How to Find and Hire Good Handymen for your Rental Property

How to Find a Reliable Handyman to Handle your Rental Property Maintenance

A view of a person from behind as they hammer nails into wooden plank fencing. The person has dark hair pulled up into a bun, and is wearing a blue and orange flannel patterned work shirt.

When you're going down the checklist for everything you need to have a successful rental property, a reliable handyman is pretty high on the list. In addition to being a smart business move, hiring a handyman for your rental property can be vital to saving your sanity and keeping your tenants happy. The trick is to find and hire the right person to match your repair and maintenance needs.

The First Thing to Consider

What kind of work is being done? Will it be on the inside of the house or outside? How much time do you want the handyman to take while doing it?

The reason you need to ask these questions boils down to one central question - do you need a specialist, or will a handyman get the job done? Most handymen are not professionals in any one particular field. Many handymen gained their skills by working in the carpentry, roofing, tiling or construction trades; some still work there but look for handyman work in the "off-season."

Pros of Hiring a Handyman

  1. Handymen tend to be much cheaper than a general contractor or specialist.
  2. Handymen have more experience than you do, meaning they can usually do a faster, better job.
  3. Handymen are often certified to do specialized work such as plumbing or electrical but cost less than someone more specialized.
  4. Once you find a great handyman, they can help you maintain multiple properties.

Cons of Hiring a Handyman

  1. It may be more expensive than doing it yourself.
  2. They won't have as much experience on a specific task as someone who does it every day.
  3. Often work solo, meaning there is no team to back them up or help the work go faster.

How do you go about finding someone you can trust to do good work? We have a few tips for you.

Get personal referrals.

Want to find someone trustworthy? Talk to the people you already trust. Friends, family, business contacts, other landlords, even contractors you have worked with in the past. Ask who they've worked with and who they'd recommend.

The best contractors are busy and in high demand because they usually already have as much work as they can handle without having to advertise for more. The best contractors are often found by word of mouth; by asking people you know or meet related to your work if they know any contractors they would recommend.

Search Online

Searching online for contractors and handymen is the most common way people find help today.

Several sites that help landlords and property owners find good contractors are:

  1. Angi (formerly Angie's List) which is specifically focused on contractors and also publishes reviews and gets about 4-5 million visitors monthly.
  2. Home Advisor is another site that lists contractors and handyman services for home improvement and property maintenance.
  3. Craigslist lists contractors in your area under "Services - Skilled Trade".

The great thing about contractor sites is you get to see reviews from previous customers. Contractors also get ratings, making it easier to find the best quickly. Take online listings with a grain of salt unless they come from a very reliable source. For example, you can likely trust Angie's List a little more than Craigslist or Yelp based solely on the former's review system vs the latter's lack thereof.

Another way to find a local handyman is to reach out to the Association of Certified Handyman Professionals. Ask them if they have someone in your area they can recommend. This is an excellent option because you can almost guarantee it will be a quality, certified contractor.

Choosing a Handyman

Always do an interview before you move forward with a Handyman. This is a person who will be interacting with your tenants, so you want to gauge their level of professionalism and experience. Doing an in-person interview will help you determine whether this individual will be a good fit.

Here are a few questions to consider asking:

  1. Are you licensed?
  2. How long have you been in the business?
  3. Do you have any past clients as references I could talk to?
  4. Do you offer a guarantee on your work?
  5. Is this a team job, or are you an individual?
  6. Do you have liability insurance?
  7. Can you provide a written quote ahead of time?
  8. How did you come up with this price? Can you break it out piece by piece for me?
  9. How long will the project take?
  10. Do you have pictures of similar work you have done before you can show me?

Quality handymen will expect you to ask many questions, especially on a big project. However, they realize you are concerned about your home and will be patient and help you feel comfortable with the investment in their service.

Here are a few more suggestions to better help you vet your potential handyman:

  1. Check BBB for any complaints. The Better Business Bureau should be able to let you know if the handyman you're vetting has a checkered past.
  2. Make sure the contractor you hire is insured. This is incredibly important, both for liability's sake and as a fair measure of professionalism. A true professional will have their insurance squared away.
  3. Ask about availability. Does this person work set hours, or are they available for emergencies? You may need to work with more than one contractor to cover all shifts.
  4. Get multiple estimates. Once you've selected a few promising candidates, ask for estimates from each of them and compare the services rendered for the cost. You may want to ask around or do further research to see what's reasonable, what's too high, and what's suspiciously low. The lowest price isn't always the best choice.
  5. Always work with someone who's willing to write up a detailed contract with you. A verbal contract isn't good enough. Always get your agreements in writing, and don't work with anyone who won't go into detail on their contracts.

If you look thoroughly, ask the right questions and treat the handyman as part of your team then you are most likely to have a successful working relationship. A handyman should be a true asset to your business and well worth the expense.

Created on: 03/27/24

Author: CreditLink Secure Blog Team

Tags: maintenance, vendors , handyman , rental property,

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