How to Hire an Electrician : A Landlord’s Guide to Hiring Contractors

Hiring contractors is one of the many tasks assigned to landlords or property managers. These contractors can be plumbers, roofers, carpet cleaners, or electricians. Each one of these contractor’s professions provides a vital service that contributes to the proper management and maintenance of your property investments. As you know these contractors are needed, but more importantly, you need to know how to hire the best contractors for your properties. This time we will discuss how to hire an electrician.

The simple act of just finding any old electrician is just that, simple. Unfortunately your property cannot settle for just any electrician. You want to hire an electrician who is not only great at their job, but also licensed and certified to operate within their field.

Hiring a Qualified Electrician

Electricians are required to complete an apprenticeship by being the apprentice of a licensed electrician. After completing their apprenticeship, before going to work they must first become licensed by their respective state. Licensing requirements can vary from state to state, but regardless of the bureaucracy, as a landlord you need to ensure that the contractors you hire are legally eligible to work for you, and also have the skills required to complete the tasks assigned to them.

Safety Concerns

While an unlicensed electrician may insist they have all the skills and qualifications that a licensed electrician has, but at a lower cost may seem temping, the nature of electricity and the safety concerns present, the risk is too great not to go with a licensed professional. While there are certainly safety risks involved with botched plumbing jobs, the results of faulty electrical work can be catastrophic. There is a risk of electrocution to tenants or even the contractors themselves if they aren’t professionally trained. Electrical fires are also an enormous risk, not only for safety concerns, but also for your investments in the form of damage to your properties.

Reliable Contractors

Not only do your contractors have to be licensed and preferably certified, but they also need to be reliable. You are operating within the real estate sector and you need a contractor who is able to accommodate all of your specific needs. Since we are talking about electricians, the wiring situation could be complex, especially if your properties are apartments, condos, or dorm style buildings. This means that sometimes an electrical issue may be isolated to one unit or could spread to others.

The more complex a task is, generally it takes longer to complete. A great question to ask your electrican before hiring them is, what is the rate they charge for their services, and could you come to a more agreeable price if there is a possibility of a future long term working relationship. You need to establish these terms beforehand, so you aren’t blindsided by a bill you weren’t anticipating.

Who Will be Working in Your Properties?

The certified and licensed electrician you might have spoken to when inquiring about their services may not be the person they were planning to send to replace your wiring. Electrician’s apprentices, or other non licensed employees may be sent in their place, and it’s your job to make sure you know who they are and what their skill level is. To ensure the most qualified people are working on your investment you need to speak up and insist that only licensed electricians take action or make consequential decisions during your services taking place.

Are Your Contractors Insured?

legally your electrician has to have some form of insurance, but you need to know what is covered in those insurance policies, by asking for a copy of any insurance documentation they may have on file. Individual plumbing businesses may also have additional warranties or service guarantees that they may offer their clients.

Your Best bet is to Shop Around

Shop around for the best electrical contractor you can find. They will all offer slightly different services,at different price ranges, but your goal is to sort them out and find the best fit for you. Also you need to do all of this before you actually need any electrical work done. You are contracting out this company and they will be your go to resource for all of your electrical needs. You need to be on a first name basis with all of your contractors, and they should know you as well. Apartment, condo, or dorm contracts are difficult to come by for contractors so they need to know you are valuable clients and should be treated as such, as a priority.

About the author

Kostner Guyton

28 comments

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  • When it comes to hiring professionals, the first thing I usually think about is how well they’re going to work. But I almost never consider the insurance you talk about here. It makes a ton of sense that you’d want to make sure you’ve covered in the case of an accident, because otherwise you could end up paying a lot of money. Thanks for the reminder of things I need to check next time.

  • Recently we have had some storms and some of our wires have shortened out. You mentioned that with the nature of electricity and the safety concerns present the risk is too great not to go with a licensed professional. Are most electricians licensed and qualified? It seems hiring a qualified professional can be very beneficial.

  • I like that you talked about how you should make sure that they are insured. That way, you know it will be a good thing to think about when you need a lot of repairs done. It seems like it would be a good idea to do your research before you pick one.

  • This really gave me a better understanding of why it’s important to find an trust electrician. I agree that it’s good to be careful when it comes to lower prices. Cheaper cost doesn’t always guarantee quality.

  • These are some great tips to keep in mind when hiring an electrician. I like how you talked about making sure to shop around and compare different businesses. I have a bad habit of hiring the first contractor that I come across, but that isn’t what I should be doing!

  • My landlords have mentioned that they want to upgrade the outdated electrical sockets in our house, but they haven’t started looking for an electrition yet. They are a really nice couple, and I’d like to be able to suggest some electrician for them. I’ll be sure to only recommend companies that I have found to be reliable and insured.

