How to be a landlord?
January 15, 2006 3:11 PM   Subscribe

Anybody know a good online landlord resource? Trying to find a good 'one stop shopping' site that will let me make leases, perform credit checks, etc, etc.

I'm renting out my basement apartment (for the 3rd time in a year). The first two tenants were deadbeats... in order to avoid any more nightmares I'm trying to make sure I do things right this time - the right lease, the right paperwork, the works!
posted by matty to Grab Bag (5 answers total)
Check out Mr. Landlord. They have a very helpful forum community as well and you can browse through the archives.
posted by Ostara at 4:17 PM on January 15, 2006

Best answer: Also, check out your local rental housing association. When I worked in property management in Boston, we used ours for standard RHA leases, trainings and other resources. They may charge a fee for membership. Ours charged $200, but I think it was worth it. You can also go to a local lawyer's stationary shop. They will usually have standard leases (that work with you district's laws) and other lawyerly forms.
You should shop around online for an organization that does credit checks and criminal background checks. It's been a while since I worked in the public market, but I remember the going rate being around $10-20 per check. I can't remember which company we used. The local RHA should have a standard 'application and authorization for background check' form for the applicant to complete.
If your property was built before 1978, you may want to look into lead-based paint forms (disclosing your knowledge/lack of knowledge of lead paint in your building.)
posted by sophie at 7:19 PM on January 15, 2006

Best answer: I just went through this. In order to let me out of my lease early, I agreed to find, screen, and recommend a new tenant for my out-of-state landlord. I did not want to become an expert, just get the bases covered.

I used Tenant Screening Credit (found doing a Google search) and was very happy. They do a range of credit/criminal checks. You charge the applicant the fee, so it doesn't cost anything. They were thorough and quick. I have no relationship with them, FYI.

They also have standard lease forms, pet addendums, etc. on their site, but they are for California. I ended up Googling for "Arizona lease form" and found a bunch of stuff on the web for free, which I then customized in a Word document as needed.

Let me just say, I now realize property management services earn their money. This process sucked. Good luck.
posted by Sorcia at 8:03 PM on January 15, 2006

Best answer: I've used Info Center for running credit checks on tenants, and been happy with the service.
posted by alms at 7:42 AM on January 16, 2006

Are there equivalent information resources for Canada, specifically Ontario? I don't intend on renting anything out just yet, but the information would be valuable.
posted by lowlife at 8:09 AM on January 16, 2006

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