It’s the middle of the night and your phone rings. You wake up in a panic, wondering what tragedy has happened. Then you hear a distraught tenant on the other end of the line saying that the toilet is clogged, or the AC has stopped working.

This is a minor issue if you only have one or two properties. But when you are a landlord of multiple units, these maintenance issues can start to take up your time. Any time spent on maintenance will take time away from the more enjoyable aspects of being a landlord.

Regardless of the number of units you have, your time is valuable. For this reason, savvy landlords hire maintenance professionals. However, you need to find contractors or tradespeople who will do an excellent job at a reasonable price. After all, you need the maintenance issue resolved the first time around, not after multiple visits.

Specific jobs require a professional contractor—certified contractors must deal with significant plumbing incidents, gas leaks, or electrical faults. On the other hand, there are numerous jobs that you may not have the skills to repair but don’t require a professional contractor.

Common Maintenance Issues
For example, some common maintenance issues in rental units include:

No heating
No hot water
Electrical fuse replacements
Leaking faucets
Clogged drains
Broken garbage disposals
HVAC maintenance (malfunctions and filter replacements)
Minor wall repairs/drywall
Changing locks
Depending on what’s happened, some maintenance issues are emergency repairs and need immediate attention. However, other repairs are not as urgent, and you can schedule them within a week. Either way, it’s unlikely that you will have time to carry them all out yourself.

The problem is that your tenant reasonably expects you to resolve all maintenance issues within an appropriate time.

The time you take to fix maintenance issues affects your reputation as a trusted landlord. There two reasons for this.

First, this is essential for your relationship with your tenants and your reputation as an excellent landlord. Second, if you don’t take care of the smaller issues when they arise, they will eventually turn into more significant problems that will cost more money. Additionally, your tenants aren’t going to be happy, and you don’t want the reputation of a “slumlord.” Hence the importance of hiring the right maintenance professionals.

Why Should You Hire a Professional?
Aside from keeping your properties in top condition and your tenants happy, there are pitfalls to not having a network of maintenance professionals. When something crops up, and you don’t have someone to do the job, you will need to start looking for a contractor.

Suppose you don’t have any relationships with contractors. In that case, you risk hiring someone who may do a lousy job or overcharge you. The other risk is that there isn’t a contractor available to carry out your repairs, and the problems last for an unnecessarily long time.

By taking the time to hire the right maintenance professional, you will save yourself time and money—not to mention establish a great relationship with someone who is incredibly handy.

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