We know at Landlord Station that reliable home repair help is vital to you as a landlord. Making repairs is a key part of your responsibility in the landlord-tenant relationship, and you need competent workers who work quickly and reliably for a fair price. But how do you find these workers? How do you know they're trustworthy and know what they're doing? LandlordStation.com has put together the following general information to help you answer these important questions.
There are a few considerations to keep in mind when looking for home repair help. You should factor in how many units you have to maintain and what kind of maintenance is needed for each unit. If you only maintain one unit, you can consider hiring a specific repair person on an as needed basis, but if you maintain two or more units, you may want to look into other options. One solution for multi-unit landlords is to simply hire a part-time or full-time repair staff. Another great option for landlords with multiple units, or even a landlord with limited time, is to hire a general contractor. Not only do general contractors usually have some repair skills of their own, they are generally good with project management and have strong relationships with skilled subcontractors.
Whether or not you hire a repair worker, or independent contractor yourself, or if you decide to employ the use of a general contractor, the first challenge you face is how to find home repair services. A good place to start your search is asking people you know and trust for recommendations. This will enable you to find out most of the information you need about the individual skilled worker or general contractor without having to contact them directly. If this search comes up short, you can try signing up for a paid recommendation service like Angie's List. There are also many free resources available for you to look up different home repair workers and read customer reviews, such as Yelp, Google Local Business Listings, and CitySearch.
No matter where you find your plumber, roofer, electrician, general contractor, or other home repair help, an important part of knowing how to select a contractor is knowing what questions to ask contractors. Even though the repair worker has been vetted by someone you know and trust, you should interview that person just like you would a regular employee. Usually, the best way to do this is through an onsite quote, which many independent contractors offer for free.
Some of the essential questions to ask contractors when you speak to them include:
What is your experience and business history?
Do you have references? Are any of them recent? May I see them?
Who will be working on the site? May I meet them?
Are you insured? May I see proof of insurance?
Do you have a written guarantee on the work performed and/or any parts used?
Do you charge by the hour or a project-based flat rate?
May I please have a written, itemized bid?
What sort of documentation will I receive upon project completion?
What about this repair are you most concerned about?
How long do you think this will take?
Be sure to take bids from multiple contractors so you can compare the price, timeframe, and the pros and cons of each one. Remember, the cheapest may not be the best. Also check if your state has mandatory licensing, or if there are esteemed trade organizations in your state that have optional licensing or vetting. Check and see if each repair worker is licensed and/or vetted. It is also vital for you to check as many references as possible and compare them to any online reviews you find.
Figuring out the process of how to select a contractor that is competent, trustworthy, and right for your needs can be confusing and stressful. The good news is, once you find good home repair help that performs to your satisfaction you can use them time and again. If for some reason your preferred contractor becomes unavailable, they usually can refer you to someone they know and trust. We hope LandlordStation.com's information about how to select a contractor has been helpful and that you find the home repair help that meets your needs.
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