I’ve put together a bunch of things that I think new landlords will find useful as they begin their rental property journey.
USEFUL ITEMS FOR A NEW LANDLORD
I talk about this a lot as it’s really made my life easier over the years. Even putting just one on the front door of your rental property will save you (and your tenants) the huge inconvenience of lost or forgotten keys. Before this, I used to hide a key at the property and then not tell the tenant about it until the first time they needed it. That was effective but I still had the added expense of changing locks between tenants. Keyless entry is not a very big expense in the beginning and easily pays for itself over time as it’s a one time set up and easy to change the code. This is the one I use and like. It’s not too expensive and works very well.
The keyless entry lock comes with a starter D battery and it lasts a long time. These would be extras to have on hand.
Combination Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Detector
Keep your tenants safe and secure.
The smoke/carbon monoxide detector comes with starter AA batteries. These would be extras to have on hand.
I leave a Tenant Binder at all of my properties. It includes things like my contact information, items I want to remind them about the house, expectations while they live there, move out policies etc. Take a picture of the house, write the address underneath and slip that into the plastic on the front of the binder and voila – tenant binder for each property.
Portable File Box
Don’t have a filing cabinet? That’s okay. I find these file boxes even better because I can use one per property. This can hold all the information about your Rental Property – purchase documents, mortgage documents, lawyer documents, insurance papers, tenant information etc etc. It doesn’t take long to fill. Eventually there will be no need for this as everything will be digital but for now – the paperwork involved in buying and managing a rental property is extensive and it’s good to stay organized.
To go in your Portable File Box.
You can use a different color for each property.
Because everyone wants a good pen, right?
I use this for everything. I originally got it to label all my folders for my rental property and now pretty much my whole life is labelled. I have a Dymo and it’s not as nice as this one (mine’s old and I can’t even find it on Amazon to recommend it) but this one looks just as simple to use. And it has 3 extra tape cartridges so…BONUS.
BOOKS I RECOMMEND
I love to read and I love to go to Chapters to find a new book. I have a library full of financial, real estate, writing, self improvement and success books. Here are some of my personal favorites with a brief description of why I think they’re so wonderful.
The Wealthy Barber – This was one of the first books I ever read about personal finance and it’s always stayed with me because it offers such simple solutions to make financial independence possible. It includes things like The Ten Percent Solution (fun money for retirement), Wills and Life Insurance, Planning for Retirement, Real Estate Investment, Saving, and Taxes. The best thing about it is that it is told as a story which makes it an enjoyable read.
The Automatic Millionaire – This book is great for novice investors and there’s many more in his series. It describes how to make all of your saving and investing “automatic”. Basically, if you invest what’s “left over” at the end of the month, you’ll never get anywhere because there’s rarely anything left over. Once your payments, savings and investing are on autopilot, the important things are paid for first and after a while you don’t even notice (except that you’re getting richer).
Building Wealth With Inner City Rentals – This book was written by a friend of mine. Al Williamson shows landlords how they can revitalize a troubled neighborhood and in turn, increase their cash flow, property values and quality of tenants. It describes the process as well as a detailed description of all the steps to take.