Acting as a landlord or property manager can be hugely challenging, especially when it comes to the home repair projects that seem to crop up on a daily basis.
A property management job can require skill in a wide variety of home repair work ranging from plumbing to electrical work to carpentry. The problem is, it can be near impossible for one person to keep up on codes, regulations, technological innovations and the latest repair techniques and materials inherent in each trade.
How can you know you’re both skilled enough and legally qualified to fix every kind of housing repair issue that rears its ugly head? Here are some guidelines when it comes to tackling property management projects yourself:
- When in doubt, check state laws to determine whether you need a contractor’s license to complete a given home repair. Many states require licensing for any home repair project costing more than $1,000 including labor and materials, but many allow a “handyman’s exemption” for cheaper chores that don't require building permits.
- Objectively evaluate whether you have the skills and experience to safely complete a home repair job, whether taking it on yourself would be cheaper than hiring a professional, and whether you can get the job done in a timely manner. If you have technical and/or mechanical acumen, you may be able to learn the nuts and bolts of some procedures through books or online tutorials.
- As a home repair rule of thumb, you should leave roofing, electrical and major plumbing jobs to licensed professionals. Not only do they usually require specialized equipment, but they can raise significant tenant safety issues if you haven’t had formal background training in such systems.
- Property management chores that can generally be completed with little or no formal training include repairing clogged or running toilets, fixing or replacing leaky faucets, fixing low-pressure shower heads, repairing ripped screen doors, replacing cracked caulk or filling in holes in drywall.
One more rule of thumb in property management: Try to establish open tenant communication shortly after they move in. If they can notify you of little home repair problems as soon as they occur, you can prevent those little tasks from turning into bigger and much more expensive problems as time goes on.
For more tips and tricks on property management and tenant communication, contact Alert Solutions today at (800) 929-1643.