Understanding how to select a plumber as a landlord can be a stressful situation, but at Landlord Station, we are here to help. We have compiled some information on home plumbing questions, working with plumbing contractors vs. plumbing companies, and more in order to help educate you on how to find the right plumber for your needs. The most important thing to remember when selecting a plumber is to get as much information as possible. Ideally it is best to already have a plumber in mind when a plumbing emergency occurs on your rental property. However, more often than not, issues like this sneak up and landlords are left scrambling to find a qualified and affordable plumber. In most states, plumbing is one of the services that you, as landlord, must provide, maintain, and repair in order to keep the rental premises legally habitable. This makes finding a reliable, competent plumber essential in order to stay within the law, and within the terms of your lease agreement.
Before you even begin your search you need to know the difference between plumbing contractors vs. plumbing companies to figure out which one best fits your needs. A plumbing contractor is usually independent, often self-employed, and typically falls into one of two categories; either an emergency plumber, or a plumber who focuses on big projects like major repairs and remodels. Plumbing companies, on the other hand, are usually focused solely on minor and emergency repairs. While some of these companies may employ master plumbers who specialize in remodeling and major repair work, it is rare. A plumbing company is more likely to have formal contracts and guarantees, insurance, longer work hours, and less of a wait time depending on their available resources.
No matter which type of plumber you choose, there is an important step you should never skip when deciding on how to select a plumber. This step is asking the right questions. Some of the home plumbing questions you should always ask when choosing a plumber include:
Are you bonded, licensed, and insured?
Do you have any references that I may call and check?
What kinds of written guarantees to you offer?What is the quality of the products you use?
How do you determine quality of products?
How long have you been in business?
Do you charge a flat rate per service repair or by the hour?
Can you provide an itemized quote?
How do you estimate time and cost on a project like this?
Have you worked on something like this before?
Will there be any part of the property out of commission if this project goes beyond one day?
Why is your quote more expensive/less expensive than the others?
Always be sure to get more than one quote on the project and get as much information as you can on the companies and plumbers giving you quotes. When it comes to home service, plumbing requires quality and accuracy to be done correctly. Thus, the cheapest, fastest contractor, or company, may not be the right fit for the job. When weighing your decision, it's helpful to have a referral from someone trustworthy. Ask your family, friends, neighbors, and colleagues if they know any plumbers that they would recommend. If you cannot find someone that way, try asking one of the other repair people you trust, such as an electrician, if they know anyone. Builders, contractors, real estate agents, and plumbing supply stores are also good resources.
There is a lot to consider when deciding on how to select a plumber that is right for what you, and possibly your tenant, needs. Obtaining a referral and asking the right questions can simplify the process quite a bit. Having good knowledge of the mechanics, plumbing, etc. of your rental property, and having an understanding of its potential needs, is also helpful. We hope this information about how to select a plumber has given you a general idea of the process involved, and what you should keep in mind, when choosing your plumber.
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