Registered: 1198829703 Posts: 146
Reply with quote #1
I have a few rentals in San Diego and I am looking for a "Property Maintenance" company (if one exists). I like to travel and what I am noticing that each time I do so, I end up getting called about maintenance issues by my tenants. Then I am scheduling handymen/plumbers (not all of whom are available at the time), making it an extremely frustrating experience. Also, I find that most of the "handyman" would prefer to work on bigger jobs if possible. I have thought about my options and here is what I came up with: . Sell my rentals (a bit extreme) . Hire a good property manager (easier said than done) Now if there was a company that did maintenance only for rental properties, that would be great. They would be able to address all the maintenance needs (have a multiple techs on their staff) and I could deal with all the other management issues. The question is ... Do such companies exist?
Registered: 1150855007 Posts: 983
Reply with quote #2
I'm sure property management companies exist. I throw away their mailers every month. It would be helpful to know what zip codes you are interested in. Most property managers just phone in the work and never go to the property. Or some part time high school student does. No reason you can't phone it in as well. Make a phone list of tradesman you do business with. There are two problems. Access to the property (front door key) and payment. Your tenant can be home to let workman in. Your tenant can leave a spare key under the doormat (flower pot, pit bull) the day the workman is supposed to show up. You can use a smart lockbox similar to the ones used by Realtors. You can hang it on the front doorknob or, less obtrusively, the gas meter. Or your tenant can keep it inside and only put it out when necessary. Gotta change those batteries when you are in town. Realtors can comment on how well this works. My buyer's housing inspector and pest control inspector used one time codes to get access to the house without anyone needing to be there. It your tenant gets burglarized afterword then you have a huge mess on your hands. Grandma's $50,000 vase got stolen. The best payment solution is to contact the tradesman in advance and see if they will bill you by mail or email. A plumber, electrician and handyman (or cleaning lady) should cover most situations. I totally agree, it is hard to get people to come out right away for less than $500. A $1,000 is better. It is now very common for me to get electronic receipts, even from "Mom and Pop" businesses. Property managers get paid the same whether they do a good job or a bad job. They make their money based on the amount of rent they have under management. You actually care about your equity. Nobody every said it would be easy.
Registered: 1156877376 Posts: 2,177
Reply with quote #3
You might try a home warranty----which is one approach some landlords take to avoid being overcharged by contractors. You just tell the tenant to arrange for access and give them the contractor's phone number. You can prepay the service fee via a credit card to the home warranty company (in case the contractor doesn't offer this service---which some don't).
But you also tell the tenant that if they promise to be there---and if they aren't---they will pay the service fee. It's theoretically cheaper than hiring a property management company---and it mainly exists when you need plumbing, HVAC, electrical etc which tend to charge alot. Even if the average landlord knows some contractors in these areas that are reasonably priced, they frequently don't have all the areas covered. It doesn't always work out---sometimes the contractor will indicate that you have upgrade issues that aren't covered by the home warranty. But even in that situation you can ask for a buyout of the repair in question and just arrange for your own contractor to do the work. They can't really force you to use their contractors, especially if they are quoting you astronomical prices to make minor modifications, etc. And you can always ask for a 2nd opinion.