If you own several rental properties and have been trying to handle the maintenance alone, you already know how hard it can be. Even more so if you are also working a day job. No matter how hard you try, chances are good that you simply never seem to catch up. This brings up the idea that it might just be time for to hire a handyman to help with the workload or take over it from you completely. Consider these tips as you begin your search.
Never Hire without an Interview
Even if you are hiring a yard guy to clean up the exterior of your rental property so you can rent it out, you should still conduct an in-person interview. Since you are looking for a long-term handyman, an interview will give you time to ask more in-depth questions about his experience, his v abilities, how long he has been in this line of work, and of course for references.
Check Their Availability
If you are hiring an on-call handyman, you need to know what his schedule looks like. Is he going to have any conflicts with your need for him? Will he be able to respond to after-hours emergency maintenance requests? Is he willing to work past 5 p.m. when most of your tenants are home from work? All of this is vital information when hiring a handyman to help take care of your rentals.
Personality Check Time
The last thing you want is a handyman who goes into the home of an already upset tenant and only makes them more upset because of his behavior. For most people the idea of having a stranger come into their home in the form of a handyman at the very least, somewhat uncomfortable. When you have a grumpy handyman or one that is rude, this will only serve to make the situation worse.
On the other side of the coin, if you have a handyman who is friendly and empathetic with your tenants, things are likely to be better all the way around. In an era where most service people tend to have stressed natures, it can be hard to find a handyman who meets this criterion. But, you might be amazed at the difference it can make for your tenants.
Put Everything in Writing
You put everything in writing for your tenants in the form of a lease or at least you should be. Each of you needs to know exactly what is to be expected of each other. With this in mind, shouldn’t you do the same thing when you hire a handyman? When you create a contract, you set rates of pay, a complete list of expected duties, and anything else either of you might want to add. This way, if there is any type of legal dispute, you have everything in writing that may give you a legal leg to stand on. Of course, you should always consult a lawyer before putting any type before you begin to use any type of document.