As a landlord, saving money is important to your bottom line and your ROI, but you want to be careful about where you cut costs. Hiring your cousin who happens to be handy with a drill or any other unlicensed person to perform maintenance on your rental property is risky. You could end up with legal costs and insurance claims that are far more costly than a licensed and insured contractor would have been when you hired someone to work on your home.
Why Work with Vendors who are Licensed and Insured
There’s a lot of liability with rental property investments. Hiring vendors, contractors, and other workers who are licensed, insured, and bonded is for your own protection. If you have an uninsured vendor on a ladder and he falls off and hurts himself, you’re going to be liable for his medical costs and probably even more damages. Or, if your unlicensed handyman makes a mistake and a repair causes more damage to your property or harms your tenant, you’ll be at risk for additional lawsuits, claims, and expenses.
Licensed vendors are professionals who stand by their work. They may cost more than unlicensed repair people, but they will do high quality work and be accountable to you and your tenants. Don’t hire anyone who cannot provide proof of workers compensation insurance and errors & omissions insurance.
Putting Together a Preferred Vendor List
Whether you have one property or an entire portfolio, you’ll need a list of reliable vendors you can call for routine repairs and emergency maintenance. Screen these vendors as thoroughly as you’d screen your tenants. In addition to being licensed and insured, you want to make sure they have experience working on properties like yours. You should have a team of vendors who are responsive, professional, and affordable. These will be professionals who specialize in a number of different areas, including plumbing, electrical work, roofing, cleaning, landscaping, and HVAC.
When you work with a local property management company, you have immediate access to a great list of vendors. Property managers provide contractors and vendors with a lot of work, so they usually receive a volume discount.
Your vendor list is one part of your overall maintenance plan. If you need any help finding vendors who are licensed and insured, please contact us at The Wright Choice Richmond Realty Group. We’d be happy to help you.