only buy one landlording manual, this should be the one.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Second Most Necessary One I Bought 9 Sep 2005
By A. De Paz - Published on Amazon.com
When contemplating purchasing my first rental, I bought this book as well as The Landlord's Kit by Taylor, Every Landlord's Legal Guide (Nolo), Every Landlord's Tax Deduction Guide (Nolo), and a legal guide specific to my state published by a local legal firm. The one specific to my state was the most necessesary but "Landlording: A Handy Manual..." was the one that I was able to really sink my teeth into. There is a lot of narrative belaboring a lot of the author's thinking, which I skimmed, but the book addresses all of the real issues I was going to be dealing with. I also thought the forms were, for the most part, practical and reasonable. Can't say the same about the Landlord's Kit by Taylor. That book was way too gimmicky and the forms were not formal enough for my taste. I would reccommend buying the Tax Deduction Guide by Nolo with Landlording - I read Landlording cover to cover and still feel I need an education on tax issues, which is where the 5th star went. For me the Nolo's Legal Guide wasn't too useful because I have a good state-specific guide. Do buy "Landlording" - none of the other books cover everything this book does and none of the others, including the great state specific law book I got, have the real, human, reasonable approach that really answers your questions like this one does.
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