3 Tips For Choosing The Perfect Property Maintenance Expert For Your First Apartment Complex

Posted on: 30 August 2017

When hiring a property maintenance expert for your first apartment complex, it's important to be sure that the person you hire has the skills and abilities to fulfill all job duties. Unfortunately, previous experience with maintaining homes or duplexes does not always mean that the applicant will know how to maintain or repair the laundry room appliances, hot water boilers, and swimming pools often found in apartment complexes.

In addition, background checks are also a good idea, given that maintenance personnel are frequently left alone in tenants' homes to provide repairs, and you need to know that he or she is trustworthy. Therefore, when you need to hire a new maintenance worker for your apartment complex, the following advice will be very useful.

Remember That Professional Maintenance Is Different from the Same Work for Private Residences

Repairing or replacing a residential water heater can be quite different from working on a boiler that services an entire building with hot water. For instance, the parts can be harder to obtain and working in the unit itself can be more expensive. In addition, oil-burning boilers are often prone to carbon build-up, and if that unit is not working as efficiently as it should, it can cost you or your tenants extra money. Commercial maintenance job duties can include everything from plumbing to maintenance and landscaping, as well as a myriad of other tasks that can vary from one complex to another. 

As a result, it's easy to see why hiring an expert, not just someone who has experience in the field, is so important. 

Verify the Applicant's Experience by Asking a Specific Question About an Impaired Item on Your Grounds

A common way to screen applicants is to ask a specific question about a hypothetical problem your steam-generating boiler is experiencing, to determine which steps they would take to address the problem. One option would be to inquire what steps would be taken to determine the extent of the refractory damage, the materials that are involved, and how it could be repaired.

However, when choosing a new maintenance expert to work for you, you'll also want to make sure that he or she can be trusted to be around expensive, valuable property of both you and your tenants, as discussed next.

Know Who You're Hiring . . . and Be Sure the Government Does Too 

It is important to note that there are numerous types of background checks to choose from when hiring a new worker. For example, you can opt for something as minor as an address verification, which could be useful since many apartment complexes expect maintenance staff to live on the premises. If the addresses don't match up, it might be a red flag that warrants further investigation.

You could also benefit from a more comprehensive check that would permit you to check for a criminal history on the applicant. In this case, you can opt to get information on an in-state basis or throughout the United States. 

Your options for background checks are likely to vary by state, and you will usually need to get the applicant's permission, in writing, to access that information. Often, a private investigator can help you to quickly obtain that essential information.    

In conclusion, property maintenance is an important job that, if done improperly, puts your property, your tenants, and their belongings at great risk. As a result, it's best to consider the above information when you're hiring someone for your apartment complex. To learn more, consult with companies like Property Matters Management.