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Posts: 45
Reply with quote  #1 

Thinking of hiring a caretaker to keep an eye on our 5 family building in New Jersey.

Duties would include light groundskeeping (no lawn, just the common courtyard and trash areas; pick up stray trash and hose down cans and pavement once in awhile), bringing all recycling cans to the curb once every two weeks, change light bulbs in hallways when needed, calling the town's "bulky trash" disposal service when a tenant leaves unwanted furniture, sweeping and mopping hallways and stairs occasionally and maybe some light snow shoveling.

And, of course, finking to us on other tenants when they're misbehaving. 

This person would not have to paint or fix anything and would not be given keys to other apartments (just the basement and storage closet).

What do you think? What's a fair price for this service?

Should we discount the rent for a tenant or pay a monthly fee to a tenant or try and find someone in the neighborhood who lives outside the buidling?

Also, any suggestions on getting references and finding a reliable person?


Posts: 3,814
Reply with quote  #2 
Figure how many hours per month this work would require, and calculate a fair wage for this work. Then find someone to live in the building and do this work by giving free or discounted rent.  I wouldn't pick someone already living there as they would have pre-existing relationships with the tenants and wouldn't tell on their friends.  Find someone from outside that would move into a unit. 

You could give this person other duties as well.  For instance, they could gather repair requests and relay them to you through email or fax.  They could clean units that come vacant.  They could gather police reports on tenant disturbances and relay them to you.  Find enough work to make it worth their while to get a dignificant discount or free rent. 

Screen this person as a tenant and as an employee.  Write a contract with them outlining all of their duties and include a clause that allows you to terminate their employment at your option (ending any free of discounted rent immediately).  You don't sound as if you want this person to take over enough duties to make it worthwhile to most property managers.  So you will have to find a private individual to do this if you can find someone you feel like you can trust.
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