  • I like that you point out to ask if the electrician will be subcontracting anyone else to help fix the problem. I can see why this would be important to know. I know that I would not like a random stranger that I’ve never met walking around in my house.

  • I definitely agree that faulty electrical work can cause huge problems for the apartment. Because those lines are connected to so many different appliances, the scope of things that can be affected is pretty large. That alone is a huge reason to get the most reputable contractor possible.

  • I appreciate the information on how to hire and electrician. I agree that it is important to hire an electrician that is qualified for the job, you don’t want to go hire just any electrician that doesn’t have the experience you need. My mom is looking for an electrician to get some things fixed around her house and working right, I will be sure to share this information with her.

  • I think that when hiring an electrician it is something very important to make sure that they are qualified and reliable. If they are not qualified, they might make the electrical problems in your house worse rather than better. The last thing that you want when dealing with electrical problems is more problems. A good way to avoid that is to get references from friends and to read online reviews before hiring someone.

  • I think there is a lot we can learn from shopping around for the right electrician. Like you said, you need to find the best fit for you and that can only be done by comparing your options. Overall, I think you should find someone who can help you feel confident in their ability to do the work you need and to do it safely. http://www.countyelectricco.com/

  • Thanks for pointing out that all electricians are required to complete an apprenticeship by shadowing a licensed electrician. I can see how valuable this would be for someone who was going to be working around this volatile element. It would probably be worth your time to ask to see a potential electricians qualifications and ask about their aprenticeship.

  • I agree that hiring an experienced and licensed professional is very essential in order to maintain safety for both the tenants and the electrician. Like you said, when an electrician persists that they have knowledge and experience, that will be a safety issue if they are allowed to fix your electricity problems without a license. License electricians with experience are reliable to hire to fix your problems.

  • Great article – it is critical to hire qualified licensed and insured contractors for any job, especially electrical where the consequences of bad work can be life or death. Thanks for the guidance!

  • I like that you mentioned to make sure you choose an electrician with adequate insurance. I want to make sure the person working on my home is covered. I will definitely be asking about this as I look around for an electrician to help me out with some wiring issues.

  • I like how you mentioned that in addition to being licensed and certified, it’s important to hire a contractor that is reliable. I think the best way to go about determining this would be to check references of that electrician. I would feel a lot more comfortable hiring an electrician that has a long history of providing good service to previous customers.

  • My husband and I are in need of an electrician since our electricity hasn’t been working fully. So thanks for the tip that we ask for some kind of insurance documentation to make sure that the service has it. We will definitely ask each electrician we consider for some insurance documentation so that we can be sure that they are fully covered.

  • There have been a few problems that my fiance and I have been having in the new home that we moved into. We are trying to figure out what to do and think that the best course of action is to find a licensed electrician. Asking if a prospective contractor is insured will be a great way to find the right fit for us.

  • I agree that hiring an experienced and licensed professional is very essential in order to maintain safety for both the tenants and the electrician. Also, I like how you mentioned that in addition to being licensed and certified, it’s important to hire a contractor that is reliable.

  • You make a good point that you should make sure to get a copy of the insurance documents that the contractor has. It’d also be a good idea to find someone who has hours that would work well for you or your building(s). It’d be a good idea to just find a commercial electrician who could do that for your property.

  • Thanks for this post. I found this really helpful. I have to repair the electrical system of the whole house as it is really old. After reading this, I am going to look for licensed and insured electricians only.

  • Shopping around is something you should always be doing even if it isn’t an electrician. You should be getting the quotes in writing so you have something to refer back to later on and something to compare other quotes with. In my opinion, you should find a balance of the cost of the contractor and the experience they offer so you get the best bang for your buck.

  • Thank you for sharing the advice that you should choose an electrician who is licensed because this shows that they have gone through the proper training to receive these qualifications. This way I can have peace of mind that they have the most knowledge about safety concerns and will know how to avoid risks and potential damage to my property. When I look for an electrician in the future to rewire my kitchen I will make sure to choose someone who is licensed and experienced.

  • Wonderful post! Not only is it interesting but the facts are stated in the most logical manner. Thanks to the writer for presenting something which is fresh and new. Keep sharing!

  • Very well said! Thanks for sharing these vital tips for hiring a qualified electrician! I couldn’t agree more, the results of faulty electrical work can be catastrophic, that’s why when it comes to electrical wiring, it’s not something you can do for a DIY project, it is required that you hire a licensed electrician to do the work. I had experienced before that a licensed electrician sent his apprentice to do a follow up job, to which I insisted that only a licensed electrician should fix it.

  • This type of fault causes an increase in current and a subsequent rise in the temperature of the conductors. This can ultimately destroy the supply circuit and cause a fire.

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