Newby Landlord looking for all needed forms

19 Replies

Hey all,

I've been researching and reading quite a bit about how to become a successful Landlord. I'm trying to find a place that I can download (preferably free) all the needed forms. So far I have a lease agreement, an application (but not too crazy about it) and a denial letter. What other forms would I need and any recomendations on where to download them.

Thanks!

Joe 

See if you can connect with other landlords in your area for forms.  Sometimes they're not free, they may run you a small fee (in my area that's like $40) but it's also a business expense so it's deductible. (Check with your accountant to verify 100%.)

Joe, watch out, because the forms vary by state and even county.  If you join the local real estate group they usually provide all the forms you need with the joining fee.  Don't use the Office Max forms, they aren't good.  NOLO is a good source, as are many other landlording books with ideas.  You'll also want to think about finding/developing a co-sign agreement, holding deposit agreement, notices when things go wrong, termination, and maybe interview questions when calling to verify references.

I would suggest a move in /move out checklist to verify the condition of the property. 

Also if the house was built pre 1978 you need to do a lead disclosure form. Probably available on the HUD website.

Check the FilePlace here on BP under the resources tab above.

Thank you for all the suggestions! I will use the mentioned resources to find some of the forms. Has anyone had experience with either of these sites:

http://www.thelpa.com/lpa/forms.html

or 

MrLandlord.com 

Are they reputable?

Originally posted by @Ned Carey:

I would suggest a move in /move out checklist to verify the condition of the property. 

Also if the house was built pre 1978 you need to do a lead disclosure form. Probably available on the HUD website.

Check the FilePlace here on BP under the resources tab above.

 Hey Ned, I agree those are definitely important ones! 

Regarding the lead disclosure form, I just need to select which applies to my property. For example; That I am unaware of any lead based paints in the home. I don't have to actually have the property tested for lead paint and share the test report, do I?

You asked about The Landlord Protection Agency and Mr. Landlord; I think both offer some good information and materials.  I never cared much for Nolo products.  Mostly, I follow good examples I've received from my local rental association, or borrowed ideas from other landlords with whom I network or create my own materials.  It is important the documents are in compliance with landlord-tenant law for the jurisdiction governing your rental properties.

In addition to the Lead-based paint disclosure form, for every property you will also need a disclosure about Mold & Moisture.  You can find the Mold & Moisture In Your Home booklet on the epa.gov website.

You need to get a few really good books about landlording also.  They will have examples and will teach you most of what you need to know.  My first book was "Landlording" by Leigh Robinson.  It is still one of my favorite books.

Originally posted by @Ned Carey:

No you have no obligation to test. If you don't test it, you will have no knowledge of lead. 

I almost mentioned MR landlord. His stuff is very good.

 Thanks again for your help Ned!

Originally posted by @Marcia Maynard:

You asked about The Landlord Protection Agency and Mr. Landlord; I think both offer some good information and materials.  I never cared much for Nolo products.  Mostly, I follow good examples I've received from my local rental association, or borrowed ideas from other landlords with whom I network or create my own materials.  It is important the documents are in compliance with landlord-tenant law for the jurisdiction governing your rental properties.

In addition to the Lead-based paint disclosure form, for every property you will also need a disclosure about Mold & Moisture.  You can find the Mold & Moisture In Your Home booklet on the epa.gov website.

You need to get a few really good books about landlording also.  They will have examples and will teach you most of what you need to know.  My first book was "Landlording" by Leigh Robinson.  It is still one of my favorite books.

 Hi Marcia, thank you for your comment and suggestions! I plan to buy that book and getting the Mold & Moisture booklet from the link you attached. Besides this site, I really don't know many Landlords, at least ones that have good info or forms to share. The ones I know seem to be doing it VERY basically and probably not the right way. Joining this forum has already proved very useful for me, thanks to you all.

Very good point about complying with local laws. This can all be pretty overwhelming trying to get everything in order correctly! Any suggestions on how to find out exactly what my local ordinances are?

Joe,

There must be a Pennsylvania Landlords Association like the one here in Washington. Very good help. Might also want to check into NARPM National Association of Property Managers. These are the reputable groups I use here in Washington.

Personally, I would not use a service with flashy colored gimicky banners. The service may turn out good, but in my opinion, a professional website should be that...professional. If the website looks like a used car lot, I have a hard time believing their content.

