Helping residents with home repairs

How do other park owners handle it when residents ask for or need help with their home repairs?

Recently I’ve always been saying yes, have my handyman take care of it, and then bill them back for parts and labor at $50-$75 per month.

I figure if it doesn’t get fixed there’s some chance the tenant will run off at some point, and I’ll have to fix it then anyway. This way, even if they default, I got at least some money back from it, and it makes them more likely to stay.

Any thoughts?

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There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing and the rationale is logical, but if you’re going to give them something, you need something in return. I would make them sign an agreement that you have first option to buy their home if it ever goes up for sale. That will scare off another park owner or Lonnie dealer from buying it, and will be worth far more than you’re plumbing bill if it saves even one home from being pulled out down the road. Have your attorney write up the agreement, so that it is fully binding and legal in your state.

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I’ve always thought that every community needed a repair/improvement component as an added income stream. Resident satisfaction with the home and community are, as Noel_S pointed out, critical to retention.

To me the question is, why would a community owner not want to make these services available?

Could you expand on this please? What do you mean “as an added income stream”?

What she means is you should be charging more than just material and your cost of labour. You should be building in a profit for yourself in the form of a rate on top of the hourly your crew is paid. Don’t work for free. The payment plan for the residents is what makes it attractive for them to hire you rather than some outside contractor. You could charge the same as a outside contractor but allow a payment schedule that other contractors would not provide. As long as they are your tenants they will have to keep paying or you place a contractors lien on their home.

That’s a good idea, I had never considered the idea of building in a premium to the bid, to help defer some of the risk and hassle.

To those saying why home repairs shouldn’t be offered by the park though, there are plenty of reasons:
-If you don’t have a really high quality park, some of your tenants are unreasonable/crazy and the more interactions you have with them the more opportunity there is for weird things to happen.
-If your contractor screws things up or does weird stuff you’re going to get dragged into it
-It takes time
-You’re offering credit to people who are below subprime credit.

We have a couple of people that work part time around the park and we just get those guys to go over and work something out with the person needing the work.