by Roger Clist
Books on property investment fill a shelf in a good bookshop. I’ve bought most of them, and usually read them from cover to cover to expand my knowledge of the topic. If I glean even just one tip which improves my skills as a landlord and retirement-planning investor, my purchase is worthwhile. However, many books leave me disappointed. Some seem rushed into print, have shallow coverage, repetition, lots of one-sentence paragraphs, and fill out the space with check lists. Very few major on landlording for the long haul.
This book aims to fill that gap, and do so in a concise, readable way.
It is number one of a two-volume set. It concentrates on the management aspects of running rental properties, while its companion Mr Landlord, Mr Fix-it addresses maintenance issues.
Working Landlord, Happy Tenants discusses the types of rental property, ownership structures, how to go about letting properties, managing tenancies, setting up your systems, landlord accounting, how to clean a place for letting, and other useful tips.
All good material for working landlords.
But “working” has two meanings!
Firstly, this book is for men and women who are working in full-time or part-time jobs, and who have rental investments as a side-line.
But secondly, it is also for people who are workers, that is, prepared to roll up their sleeves and put some effort into their properties. For them, the rental side-line is more than a hobby, it is a business from which they expect a reward.
And what are the rewards?
Happy tenants. Tenants who pay their rent and who stay with you long term. You build relationships. They are your clients. In return, you gain stability with minimal vacancy rate and maximal return.
This is your dream. In practice it’s rarely like that. Sometimes it’s real heartache. You get caught out by tenants with glowing references who turn out to be bad news. You wish they were someone else’s problem. But for the time being, they’re your problem. How do you handle this situation?
Read on. If you are an owner-manager of one or more rental properties, or aspire to be in this position, you’ve got a vested interest—your lifestyle in retirement may well depend on the effort you’re putting in now. You can’t wind the clock back, so try to get it right first time. Maybe you’ll find some good tips here.
While describing the situation as it exists in New Zealand, readers from other countries will easily relate to much of the discussion and gain useful ideas. In many ways, management of residential property is much the same wherever you live. There’s nothing unique about human nature in this part of the world, but some of the practices are necessarily specific to the laws of the country of operation.
This book is written from experience. It covers the practical aspects of running residential tenancies, to help you keep your investment alive without driving yourself crazy or ruining your family life.
This book may offer advice on property, but does not seek to teach how to select an investment, nor does it discuss property speculation or development. This aspect is well covered by many other writers.
So ask yourself two questions. Am I working in a long-term primary job? And do I credit myself as a conscientious and hard worker?
If the answer to either is “yes”, great! I’ve written this book with exactly you in mind.
So if you’re into providing rental housing in a serious way, or thinking about doing so, then this book is for you.
Come on in!