Landlord Training Assistance from CDRI

As the creators of the original Landlord Training Program, and the developers of the National Train-the-Trainer Program for the US Department of Justice, we are often asked what type of support we can provide to jurisdictions who are developing a Landlord Training Program or one of its variations in their communities. The following gives an overview of the type of services we can provide.

In every case, we will tailor our work to your community. We will offer assistance that fits available resources and needs. Also, while we can bill by the hour, we typically work on a fixed-cost basis - we will agree on the total project cost before any work begins.

Please call for a more detailed discussion of the needs of your community and how we can help.

Training Your Rental Owners and Managers

We have the skill necessary to put on both the Landlord Training Program as a stand alone training or as the first part of a three phase program in any jurisdiction, nationwide. You will get the full impact of the original, highly successful, nationally recognized program in your own jurisdiction. Depending on the scope of the program you are developing, the possible uses of our training skills include:

  • Trainer development. We can put on trainings in partnership with your future local trainers. In this way, with each training we put on, the skills of your local trainer(s) increase until they are able to put on the seminar with its full impact. The other obvious benefit to this approach is that you can begin putting on these trainings immediately - even before your local manual is fully developed. We can use the national manual as the basis for the training while providing additional, tailored information regarding local laws and customs.
  • "Kick off" or "Promotional" Trainings. Some jurisdictions have chosen to present some initial trainings for landlords before they make the full commitment to implementing either a regular schedule of Landlord Training Programs or deciding to manage the more involved three-phase program approach. Typically, you would market the trainings, and we would put them on. This can be an effective tool for getting relief to some neighborhoods right away. It also gives landlords, political leaders, and other key community members an opportunity to see the training first hand - sometimes a critical component in generating the support necessary to implement a full program.
  • Direct training for smaller jurisdictions. For smaller jurisdictions, where it may not be necessary -- or economically feasible -- to develop an entire program, having us provide training on a periodic basis may be the answer. We have provided this service to various jurisdictions in Oregon, California, and Washington. The training is the same - the difference is that it is not part of a grander design to train local program coordinators or to generate long term political support for a full implementation of the program.

Costs will vary depending on the number of trainings, travel distances involved, and any requested related consulting services. Prior to beginning any work, we will provide a fixed-price bid that includes all costs. Significant savings are possible if multiple trainings are conducted in a single trip. For jurisdictions that do not have a manual, we will provide copies of the national program manual, which can be purchased by trainees for our direct cost.

We do not charge extra for larger trainings and encourage an aggressive marketing process. The average training we conduct has approximately 100 participants in attendance. We have conducted the full training for as few as 15 and as many as 400. We can provide technical assistance for marketing the trainings to ensure that trainings are as full as possible.

National Landlord Training Program, Train-the-Trainer Seminar

In 1996 we worked closely with the Bureau of Justice Assistance, US Department of Justice to develop the National Landlord Training Program, Train-the-Trainer seminar. In 1996 alone that seminar was presented, under BJA sponsorship, to over 500 participants from over 260 jurisdictions from 37 states. Included with the seminar are the national train-the-trainer materials and comprehensive information on how to implement the Landlord Training Program and related programs. The training was well-received and many new jurisdictions are in the process of developing programs. Three-day Train-the-Trainer seminars are now offered directly to jurisdictions throughout the nation, many of which have taken advantage of the training since then.  Many years have past since those first trainings and more than a decade of refinement has gone into make the train-the-trainer seminars work still more effectively.

This training works equally well for individual agencies to sponsor or for community policing institutes, statewide public safety organizations, community groups, or law enforcement agencies in a given area who elect to partner together to coordinate their training efforts. A more complete description of the Train-the-Trainer program is available elsewhere on this site as is basic pricing information. If you would like more information about that project, please contact us directly.

We also provide a range of other train-the-trainer services, up to and including certifying your trainers and the training they provide as meeting the quality standards set by the original Landlord Training Program. Full certification involves a rigorous review process. The cost will vary by jurisdiction and skill level of the trainer involved. Unlike the three day seminar, this is a customized, performance-based certification. We can often predict the likelihood of a trainer having the potential to become certified. However, we cannot guarantee certification of individual trainers in advance. Cost of certification will be agreed upon before beginning the work.

Developing Your Manual

We can provide two types of assistance in developing your manual: we can create the entire manual for you, or we can review your draft and certify its consistency with the original program intent.

Manual Draft Review and Certification. This is the least-cost method to ensure that the basic elements of your manual are aligned with the program scope and intent. This work is generally done on a fixed-cost basis. We will read the text of your manual cover to cover and give a detailed review of any concerns and issues to address prior to publication. This review will not take the place of a legal review by your in-state attorneys. Unless we are hired to develop the manual in its entirety, we cannot certify its legal accuracy. However, we rarely review a manual without finding and offering suggestions that improve legal accuracy. Regardless, our review will dramatically increase the likelihood of the final document meeting not just the legal requirements of the program, but the content requirements as well. Upon completion of our review, manuals that have been written to be consistent with the original program intent will be certified by us as meeting those standards.

We particularly recommend this review any time a manual is being developed in a state where a certified manual has not yet been developed. Also, whenever a manual is being substantially revised from one that has been reviewed by us, it will be valuable to have us review it.

Full Manual development. The training manual is the foundation on which the program stands. Hands-on development of the program begins by making sure that you have a program manual that is accurate, fair, effective, and readable.

