- Best way to screen a repairman or service company
- The importance of business liability and workman's comp insurance
- The benefit of a property management company
If you are a self-managing rental property owner, it’s only a matter of time before you receive the dreaded phone call from your tenant alerting you to a maintenance issue. Whether its a faulty appliance, HVAC, or any number other of other common home repairs, you more than likely will have to hire a third-party service provider to handle the repair. However, it’s important to remember that whoever you choose to complete the job is a direct representation of yourself as the property owner!
Before allowing a servicer access to your investment property, we recommend you complete a thorough screening. Doing your diligence upfront can alleviate a costly situation down the line if you find yourself in a worst-case scenario with a repairman.
The Top Three Ways to Identify a Trustworthy Vendor
1. Check online Google reviews: Google reviews are a great tool for consumers because businesses can’t control what their previous customers publish online. If the vendor hasn’t done a great job in the past, customers feel they were overcharged, or the service was delayed, you will probably read about it on Google reviews. This forum is great for attaining a general pros and cons list of any particular vendor.
2. Check if they have business liability AND workman’s comp insurance: First, if something goes wrong, is the vendor insured or are they going to turn around and sue you as the owner? Do they have business liability insurance? Second, do they have workman’s comp insurance? This insurance covers both the technicians being sent to do the work on your property as well as the owner of the property. While rare, if a technician is hurt on the job and his or her employer doesn’t have workman’s comp insurance, they can sue both their employer and the property owner. Reputable vendors should easily be able to provide you documentation of their insurance.
3. Find out how much they charge: Though it seems obvious, find out the vendor's rates. Will they charge you for giving a bid? What is their procedure when additional required work is discovered? You will want to have a deep understanding of their specific costs. When work needs to be done promptly, you need vendors who work quickly and effectively.
Repairs and general maintenance are some of the top reasons landlords choose to offload the burden of property management to a reputable third-party manager. Here at Grace Property Management, we have a vetted list of preferred vendors. To get on our list, these businesses must have a proven track record of quality and timeliness. In most cases, we get a discounted rate on the job simply because we bring them a high volume of business. However, if you are still self-managing, safeguard yourself by doing your diligence before hiring a vendor to perform any work on your property. This will protect you, your tenants, and your property.
As always, the Grace Property Management team is here to serve as a resource. If you have additional questions about how best to own rental property or any other questions about operating an income property, give us a call. 303-255-1990