Top 10 Books for Landlords

Written on September 28, 2012 by , updated on August 15, 2018

Gold slippeth away from the man who invests it in businesses or purposes with which he is not familiar or which are not approved by those who are skilled in its keep. – The Richest Man in Babylon

The Weekend Landlord: From Credit Checks and Leases to Necessary Repairs and Getting Paid!

The Weekend Landlord

Earn Extra Money! From Credit Checks to Eviction and Everything Else
By James Landon

This is one of my favorite landlording books because it takes a strong approach to building passive income. The overarching message is that Landlording is a business, and one that you can do successfully part-time. I whole-heartily agree and try to communicate a similar message on this website.

Every Landlord's Legal Guide

Every Landlord’s Legal Guide

By Janet Portman, Marcia Stewart, Ralph Warner

This book is very similar to First-Time Landlord, probably because it was mostly written by the same authors and published by Nolo.  However, it does 1-up the previous USA Today publication in that it provides a series of useful state-specific legal charts – detailing the different rules and regulations on a variety of topics.

First-Time Landlord: Your Guide to Renting out a Single-Family Home

First-Time Landlord

Your Guide to Renting out a Single-Family Home
By Janet Portman, Marcia Stewart, and Ilona Bray J.D.

Per the description: “For new rental property owners who are first-time landlords as a result of an inheritance, divorce, move to a new house, buying a duplex and renting out the extra unit, purchase for a family member (elderly parent or college student child), or buying a rental property house as an investment.Nolo (a leader in the Law industry) and the USA Today teamed up to produce this book, which gives it much credibility.

Landlording: A Handymanual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves


A Handymanual for Scrupulous Landlords and Landladies Who Do It Themselves
By Leigh Robinson

If there is only one book you purchase about landlording, this should be it.  The first edition was published in 1975, and it has been updated throughout the years. It has sold over 370,000 copies and is considered the “Landlord’s Bible” by many.  It details out the basic principles needed to succeed at landlording. My only complaint is that it still takes a “pen and paper” approach and has not kept up with technology – only briefly mentioning the tools and resources available on the web. Good thing I picked up the slack :)

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Making Money with Rental Properties, Second Edition

The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Making Money with Rental Properties

By Brian F. Edwards, Casey Edwards, and Susannah Craig

A simple summary: this book shows you how to bring in the big bucks!  Per the description: “From choosing a property and the right tenant to financing, maintenance, and how to get the greatest return on a rental investment, this guide is the most comprehensive and up-to-date book for anyone looking to profit from both residential and commercial rental properties.”  Mr. Edwards also wrote: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Being a Smart Landlord.

Buy It, Rent It, Profit!: Make Money as a Landlord in ANY Real Estate Market

Buy It, Rent It, Profit!

Make Money as a Landlord in ANY Real Estate Market
By Bryan M Chavis

Per the description: “With foreclosures skyrocketing, there’s never been a better time to buy rental property — and to hang on to it for long-term wealth building. Drawing on his ten years of experience managing and owning hundreds of rental properties, Bryan M. Chavis, founder of The Landlord Academy and Apartment Investment Advisors, shows how you can leverage as little as $10,000 into a lifelong stream of wealth using nothing more than good instincts, smart research, and a little elbow grease.

The Accidental Landlord

The Accidental Landlord

By Danielle Babb Ph.D. MBA

Danielle Babb helps “Accidental Landlords” make the most of their situation.  This book is for everyone who needs to move out of their home, but does not want to sell the property.  It teaches the critical basics to landlording, and how to jumpstart the rental process. Though I think it is an excellent resource, anyone interested in long-term landlording will need to learn more than this book has to offer.

Building Wealth with Inner City Rentals: Success the Catalytic Landlord Way

Building Wealth with Inner City Rentals: Success the Catalytic Landlord Way

By Al Williamson

The basic principle behind this ebook is that landlords who own property in troubled neighborhoods can increase their cash flow, property values, and quality of tenants by leading a campaign to improve the community around them. Al goes to great lengths to describe a very well thought out process of investing in inner city rentals, that will put cash into your pocket.

As with anything worth having in life, you have to put in effort. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and a community won’t turn around overnight. In this book, Al teaches you how to initiate and lead community revitalization effors, and then eventually hand over the responsibility to the tenants who live there. He calls this the “Catalytic Landlord” model, and it was really inspiring for me to read about his story and successes in Sacramento CA.

The Landlord's Troubleshooter: A Survival Guide for New Landlords

The Landlord’s Troubleshooter

A Survival Guide for New Landlords
By Robert Irwin

This book provides a cradle-to-grave approach to rental properties.  It will help you find the right property by analyzing the rental market. Then teach you how to find the right tenants, manage it, maintain it, and then sell it.  It is a very broad book, and at almost 300 pages, does provide a decent amount of detail for each task described.,

Landlording on Auto-Pilot: A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches

Landlording on Auto-Pilot

A Simple, No-Brainer System for Higher Profits and Fewer Headaches
By Mike Butler

One of the few foundational books that help you get started as a landlord. Mike describes the many processes that he used to manage 75 units while working full time. One trick that I learned is to select tenants that you can trust to handle repairs. If you make them meet with contractors, then you won’t have to run around town nearly as much.

Related Reading:

Being a great landlord means having other areas of your life figured out. These books have had a positive and direct impact on my life, spirit, marriage, and finances.

The more you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go. – Dr. Seuss, “I Can Read With My Eyes Shut!”

Did I Forget Any?

Use the comments below to recommend your favorite landlording books.

photo credit: demandaj, boltron-jesuscm via cc
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