Finding a good contractor to work on your rental property is not just getting a bid for the work. You want to make sure the person is reputable, experienced, and has the proper licenses (if required), and insurance.
Some contractors will help you with your decision by being unprofessional and not returning calls or showing up to scheduled meetings before they even give you a quote for the job. Don’t chase contractors and look at it as he did you a favor and helped you narrow down your choices. A lot of contractors are busy, but you want one that you can trust to answer your calls if you have a question and show up to do the job that he said he would do.
You want a contractor that’s established in your local area, so you know he’ll be around in 6 or 12 months after the job is done in case you have any issues. Fly by night contractors don’t always do good work since they know they won’t be around if you need to find them when you have issues soon. While you may save a little by going with someone who isn’t as established, it may cost you more in the long run.
All contractors will say they have the proper insurance, but good ones will have a copy of their policy. You want to make sure that their policy is still active and that they are insured for the type of work you’re hiring them to do at your property.
Not all contractors are required to have a license, but some are. If a license is required to do the type of work you’re hiring for, you should be able to look them up in an online database for the state. You can also see if there are any complaints from other customers.
Many industries have additional certifications that are not required to do the work but are a sign that the contractor has attended some additional training for his craft.
Don’t always trust your friends
Your friends may recommend contractors, but did they do their due diligence? Friends have the best intentions but don’t always know what to check to find out if someone is a good contractor.
Don’t hire based on price
When you hire someone based on the lowest price, you might end up with a bigger problem than you had to start with that requires even more money to fix.
Most contractors that work for property management companies are established and have done many jobs for them, so if there’s an issue with a contractor, property managers find out a lot faster than your average homeowner based on the volume of work they’re getting done.
We thoroughly screen all the contractors we work with for these reasons and others. Your property and the health and safety of your tenants are all at risk when you hire unqualified contractors to work on your rental property. Don’t risk one of your biggest assets by hiring a bad contractor.