Anthony Giannette, Real Estate Agent in WA (#116507)

Hi Joe,

I found my rental forms through the public library database subscriptions. I looked up the library in your area  (Helen Kate Furness Free Library)  and clicked on " Online Databases" on the left side of the home page.  It will take you to the Delaware County Library page -- look for legal forms-- check it out. When I was getting ready to rent out my house,  I looked at as many forms as I could get my hands on. I looked for forms that said what I wanted them to say and were state applicable. It turned out that my local public library pays for access to various databases and they are available for FREE to anyone who has a library card (your taxes are paying for the library, might as well use it).  Personally, I like forms that are written in plain English, say what I want them to say, I want them to make sense and don't have silly provisions like putting in all new light bulbs when they move. I want forms that I can understand but more important, forms that the renters can understand.  After we go over the forms, I want the renters to be clear on their responsibilities are as well as  mine. Good luck. Let us know where you found the forms that you decide to use.

Originally posted by @Anthony Giannette:

Joe,

There must be a Pennsylvania Landlords Association like the one here in Washington. Very good help. Might also want to check into NARPM National Association of Property Managers. These are the reputable groups I use here in Washington.

Personally, I would not use a service with flashy colored gimicky banners. The service may turn out good, but in my opinion, a professional website should be that...professional. If the website looks like a used car lot, I have a hard time believing their content.

I have tried looking up Pennsylvania Landlords Association and all types of sites show up and it's hard to tell what is legit and which just want your money. Thanks for your suggestion with NARPM, I'll look more into them and property managers but I'll probably just do it myself beings I don't have any room to spare to pay them their fee's at this point. 

Originally posted by @Joe DeSimone:
Originally posted by @Ned Carey:

I would suggest a move in /move out checklist to verify the condition of the property. 

Also if the house was built pre 1978 you need to do a lead disclosure form. Probably available on the HUD website.

Check the FilePlace here on BP under the resources tab above.

 Hey Ned, I agree those are definitely important ones! 

Regarding the lead disclosure form, I just need to select which applies to my property. For example; That I am unaware of any lead based paints in the home. I don't have to actually have the property tested for lead paint and share the test report, do I?

If your property is within the City of Philadelphia, you will have to comply with the city's lead disclosure requirements. And the city requires you give tenants a document called something like partners for good housing. And if your tenant has children below a certain age, a lead dust test might be required. 

some PA landlord associations:

PROA

HAPCO

AAGP

And DIG is a REIA in SE PA where you will find many landlords.

Thanks Steve! Also, I'm outside the city in sthe suburbs.

Originally posted by @Susan Pompea:

Hi Joe,

I found my rental forms through the public library database subscriptions. I looked up the library in your area  (Helen Kate Furness Free Library)  and clicked on " Online Databases" on the left side of the home page.  It will take you to the Delaware County Library page -- look for legal forms-- check it out. When I was getting ready to rent out my house,  I looked at as many forms as I could get my hands on. I looked for forms that said what I wanted them to say and were state applicable. It turned out that my local public library pays for access to various databases and they are available for FREE to anyone who has a library card (your taxes are paying for the library, might as well use it).  Personally, I like forms that are written in plain English, say what I want them to say, I want them to make sense and don't have silly provisions like putting in all new light bulbs when they move. I want forms that I can understand but more important, forms that the renters can understand.  After we go over the forms, I want the renters to be clear on their responsibilities are as well as  mine. Good luck. Let us know where you found the forms that you decide to use.

 What a fantastic idea Susan, thank you very much for going out of your way to look into that for me! I actually called and they said that once I'm a member I will have access to many free real estate forms. I'll be heading there tonight, thanks again!

Hi Joe,

I'm not a landlord, but having listened to a fair number of podcasts involving landlording, one common theme has to do with being very clear up front (probably in both the contract and when you meet with them) what the various parties' responsibilities are.  Some examples I heard were things like:

- What constitutes an emergency (meaning you can be contacted outside of business hours), and what does not.  

- What your business hours are

- If they clog the toilet, perhaps they should be responsible for plunging it

take a look at neato landlord forms.  i've downloaded 130 forms for only $29.  so far I think i have everything i need to manage my properties.  www.neatolandlordforms.com

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