Do you give keys to your trusted contractor / repair / maintenance guy?

8 Replies

I'm curious about this and wanted to poll you all about it.

If you have a maintenance guy you've been working with and trust, you may find he's going to your rental properties fairly often.

If you have multi-unit properties, would you give him a key to at least get in the main door? Or also a key to get into the units themselves? Or no key at all?

I'm not suggesting he'd go in without notice of course. But sometimes it's tough for the landlord to always be there in person. Sometimes, the tenants step out or are sleeping and may not hear him knock at the main door.

Do you have a written agreement between you and the maintenance man regarding his possession of a key?

If he does have a key, tenants may complain that they don't like that he has a key. How would you manage that?

This is an excellent question and I am looking forward to the replies from the experienced folk here in the BP Nation.

My trusted plumber, and my trusted contractor, both have keys to the main door of my mixed-use building.  Thus they can come and go without me needing to be there.  For all my other properties, I would just tell the tenants to let the repairperson in (no need to give out keys).

Same for me as @Judy P.  - they have main door keys to all my properties here locally in Mass... When it comes to entering people's homes, I want to be there or at least have a tenant present "just in case" or in other words, to avoid potential future liabilities.

Hope this helps...


@Nicole W. If you have a working relationship with a professional person I see no problem, most every apartment complex has master keys and the maintenance have those keys. I would have some for of agreement regarding the key and most importantly what happens if the key is lost.

My contractor for our out of state rentals has a key. The tenants are aware of that from the beginning of the lease term, since he's the one that shows the units and does the walk-throughs. He is well versed in FL law and knows the proper notice to give for entry. We both ask our tenants first if he can go in if they're at work to make repairs, so even if they're not home, they know to expect him. 

In one of our condo complexes, the on-site management company also has keys to the units, as they provide monthly exterminating services. Again, they give proper notice.

When there is a maintenance request I contact the repair man, explain the problem, and give him the contact info for the tenant. The take it from there. No need for me to go open up and/or give keys.

When rehabbing or turning over a unit I put a lock box on.  For maintenance, I connect the repair person with the tenant and they coordinate.  If the tenant can't be home and I can't be there when the contractor is going to show up, my realtor will be there with a key I provide him.  

I do not give contractors keys.  I am either there myself or I have the tenant let them in.  Especially if it's the first time the tenant meets the contractor I will go there myself and introduce the contractor but if the tenant is there I don't stick around for the full job.

Join the Largest Real Estate Investing Community

Basic membership is free, forever.

By signing up, you indicate that you agree to the BiggerPockets Terms & Conditions.