I hate landlording.  There, I said it.

Instead of answering a call from a lady with an overflowing toilet on Saturday night at 10pm, I’d rather be in Sorrento, Italy overlooking the Bay of Naples, gazing upon Mount Vesuvius, and sipping a pinot grigio in a blossoming lemon grove while I wait for my pan-sauteed grouper to arrive. If you are not familiar with Sorrento, please google the phrase “rick steves sorrento italy video” and watch the YouTube. Marjorie and I have vacationed there, on three separate occasions, and hope to return in the next 12 months.

But for me, landlording is a means to an end.  (Sorrento is the end!)

I must begin by asking you this question:  Are you mentally and emotionally able to handle the challenges of being a landlord?  

Managing rental real estate is not an investment, it’s a business.  

Owning 100 shares of Coca-Cola stock is an investment; successfully managing a piece of rental property is a business.  

Unless you are prepared to treat your management obligation as a business, you should decline from the very beginning.  The system I will present to you works almost like magic.  It minimizes the headaches and hassles of dealing with tenants, but it requires that you treat it seriously.  

If you can’t approach landlording as a business, you shouldn’t start in the first place.

One alternative, of course, is to hire a management firm to handle your rental property for you.  There are, in fact, many fine management firms from which to choose, but they are simply going to make the same decisions you would make (if you are lucky), and pass the costs on to you.  Also, keep in mind that the rental or management commission may run from 5 to 15 percent of the gross revenue, plus other fees and maintenance expenses. 

Depending on your debt service, that amount can and often does make the difference between a property that pays for itself and one that does not.

Another good reason to manage your house yourself is that it forces you to keep an eye on things.  Remember that this is probably one of the largest investments you will ever own.  A third party manager may be responsible for looking after 100 or more houses, but you can focus on just yours.  I really think it’s worth spending a little of your own time, just to make sure things are running along right.

If your rental produces a profit every month after expenses, it is said to have “positive cash flow.”  A property that pays for itself on a monthly basis with nothing left over is said to have “break even cash flow,” while one that consistently loses money month after month is called an alligator.  It’s called an alligator because it can eat you alive unless you feed it every month.  

While it is beyond the scope of this book to help you analyze your property as an investment, I can help you minimize your expenses every month.  One of those expenses that I think you don’t need to pay is a management fee.  

In this book, you will find a do-it-yourself system of property management that works.  Not only does it work, it complies with Georgia Law (for the most part).  

Most landlording books I have seen are NATIONALLY GENERIC in nature and ignore the fact that we have laws in this state (and every state) requiring you to follow specific procedures.  

This book has been written explicitly with these regulations in mind and even provides you with a complete copy of Title 44, Georgia Code on Landlord Tenant Law.  The text and forms have been designed to help assure that you will remain in compliance with the laws of the State of Georgia and at the same time be as successful as possible in the rental real estate business.

PLEASE REMEMBER THAT MOST OF THE FORMS and SUPPLEMENTAL INFORMATION FOR THIS BOOK IS POSTED IN THE MEMBERS AREA ON THE WEBSITE.  You become a member on the day that you purchase this book and your membership lasts exactly one year, just like a magazine subscription.

While this book and this program have been reviewed by attorneys who are specialists in Georgia landlord tenant litigation, we can not and do not guarantee these forms and procedures will comply with Georgia Law in your specific situation(s).  I do know that it works for me, and I recommend it for your consideration.

We are governed by federal, state and local laws, which change regularly.  In addition, we are controlled by court interpretations of those same laws, which may or may not reflect the original intentions of the legislative body which passed them or the executive authority who chose to not veto them.

Also know that the Georgia legislature may change the law at almost any time, and that any particular judge (or an attorney general) may make a specific ruling that may affect the law at any time.  I know that this complicates matters, but it is simply one of the challenges involved.  Hey, if this were easy, everybody would be doing it.

I will continue to produce new editions of this book and the Killer Lease on at least an annual basis as long as I am able to do so.  Additionally, I will make changes to the book, forms, and lease on an as-needed basis.  It will behoove the reader to check the members area of the website to make sure you are using the most recent version of that form or lease.