How to Choose the Right Contractors For Rental Properties
Letting homes is not simply a case of getting the tenants to sign on the dotted line and then leaving them to it for the next six months. Over the course of the tenancy, there will be maintenance issues and, as a letting agent or landlord, it is your responsibility to fix them. Of course, you may not have the availability or the skillset to undertake these tasks, so you need to bring someone in. With that in mind, you need to know how to choose the right contractors for rental properties and this article will help you with that job.
You need to know that the workers who set foot in the rental property are competent, professional, prompt and offer great value for money. They also need to know the ins and outs of the latest landlord legislation so they not only repair the issue, but they do so in a manner that is within the various pieces of legislation that cover lettings. Anything else and the landlord or letting agent could be in trouble with authorities or find that they have invalidated their insurance.
Here is some guidance to help you choose the right contractors for rental properties.
Make Sure They Have Accreditation
You need to know that rental property contractors are recognised by the official bodies that cover their area of work. For example, the only people who should go anywhere near fixing and servicing any of your gas appliances should be Gas Safe registered. If they do not hold this accreditation, they should not work on the letting property at all.
You can check a gas engineer individually using their licence number on the Gas Safe website. In addition, you check a business is registered using their registration number. If you want to search out potential Gas Safe registered rental property contractors, you can search your local area to find relevant professionals.
It is not just gas professionals who need accreditation, there are trade bodies for locksmiths (Master Locksmiths Association), electricians (Electrical Safety Register) and many more contractors. In addition, bodies like CHAS (the Contractors’ Health and Safety Assessment Scheme) ensure that contractors are up to date with health and safety legislation.
Seek Out Reviews
One of the best things about the online world is that we can share experiences and reviews of the professionals with which we work. This means that pretty much anyone you look to work with has an easy to find history of their past jobs for you to browse. Of course you need to be careful and keep an eye out for potential fake reviews (either positive or negative), but seeking out feedback from trusted sources can help you choose the right contractors for rental properties.
Which? Trusted Traders reviews are often helpful and sites like Rated People look to vet reviews to build an accurate picture of the effectiveness of the contractors in question. You can also look at Google and Facebook reviews, but be aware that they are not strictly policed and so could be misleading.
Spot the Red Flags
A lot of picking the right rental property contractors comes down to common sense and intuition. If something doesn’t feel right, there is usually a good reason for that. Some rogue contractors raise red flags immediately and are best avoided or researched more deeply before you let them loose on the property in question.
For example, if a quote for work is far lower than anyone else, might there be an issue? It could be something innocent like the contractor had misunderstood the nature of the job, but it might also be that they are willing to cut corners to secure the contract. Another red flag is if they will only accept cash. In this case, you should either book in someone else or demand receipts and invoices for your own protection.
Contractors that do not quote are also to be viewed with suspicion. If you allow them to start the work without providing a price, there could be issues further down the line.
Find Out More About Them
If you want the right contractors for rental properties for the long term or for a large portfolio, you need to know that you are compatible. Will they work in a way that fits in with you? Discuss before you sign anything about whether they will work weekends and bank holidays, whether they have the capacity to take on all the potential work you need them for and how long it takes them to get round to a job. Tenants can become impatient when they have to live with issues in properties and it is no use if your contractor has a four-week waiting list.
How can you contact them out of hours? Are they willing to liaise with tenants? How much do they charge for call outs? These are some of the things you need to know before you enlist these contractors.
Executive Property Management Solutions- The Right Contractors for Rental Properties
If you want a trusted organisation to perform maintenance on your behalf, talk to Executive Property Management Solutions. We offer two different property management packages that take these tasks off your hands. We perform professional maintenance as part of the packages, with qualified staff who are professional, courteous and used to working with tenants.
Talk to us today about outsourcing your property management to us..