When you’re going down the checklist for everything you need to have a successful rental property, a reliable handyman is pretty high on the list. As a landlord, you’ll be responsible for property maintenance. That includes emergencies that threaten the wellbeing of your tenants or might damage your property, like a 3AM water heater leak or lack of proper A/C during the hottest month of the year. If you don’t have the skill to do this work yourself and don’t want to be on call 24/7, it’s a good idea to have a reliable handyman or maintenance person on call.
How do you go about finding someone you can trust to do good work? We have a few tips for you.
- Get personal referrals. Want to find someone trustworthy? Talk to people you already trust. Friends, family, business contacts, other landlords, or whoever might fit the bill. Ask who they’ve worked with and who they’d recommend.
- Take online listings with a grain of salt unless they come from a very reliable source. For example, you can likely trust Angie’s List a little more than Craigslist or Yelp.
- Always do an interview before you move forward. This is a person who will be interacting with your tenants, so you want to gauge their level of professionalism and experience. Doing an in-person interview will help you determine whether this individual will be a good fit.
- Check BBB for any complaints. The Better Business Bureau should be able to let you know if the handyman you’re vetting has a checkered past.
- Make sure the contractor you hire is insured. This is so important, both for liability’s sake and as a fair measure of professionalism. A true professional will have their insurance squared away.
- Ask about availability. Does this person work set hours, or are they available for emergencies? You may need to work with more than one contractor to cover all shifts.
- Get multiple estimates. Once you’ve selected a few promising candidates, ask for estimates from each of them and compare the services rendered for the cost. You may want to ask around or do further research to see what’s reasonable, what’s too high, and what’s suspiciously low. The lowest price isn’t always the best choice.
- Always work with someone who’s willing to write up a detailed contract with you. Word of mouth isn’t good enough. Always get your agreements in writing, and don’t work with anyone who won’t go into detail on their contracts.
Use these guidelines and you should be able to find a reliable handyman in no time flat, allowing you to get back to your other work — like screening tenants!
We offer a full range of screening services, but if you’re looking to keep your costs down, our RentalConnect program offers property owners and landlords a great alternative to tenant screening. This service requires no on-site visit, sign-up, or membership fees, making it extra convenient. The $29.95 service fee is paid by the applicant. Available 24/7, RentalConnect is fast, easy, secure, and delivers reports needed to make an informed decision, including a credit report, a national criminal search, and a national eviction search.
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