Hiring us to do the work will ensure that your jurisdiction will get a high quality manual, certified to meet all program requirements. Relying on our experience with landlord and community issues in many cities, we can produce a highly customized, very accurate manual and do it in much less time than it would take a new program manager starting from scratch. We will take all necessary steps to develop a print-ready version of your manual tailored to both the law and culture of your jurisdiction. Because of the scope of work involved, we cannot take on full manual development in more than three new states per year. The scope of work will vary, but typically involves all of the following:

    • Review state and local landlord/tenant law and revise manual draft. In order for the manual and course content to match your community's issues, the course must be tailored to state statutes and local ordinances. The first step is to review your state's landlord/tenant law, civil rights law, and related law. In addition, many local jurisdictions have additional laws specific to landlord/tenant situations - for example, defining additional protected classes, limiting rent increases, or requiring certain types of "cause" for eviction. Based on a review of state and local law, we will prepare a working draft of the manual for use during the field research phase.

      However, a legal review is only the beginning. In addition to manual revisions that derive directly from differences in law and approach, we will also incorporate other changes into the manual to assure it meets the needs of your area. Those changes will address:
      • Local "character." Every state is different. Every city is different. The most effective manual will do more than simply incorporate legal differences. An effective manual must also reflect the character and culture of landlord and tenant practices in each area. For example, in every jurisdiction we have worked with, there are unique rental practices in use that are not required by law, but simply permitted by law. To be effective, we must understand these practices, and train within this context.
      • Changing emphasis where appropriate. Many issues that are pressing in one city don't matter as much in another. For example, Oregon has a significant problem with methamphetamine labs which may not affect your area as severely. Civil rights issues, while generally regulated by similar laws across the country, will have different characteristics, histories, and case law guiding the understanding and application of the law in each jurisdiction. These and other issues need to be examined and adjusted to make your manual most effective.
      • Other resources. Appendix materials and other references throughout the manual will be reviewed and developed to make sure appropriate information is included.
    • Interview area "experts." To research the issues of character and emphasis noted above, we must know how the law is typically applied and the specific techniques used to meet the challenges of managing residential housing in your community. Therefore, research with local "experts" is appropriate. Interviews will be done by phone and in person. Examples of likely interview subjects include representatives from:
    • Local property management associations.
    • Housing Authority/Section 8 coordinators.
    • Landlords who have had problems, and those who have found solutions.
    • Legal aid attorneys/tenant advocates.
    • Landlord attorneys.
    • Neighborhood activists or citizen participation personnel who deal with neighborhood livability problems.
    • Housing code enforcement personnel.
    • Police personnel (how to get records, search warrant data, whom to call, etc.)
    • "Wildcards" - representatives from innovative property management and/or screening companies, neighborhood organizers, independent defense attorneys. These are people whose identities often become apparent as the initial interviews are conducted.

This process will necessarily require flexibility as information is uncovered. We will work closely with your jurisdiction to identify potential interview candidates. We anticipate up to seven days of interviewing and research to be conducted on-site, with additional and follow-up interviews conducted by phone in the weeks after. To ensure full transfer of training knowledge it is very important that your local trainer participate in the on-site interviews.

    • Make necessary manual revisions. Compile and review all research results, review manual, revise based on input.
    • Final review. Distribute manual to previously interviewed "experts" and ask for feedback.
    • Collect feedback, make final revisions, check details as appropriate with experts by phone. Collect clean copies of landlord/tenant law and other applicable statutes and ordinances. Compile the manual and present to your local coordinators for printing.

While the entire manual development process can be completed in as little as three months, four to five months is more typical.

Supporting Services

A range of other services related to landlord training are also provided. For example, we can:

  1. Help design and deliver in-service training for police officers. We can teach your officers directly, and we can teach you to teach your officers.
  2. Provide technical assistance for program managers. For example we can help you improve your program management and assist you in meeting program goals.
  3. Assist with program evaluation. We have spent years evaluating the effectiveness of this program and can help with yours as well.
  4. Provide problem solving assistance on a property by property basis. For example, we provide Drug Elimination Technical Assistance to Public Housing Authorities, assisting them in redrafting lease language, improving lease enforcement, working more effectively with residents, and making needed defensible space modifications.

Documents Available

We offer two manuals to assist those interested in landlord training for their community:

  1. Monograph: A Police Guide For Establishing Landlord Training Programs, 1996 National Train-The-Trainer Program.

    Written as the support manual for the train-the-trainer programs, it offers practical tips and program development strategies proven essential by numerous jurisdictions. It contains a national version of the landlord participant manual, below, as well. You can view and print it for free from this site, or we can mail you a bound copy. $15.00 covers our reproduction and mailing costs for a paper copy.

  2. Landlord Training Program: Keeping Illegal Activity Out Of Rental Property, National Program Manual.

    This is the core material rental property owners and managers receive when attending the Landlord Training Program or one of its variations. When jurisdictions develop a locally-tailored version, this is the document they revise and add to. As a nationally applicable version, it is somewhat generic, since the details of rental practices, police activities, civil court processes, and landlord/tenant statutes vary from state to state and even within states. Nevertheless, it can be used successfully in a kick-off training while a tailored manual is still being developed, and offers a true flavor of the program's content. You can view and print it for free from this site, or we can mail you a bound copy: $15.00 for one manual, $10.00 per manual plus shipping when ordering in quantities.

If you are in the states of Arizona, California, Indiana, Idaho, New York, Oregon, Washington, or Wisconsin, we recommend that you also contact the publishers of local manuals that have been approved by us for in-state adaptation. Call us for details and up-to-date references.