What’s a new landlord to do?

I got an email the other day from someone I’m helping buy an apartment building. We’re at the stage in the process where we’ve gone from the theoretical work of modeling out different acquisition opportunities to the practical work of getting her in a position to start actually leasing out units.

Reality has set in: In a few days she’s (hopefully) going to be the proud owner of an empty building and needing to find, vet and sign up tenants to pay her mortgage. This can be a pretty daunting moment for a new landlord.

Fortunately, in Los Angeles, there’s help. I strongly recommend that any new landlord join the Apartment Association of Greater Los Angeles (AAGLA).

In addition to their advocacy work on behalf of owners (necessary work in a city full of tenants), AAGLA also provides education, services and legal forms (applications, leases, etc.) for landlords.

When you buy an apartment building, you are doing a leveraged buy-out on a small business. It’s not rocket science, but things can go wrong. So, if you’re new at it, do yourself a favor and get educated.