Every landlord needs a trusty handyman. Even if you’re like Jesus when it comes to manhandling wood you can’t be around all the time. At some point in time, your tenants are going to request some maintenance and you are going to need someone you know and trust that you can send round.
This is when you flick through your book of trusty contractors and send the best one round to get the job done. Problems solved.
However, how do you get to a point where you have a selection of quality and affordable contractors on speed dial?
A quality contractor is someone who has a good reputation and the requisite skill required to complete the job to a high standard.
They are easy to contact, show up on time, are respectful of your property and your tenant's rights whilst on the job, and clean up after themselves.
They also are competitively priced. Although we acknowledge you often get what you pay for, the amount charged has to be reasonable.
A quality contractor will often have a good understanding of the landlord/tenant relationship and will work around this when coordinating repairs.
Your first port of call when it comes to finding a quality contractor is to ask your friends, family, business partners, fellow landlords and well, anyone you might know if they have any contractors that they would recommend.
Failing that you will have to turn to the internet for help. If you do a few quick searches like:
You’ll hit sites like MyBuilder.com
Online reviews are second to personal recommendations, but still, an effective way to judge a contractors quality.
The next thing you’ll want to consider is the price. Which is why we always suggest getting multiple quotes for a big job, especially when starting out. Once you’ve found a quality tradesman that you can trust and is affordable than you just need to try and keep them around.
Remember, the relationship between the contractor and landlord is a two-way street.
These days, there seems to be a shortage of contractors, so not only can they charge a premium, but they can be picky about who they choose to engage with as a customer.
Make sure you give your contractors clear instructions and pay them on time. Treat them with respect and give thanks for their work. The best way to do this is by sending your contractor referrals or repeat business.
Don't forget that contractors often share information with other contractors: if you are unpleasant or untrustworthy in your business dealings, the news will spread fast. This may seem basic but it is so true.
We recommend getting to know your contractors - ask about their family, send them a Christmas card and make them a cup of tea while they are working.
In these cases, a little goes a long way.
Start making a list and have your go-to contractors on speed dial. Hopefully, if you have done your groundwork, your contractor will value the relationship as much as you do and will prioritise your job over other call-outs.
Once you have built rapport and trust with you local contractors, you can also start putting into place systems that revolutionise the property maintenance and repair process.
By leaving a key in a secure lockbox, that only your contractor knows the code to, you can provide your contractor with easy and safe access to your property (without having to be there yourself). Just remember to change the lock combination on an annual basis, or if you think the code has been compromised, for added safety.
We hope you found this blog interesting! However, do note that it should not be used as a substitute for competent legal and/or other advice from a licensed professional.