Renting out a property adds additional responsibility to the landlords, and that is none other than offering proper maintenance for it. It is a real hurdle, as people are forced to accept some contractors to complete the work, and in most cases, they would not find a perfect time with the contractors as they fail to perform works as landlords expected. Only in few situations, people can enjoy the services of some great contractors. It should be noted that qualified, experienced, and professionally-behaving contractors are removing the worries of landlords and grabbing their confidence. By following few steps, people can screen the contractors and find the right one among them for their property.
1. Pre-screen the Contractor
Whether it is over the phone or in person, people should be ready to raise some questions to the contractors in their first conversation. Every landlord should try to make a judgment regarding the contractors on: are they responding well to the questions and do they behave professionally? Also, people should get the answers to the following questions.
- How many years of experience they have in the works?
- According to them, what is their best skill?
- What are the tasks they are not interested in performing with?
- What are the cities they cover with services?
- Number of employees working with the contractor
- Does the contractor pull the permits or the landlord should make it?
- After hiring, how long does the contractor need to start the work?
If it is meeting in person, try to take a note of whether they are on time with the schedule? How do they act?
2. Google the Contractors
Take out the contractor name and search it in Google to find any negative reference. People should add keywords like scam, sue, court, rip off, and evil to the contractor name and try to locate any indication about any unlawful, unethical, or scandalous business or acts in the past. Chances are there that people might encounter some big red flags about the contractor, which is a clear warning for the landlords.
Apart from Google, there are websites like Criminal-Searches.com, where the contractor history and little-known facts regarding the contractor are provided. If required, people can also make a credit/background check about the contractor.
3. Ask for References
Ask the contractor to provide references from the works completed in the past, including photos and address. Try to contact the references and get information such as how fast is the contractor completing the works? Are they keeping a clean job site? Did the landlord face any issues with the contractor? Is the reference person interested to hire them again?
People can also demand the contractor to provide the details of a recent big work they performed and check with the particular city to see whether they performed it by pulling the permit.
4. Are they Licensed?
People should try to check and verify that the contractors are licensed to complete the particular work they are called for. If they are an electrician or plumber, ensure that they are holding electrical license or plumbing license. In the case of a general contractor, ask for their general contractor's license. Also, make sure that they hold the bond and proper insurance as both can protect the landlord from losses.
5. Employ them for a Small Task
It is a strategy that can be applied before hiring the contractor for a larger work. Give them a small job that costs less than $1,000 and see how perfectly are they completing it, and is the task being completed within the schedule? If they are providing a satisfying service, the landlords can depend on them for future works. If not, test with multiple contractors and choose the right one who provides quality service with consistency.