Landlord’s Legal Kit For Dummies

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About the Authors

Laurence C. Harmon, President of Harmon Law LLC, specializes in real estate law and provides extensive teaching, market research, and consulting on subjects related to multifamily housing, marketing, and management, with concentration in federal and state fair housing law. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history and marketing, cum laude, from Pomona College, Juris Doctorate (JD) with honors from the Stanford University School of Law, and the Certified Property Manager (CPM) designation from the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM).

He has published textbooks and numerous articles on marketing residential rental properties and resident retention, including Contemporary Apartment Marketing: Strategies and Applications (IREM, 1994); The Resident Retention Revolution (IREM, 1995); The Tenant Retention Solution (IREM, 1996); and Residential Marketing: The Science and the Magic (IREM, 2007). He can be contacted at

Robert S. Griswold, MBA, is the author of Property Management Kit for Dummies as well as the coauthor of Real Estate Investing For Dummies with Eric Tyson. He earned a bachelor’s degree and two master’s degrees in real estate and related fields from the University of Southern California’s Marshall School of Business. His professional real estate management and investing credentials include the Counselor of Real Estate (CRE), CPM, Accredited Residential Manager (ARM), Certified Commercial Investment Member (CCIM), and Professional Community Association Manager (PCAM).

Robert is a hands-on property manager with more than 35 years of practical experience, having managed more than 800 properties representing more than 60,000 rental units. He owns and runs Griswold Real Estate Management, Inc., a property management firm with offices in southern California and southern Nevada. Visit


From Laurry: I dedicate this book to my wife — and constant inspiration! — Kathleen, with whom I recently celebrated the blessing of our 25th anniversary. She and I began our personal and professional partnership more than three decades ago, working together in property management, co-authoring four apartment marketing and leasing textbooks published by the Institute for Real Estate Management, and collaborating closely and lovingly on our various real estate and other challenging ventures ever since. My beloved family includes our daughter, Laura, and our sons, Jeremy, Collin, and Blair, as well as grandbabies Beatrice and Joe. My fondest love and gratitude to all of them!

Another blessing has been the continuing influence of the late Caroline Scoulas, our erstwhile IREM editor, who enthusiastically supported and challenged us during the preparation and pruning of the books we wrote during her tutelage. This book is very much a product of the mentoring Caroline so selflessly provided to us. We hope that it is worthy of her.

From Robert: I dedicate this book to God for blessing me with my wife Carol (of 32 years) and with my four incredible children — Sheri, Stephen, Kimberly, and Michael. I am sure grandkids aren’t far away.

Author’s Acknowledgments

This book was made possible through the efforts of some very fine people at John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Special thanks to acquisitions editor Erin Calligan Mooney for choosing us to write this book; to project editor and copy editor Chad Sievers for his guidance and for keeping everything on track and for ridding our prose of grammatical glitches, spelling snafus, and the occasional awkward phrase; to freelance technical writer, Joe Kraynak, for his assistance in presenting our information and insights in a clear, easily digestible format; and to technical editor Kathleen Belville, for fact-checking the manuscript and making sure our advice hit the mark.

Publisher’s Acknowledgments

Acquisitions Editor: Erin Calligan Mooney

Development Editor/Contributor: Joe Kraynak

Project Editor: Chad R. Sievers

Copy Editor: Chad R. Sievers

Technical Editor: J. Kathleen Belville, Esq.

Art Coordinator: Alicia B. South

Project Coordinator: Patrick Redmond

Project Manager: Rick Graves

Cover Photos: ©