Chapter 1.0

About two of three households in the US are owned by someone who lives there.  The remaining one in three is a rental of one sort or the other.  Many of those who rent have the financial capacity to own, but have chosen to rent instead.  And because this is still a free country, we get to make our own decision on where we want to live.

The Home Ownership rate of the US has remained between 65% and 70% for many years.  And while we might decide that a higher rate of ownership might be desirable, getting there is not easy.  With each percentage point increase in the rate, we are left with a pool of increasingly difficult applicants.  In many cases, they choose to not own for personal reasons.  Others may simply prefer the decreased responsibilities of renting.  And that’s fine.

The Home Ownership Rate of the United States is an estimate of the percentage of households in which the owner of that home resides.  Attempts by government to raise that rate, especially among minorities, were a key part of creating the conditions which led directly to the Great Recession.

The Great Recession, one of the worst economic declines in US history, officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009. The collapse of the housing market — fueled by low interest rates, easy credit, insufficient regulation, and toxic subprime mortgages — led to the economic crisis.

My point in this historical review is this:  there will ALWAYS be a substantial part of the US population who, for whatever reason, want or need to rent the place where they live.

If you are in the business of offering clean, decent, affordable housing, you need to know that there will always be a market for this sort of real estate.  People have to have a place to live, and no one trains them in how to take care of their house and pay their bills on time.  

As a landlord, that is YOUR JOB. So let’s talk about that job.

If you own rental real estate or are considering owning real estate, this book is for you.  No matter how you came to this moment, the information in this book will be vital to the ultimate success of your venture into real estate investment and property management.

In this book, I will share with you a system of rental management that works.  I know that it works because I have practiced it myself since 1974. It is the product of more than forty-five years of serious mistakes, and I just don’t see any reason why you should make the same mistakes I made.

I do encourage you to read the book from cover to cover, because the system works best when it is implemented AS A SYSTEM.  Yes, you can print out a copy of the lease and use it today, but you will miss many of the most important benefits of the system if you do.  

Also, don’t forget that all the forms I talk about in this book are available digitally on my website.  That format allows you to pull that form into your favorite word processor to customize it for your own use.  

Keep in mind that this book is copyrighted material.  You are granted a license to use this lease on properties you own or manage ONLY.  If a friend or neighbor wants to use any of this material, they must buy their own copy.  (Otherwise they are stealing.)

I place a value on the information in this book like this:

Based on my experience, I sincerely believe that an investor or Realtor or Property Manager or Attorney who reads this book and uses my suggestions will end up keeping approximately one additional month’s rent per year per property. That additional income derives from many sources: rent, lack of damages, adherence to lease, lack of turnover, lack of unexpected vacancy, to name just a few. But they all total up to at least one month’s rent per year. 

At this writing, I believe the average rent for a two bedroom home in metro Atlanta is about $1,550 maybe more, maybe less, depending on multiple factors.
But if owning, reading, and utilizing this program can put you ahead of the game one months rent per year, then you have made a great investment!