The newsLINK Group - You Get What You Pay For

Editorial Library Category: Multi-Family & Property Management Topics: Repairs, Hiring Professionals Title: You Get What You Pay For Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: When it comes to having repairs done in an apartment, you might be tempted to delegate the repairs to unskilled workers because they are more affordable than professionals. Unfortunately, though, this is a bad idea. Editorial: You Get What You Pay For 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 When it comes to having repairs done in an apartment, you might be tempted to delegate the repairs to unskilled workers because they are more affordable than professionals. Unfortunately, though, this is a bad idea. It’s true that professionals charge more money, but it is also true that their repairs are more thorough and are more likely to last than a repair done by an unskilled worker. As one example of this, if you have an expert paint something, the work is likely to last for five to ten years before it has to be redone. If you hire an unskilled worker to do the same work, though, you might have to have the job repeated in two years instead. Doing a job twice in ten years is probably going to be cheaper than doing it five times instead. What are some other reasons for hiring a professional? Professionals are often able to get discounts that are unavailable to nonprofessionals. Professionals can do work that is in line with the building code. An unlicensed person might unintentionally invalidate the insurance policy covering the work, which would affect any claim having to do with the work, too. If the repair is done wrong, it can turn into a major renovation. A professional should have the skills to avoid that. Repairs can be dangerous. You certainly don’t want anyone to be hurt as a result of a repair done by someone without the right skill set. Safety is one of the major reasons for hiring a professional. For example, if you have serious problems to be solved that involve plumbing, electrical work, and anything connected with natural gas, you are much better off hiring a professional who is trained to work as safely as possible. The same goes for any problem involving structural damage, flood damage, roof repair, asbestos removal, and any job that requires use of scaffolding or ladders. If there are small jobs to be done and you want to consider hiring a handyman to get them done, make sure the handyman is qualified for the work you want completed and has both the tools and the necessary experience. Installing new fixtures or making sure a faucet won’t leak would be suitable jobs for a handyman. If you want to move plumbing, though, hire a licensed plumber instead. When you do decide to hire a professional, here are some additional tips to keep in mind: If the problem involves an appliance, consider whether it would be better to replace the appliance than to repair it. Most large appliances are expected to last between eight to ten years. If the appliance is close to the end of its life cycle anyway, maybe the thing to do is to replace it instead of having someone repair it. Work with reputable companies. To find a good repair service, talk to people about issues such as skill, price, and whether a problem was fixed successfully or not. Talk to the professional you are thinking of hiring, and ask some questions. You want to know what the minimum fee is, what the service call-out will cost, and whether the business is licensed and bonded. Ask to see evidence of the licensing and bonding. Some people say they are licensed and bonded but actually are not. Many companies will dismiss a call-out fee if you hire the company to make a repair. Be careful of any company that wants to be paid in cash. Putting the transaction on a credit card gives you the chance to get a refund if you are not satisfied with the work that was (or wasn’t) done. As an apartment manager, you will have to deal with either making repairs in rental units yourself or delegating them. Delegating the repairs is often the most time-effective solution, and if you hire a professional, it is also the wisest solution as far as cost is concerned. Make sure you hire the right person to do the job so that you can keep tenants happy and move on to more important concerns.