How To Find A Reliable Property Handyman

Performance Property Real Estate Question

Q: Gerald, I really need help with minor repairs on my rental property. How can I find a reliable handyman? Doug, Hackensack, NJ

A: A referral from another property owner who has worked with the handyman before is ideal because it’s based on past performance and quality. If you don’t have any referrals, put a handyman wanted sign in a window or in the yard of your rental property with a phone # or email for them to contact. You can also try online on craigslist or similar sites, but the most reliable handymen are usually local, so a sign on the property will only elicit responses from local people. Every handyman doesn’t have the same skill set and experience, so whenever you hire a handyman or contractor, don’t ask them if they can do a specific job, ask them when the last time they did the specific job that you need (handymen & contractors will sometimes say they can do a specific job even if they’ve never done it before–you don’t want them to learn on your dime). Ask if a handyman has any photos of work they’ve completed before. When you deal with any new handyman or contractor, start small–give them a smaller job and see how it goes before you commit to bigger, more expensive or complicated projects. Make sure you are specific about exactly what work you want done–either get your agreement in writing or if not, be clear that you’re not going to pay anything until the job is completed. Seeing is believing–observe how quickly and competently the person completes the job you give them and always make certain they clean up when the job is completed, otherwise you will have to go clean up or hire someone else to do it (cleanup is part of the job–it’s the last step). As a handyman proves his worth by completing work competently and timely, you can give them more work. Thanks for your question, Doug.

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