If you own or manage apartments or offices, how can you tell whether your electrician is treating you right? I’ve been providing electrical services to property managers and owners for over 30 years in the Los Angeles area and have learned a lot about what they really need and want and how to treat them right. There are eight benefits that your electrician should provide you if are a property manager.
1) The electrical contractor should be easy to reach. A live person should always answer the phone during business hours. After hours, there should be an emergency number that you can call.
2) If you have an urgent electrical situation, your electrical company should handle it right away. Let’s say that one of your office buildings loses its exterior lights at 8 p.m. on Sunday night. You want an electrician who can fix it, whether it’s as simple as flipping on a circuit breaker or whether troubleshooting is needed to find where bare wires are touching. The electrical company should be large enough that it can send you experienced and knowledgeable electricians right away to get the lights back on.
3) Your electrician should quote you prices in advance of doing work. If you want something new installed, the electrician should be able to give you a price up front in writing once he’s seen the job. New installations include, for example, a new light fixture, a rewire of an apartment, an electrical panel upgrade, or installing any other new electrical equipment Find local electrician.
If there’s something broken, for example, an electrical outlet that no longer works, he’ll want to charge you per hour for troubleshooting. However, within about an hour, he should either have fixed it or have figured out the problem and be ready to give you a written estimate for fixing it.
4) You should be able to trust that the electrician has the judgment to give you accurate estimates. For example, the doorbell for one of your apartment units has broken. Even though door bells look small and simple, in this case, looks can be deceptive. Hunting for an electrical short or loose wire somewhere in the walls could turn into a larger project. Your electrician should have the judgment to realize this and give you an accurate estimate early on so that you can decide if you want to go ahead.
5) The electrician should act professionally with your tenants. Electricians should have a friendly, professional manner with tenants. They should also have the training to give information to tenants on a need-to-know basis, knowing what to say and what not to. For example, an electrician should start by saying something like, “The management company asked us to come out to get your power back on for you.” The electrician should know not to say, “The wiring in your apartment is scary. I’m going to recommend a rewire to the management before it burns down!”
6) The electrician should make sure that you know when the job is done. When the electrician finishes, he should check that everything works, clean up after himself, and if the tenants are home, let them know that the job is done. He should also tell you.
7) The electrician should keep you posted on the condition of the electrical in your units. Let’s say that you asked the electrician to add a circuit for a computer. He adds the circuit, but also notices that a bedroom has no smoke detector. Or the tenants might tell him that at night, when a hair dryer is turned on in the lit bathroom, the circuit breaker trips off. Without saying anything to the tenant that would obligate you to do electrical work, the electrician should give you a heads up.
8) The electrical office should provide you with accurate bills. Bills should arrive when expected with the detail needed to provide you with a clear accounting for the property owners. Paperwork should be smooth and simple, just as the electrical work should be smooth and complete. During business hours, an office manager should be available to answer any questions about billing.