Landlord Blog

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How to Find a Reliable Contractor for Your Rental Property

Last year, I wrote a blog post about hiring a maintenance worker you can entrust your rental repairs to. True, finding someone with an outstanding reputation in your community is hard. Every landlord needs to go through this process because, at some point, tenants will complain about problems in plumbing, equipment, and more.

Tips for Finding and Hiring a Good Contractor

If you want your business to be as successful as possible, you need individuals who are capable of keeping your rental in excellent shape. Most of all, they should be people who won’t waste your time and money. Here are some tips that will help:

Choose local contractors.

Some landlords wonder whether they should pick a local or out-of-town contractor. Local contractors are always the best choice for many reasons. 

One, it’s easy to get in touch with them when emergency repairs are needed. Two, they’ve already familiarized themselves with the climate and its effect on your property (such as your roofing material). Three, your neighbors and family members may know them.

Licensure and insurance are a must.

What does it mean when someone is licensed and insured? Licensure and insurance usually go hand in hand. Licensed contractors are equipped with the expert knowledge to perform the job right. They also pay licensing fees which is why they cost more than an unlicensed contractor (who entices you with very low prices)

You’ll also find that a licensed contractor carries insurance so that they’re covered in cases of accidents or injuries.

Conduct an interview and ask questions.

Don’t hire a contractor without speaking with them firsthand. Asking questions in person or over the phone helps you get a better idea of the quality of their work and ethics. Start with the 10 questions below.

  1. How long have you worked as a _______?
  2. Can you show me a list of past references?
  3. In what condition will you leave my property at the end of each workday?
  4. Who are your manufacturers?
  5. Do you subcontract work?
  6. Can you explain to me your workflow from start to finish?
  7. What are the steps you’ll take to protect my property?
  8. Do you have proof of your insurance and license?
  9. What is the timeline for this project?
  10. Is there an on-site manager?

Get everything in writing.

Never allow a contractor to perform work if there is no written estimate. Verbal agreements don’t solidify a relationship and a contractor’s commitment to the job. A written estimate outlines everything in detail. This includes the materials to be used, project start and end dates, prices, payment scheme, and guarantee of work (insurance and license).

Read online reviews.

Nowadays, having an online presence is no longer an option but a must. Good contractors manage their local reputation by getting listed on local listing websites like Google My Business, the Better Business Bureau, and Yelp. On these sites, not only will you see their physical address and other business details but also what previous clients have said about them.

Learn More About Becoming a Successful Landlord...

Finally, I offer you the opportunity to take a complete DIY landlording course: Landlord Prep: Video E-Course and How-To Tutorials. Everything you need to know to become not just a landlord, but a successful landlord, is here.