Rental property owners will often ask if they can use their own repairman for simple maintenance, especially when they want to save money on repairs. They don’t understand why it’s so expensive to fix things, and why a contractor is needed to do something simple, like hang a new door. There are a lot of repairs you probably want to make yourself or send your own handyman to do, but we believe it’s better and safer to use licensed and insured contractors that have been vetted for workmanship and affordability.
There are a lot of expenses that contractors themselves have. Just to become a contractor, you need to have a business license. Insurance is also required, and that’s expensive. Depending on the work you do, your insurance rates will go higher, especially if you have multiple employees. There are lots of overhead expenses to worry about before the contractor even shows up at your door. We always want cheaper work, but you have to understand where those prices are coming from. We are always improving our list of vendors and contractors and we only work with people who do great work for a good price.
We always use contractors because not only is workmanship important, but there’s also a lot of liability for landlords. Minor repairs that you may thing the tenant can do might be dangerous. For example, we used to include the requirement in our leases that tenants clean the gutters. After speaking with lawyers and considering our liability, we know our owners don’t want to be liable for having a tenant get on a ladder to clean those gutters. The same thing is true with high light bulbs that need to be changed. You don’t want your tenants to get hurt. These things might seem like simple repairs, but if you are a landlord with a lot of liability at stake, you don’t want to cross any lines or get sued. In the end, if the tenant gets hurt or something bad happens, it will cost a lot more in the long run.
Using licensed and insured contractors protects you and your investment. If you have any questions about this, please contact us at McGrath Real Estate.