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How to Find the Right Rental Lease for Your Landlording Business

In the late 1920s, President Coolidge invited some friends to dine with him at the White House.

Not wanting to make fools of themselves and unsure of the proper etiquette for dining in such a setting, the friends decided to simply copy exactly what the President did at the table. The meal was served and the President took a bite, as did his friends. The President then took a drink, as did his friends. Then, the President poured some milk into a saucer, followed by some sugar. The friends did likewise with their own saucer. Then the President picked up the saucer, leaned over, and placed it on the floor… for the cat. (Source: The Speaker’s Quote Book)

As the President’s friends in the above story illustrate, sometimes imitation can be helpful in an unknown setting, but oftentimes it can make the imitator look like a fool! This is the case when a person simply copies another lease they picked up to use for their investments. Perhaps you’ll be fine, but should the case arise where you need to use the lease for a big legal situation, the wrong lease could also cost you a lot of money.

Related: 5 Legitimate Reasons to Allow a Tenant to Break Their Lease

Why the RIGHT Lease Matters

A common mistake made by many new landlords is to go online and simply Google “Free Rental Lease” and see what comes up. Typically, they’ll print off whatever pops up and try to use it for their rental.

The problem with this, of course, should be obvious: you have no idea if that lease you found is legal and valid. A lease drawn up by a lawyer in one state might be totally different than a lease drawn up in another. Every state, and even many cities, have specific laws that govern what is and is not legal in a rental agreement. Plus, the laws change all the time, so a lease that worked last year might not work this year.

Sure, if you never have a problem with your tenant, that lease you found on Google might be fine, but we don’t use lease agreements to prepare for the good times, we use lease agreements to prepare for the bad!

What happens when you try to evict your tenant and you realize the lease has a provision that is not allowed in your state that delays or messes up the eviction process? What if your tenant tries to sue you because something in that lease was not legal in your state or city? These are real possibilities if you are using a boilerplate lease.

So where should you look for a good, legal rental lease agreement? Here are a few places…

How to Find a Lease Agreement

The following are 3 places you can find a lease agreement.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

Contractors are difficult to deal with.

It’s just the nature of the beast.

But if you are a landlord, or any kind of real estate investor, dealing with those in the construction trade is part of daily life. This is especially true for landlords, like myself, who choose to invest in fixer-upper rentals to gain that extra equity push. (See How to Make $100,000 Per Year with Fixer-Upper Rental Properties for more info on this “BRRRR” strategy.)

But how do you start?  How do you know they aren’t ripping you off? How to do you decrease the stress and make the process streamlined?

The truth is, there is no perfect system. But hopefully these eight tips can help.

RelatedThe Ultimate Guide to Finding an Incredible Contractor

8 Tips for Managing Contractors and Handymen

1. When to Use Bids vs. Hourly Pay

Larger jobs tend to work better by “bid” where smaller jobs tend to work better by “hourly” pay, but there is no hard and fast rule for either. Some contractors prefer one method over another, but it’s usually negotiable.

(Click to read on BiggerPockets…)

5 Powerful Books That Changed the Direction of My Life

(I wrote this post originally for, and they have been gracious enough to let me repost it here for the BiggerPockets audience. Here’s the original.) 

Quiz time: Can you name Newton’s first law of motion?

No? (Don’t feel bad, I had to look it up, too.)

Newton declared, “Every object in a state of uniform motion tends to remain in that state of motion unless an external force is applied to it.”

In other words, if you are flying in the International Space Station and toss an apple out the window (come on, use your imagination), it will keep going in that same direction forever, unless something stops it (like a planet, gravity or alien life form).

Although Newton was talking about physics, little did he know he was also describing life.

People tend to move in the same direction as they always have unless some external force is applied. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want my life to be lived in a straight line. I want to change, to improve, to crush it.

This is why I read.

A book is a powerful external force that can completely knock your life off its mundane straight line and change everything about who you are. The following are five books that did just that in my life.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The Five “C’s” of a Perfect Loan Proposal

One of my favorite songs as a child up was “C is For Cookie, It’s Good Enough For Me.”

Yes, I’m talking about the Cookie Monster song from Sesame Street. That song could get stuck in my head for hours, and I would annoy the rest of my family as I ran around the house singing it. “C IS FOR COOKIE, IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!”

(You are welcome for getting it stuck in your head for the rest of the day. Carry on.)

But today, although I’m now hungry for a chocolate chip cookie, I don’t want to talk about sweets; I want to talk about loans.

I know, bummer.

But trust me, loans might not be as delicious as cookies, but they’ll serve you better in the long run. When you hear that sweet ‘ol “yes” from the bank, you’ll be able to buy as many cookies as you like.

So today we’re going to sing a new song. C is no longer for “cookie.” C is now for loan acceptance. And we’re not just going to talk about one “C,” we’re going to talk about the “five C’s” of a perfect loan presentation.

Want to hear your lender say yes? Then start incorporating these five C’s in your loan requests.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

The Five Success Principles of Rental Property Investing

Uncle Ben once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

Although he may have been giving Spiderman advice on kicking the backsides of bad guys, the same principle applies to real estate investors.

You stumbled upon something incredibly powerful when you decided to get into real estate investing. Most of your family and friends will never flip the switch in their heads to take control of their financial destiny. In much of the world, even those who know about the power of real estate couldn’t do anything about it.

But you… you are incredibly blessed with great power, which means you’ve got some responsibilities now. Now, maybe you don’t feel you are “successful” yet, but that’s okay. If you cultivate these habits now, they can help you develop into the kind of investor who is successful. Fake it till you make it, right?

The following are the five responsibilities, or principles, that every rental property owner must adhere to for the rest of their investing life to maintain continual success.

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)

How to Make $100,000 with Fixer Upper Rental Properties

Some people work so hard to make money in real estate. They flip dozens of homes, deal with hundreds of tenants, and are always trying to put out a fire somewhere.

Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it?

But what if I told you that you that within five years you could be making $100,000 annually from just two real estate transactions per year? Sound too good to be true?

Today I want to teach you about the BRRRR strategy and the power it can have in your real estate investing. I’ll also be walking you through a step by step plan for making $100,000 per year using this powerful investing plan.

What is BRRRR?

BRRRR is an acronymn for a popular investment strategy that, until now, hasn’t been given a name. So, I decided to name it! BRRRR stands for:

(click to continue reading on BiggerPockets)