Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Putting lockbox on rental house that's being worked on
Old 03-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #1
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
Amethyst's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 5,899
Putting lockbox on rental house that's being worked on

We have a rental property, some distance away, which we're fixing up for sale. It needs complete painting and flooring replacement, among other things. I'm starting to line up estimates, and will meet all prospective contractors at the property. Oh...and I'm returning to work 3 days a week as a consultant, starting next week. The consulting gig will only last a few months, but overlaps with the townhouse work, and I will be driving our one and only car.

Once we have contracted out the work, the real estate agent suggested putting a combo-type lockbox on the door so contractors can let themselves in and out without our having to be there.

This makes us nervous, because there have been break-ins in this development. Not that there's anything to steal, but we're also afraid of liability issues. Still, it certainly would be nice not to have Mr. A. drive me to work, then to the townhouse to let contractors in, etc.

Thoughts?

Amethyst
__________________

__________________
If you understood everything I say, you'd be me ~ Miles Davis
'There is only one success to be able to spend your life in your own way. Christopher Morley.
Amethyst is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-03-2014, 12:15 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Posts: 158
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
We have a rental property, some distance away, which we're fixing up for sale. It needs complete painting and flooring replacement, among other things. I'm starting to line up estimates, and will meet all prospective contractors at the property. Oh...and I'm returning to work 3 days a week as a consultant, starting next week. The consulting gig will only last a few months, but overlaps with the townhouse work, and I will be driving our one and only car.

Once we have contracted out the work, the real estate agent suggested putting a combo-type lockbox on the door so contractors can let themselves in and out without our having to be there.

This makes us nervous, because there have been break-ins in this development. Not that there's anything to steal, but we're also afraid of liability issues. Still, it certainly would be nice not to have Mr. A. drive me to work, then to the townhouse to let contractors in, etc.

Thoughts?

Amethyst
I have used a lock box on our cabin in a similar fashion, but limited to only one at a time since the house is furnished. I have changed the codes in between contractors. It is a 6 hour drive one way from our house, but our neighbors keep an eye on it, which I have been sure to let the contractors know. "Please email or call me when you expect to be on the job so I can call John next door and let him know not to worry."

Digital photos have been a god send when it comes to verifying work done, allowing us to issue prompt payment.

I actually put the lock box in with spare keys after I locked myself out the first night after closing. Fortunately, the window AC was still in so I was able to break in, as I stood on my deck in my t-shirt with snow coming down around me. Have also eliminated that window unit weakness.

Good luck with your sale. You will need a lock box on it then anyway.

IP
__________________

__________________
InParadise is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 12:15 PM   #3
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: seattle
Posts: 643
Quote:
Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
We have a rental property, some distance away, which we're fixing up for sale. It needs complete painting and flooring replacement, among other things. I'm starting to line up estimates, and will meet all prospective contractors at the property. Oh...and I'm returning to work 3 days a week as a consultant, starting next week. The consulting gig will only last a few months, but overlaps with the townhouse work, and I will be driving our one and only car.

Once we have contracted out the work, the real estate agent suggested putting a combo-type lockbox on the door so contractors can let themselves in and out without our having to be there.

This makes us nervous, because there have been break-ins in this development. Not that there's anything to steal, but we're also afraid of liability issues. Still, it certainly would be nice not to have Mr. A. drive me to work, then to the townhouse to let contractors in, etc.

Thoughts?

Amethyst
Lots of builders do this, esp. for insurance work on commercial buildings, etc. You can change the code frequently if you want, esp. when some one has completed their work and has been paid off.

The real-estate people have been using them for years.

Real break and enter guys don't fool with locks anyway, they break a window or kick the door in.
__________________
bld999 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 12:16 PM   #4
Moderator Emeritus
aja8888's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: The Woodlands, TX
Posts: 7,167
If you are in Houston, do not trust remodeling contractors. If you are in a big city, I would recommend the same.

You have to watch contractors with at least 4 eyes and then some. Once they are gone and the work they did has problems, good luck getting them into small claims court.
__________________
aja8888 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 01:07 PM   #5
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
calmloki's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Independence
Posts: 5,459
We use lockboxes on our apartments for the cleaners between tenants and for contractors. Also have one at the winter house should we forget a key...
__________________
calmloki is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 01:18 PM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 198
Hi,

IMHO I think you have 3 issues:

Lock boxes
I have used lockboxes multiple times with contractors - can change combo between sets of contractors. All houses for sale, I have been involved with, use lock boxes. You can put on rear door or water meter or so not visible.

Security
The only place I had damage was because it was unoccupied - broken door - no lockbox.
Perhaps light on timer, might help? Ask neighbor to park car in driveway? or someone else probably has better ideas

Contractor supervision
Nothing substitutes for daily checking :-( But at least weekly and before payment or too much to be undone

Good luck!
__________________
SVHoper is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 01:20 PM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
ducky911's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 397
Have the real estate agent do it. Or have the contractor pick up the key from the real estate agent. Give the people next door your cell and tell them what you are doing so they can watch the place.
__________________
You've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
I hate (despise) loads and fees
Retired July '11 investments 55/45 in very low cost index and mutual funds, balance once a year at best.
ducky911 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 02:39 PM   #8
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Senator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Eagan, MN
Posts: 3,061
I use lock boxes all he time on my rentals. Each property has one permanently mounted, and I put a key in it when I need to.

There is always some risk, but I have never had trouble.
__________________
Senator is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 02:48 PM   #9
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Northern IL
Posts: 18,288
What about those systems I see advertised on TV - the ones where you lock/unlock the front door with an app on your phone (or computer?)?

I have no personal experience, but it might be worth looking into. Tell the contractor - "call me when you get there, I'll open the door". And you can check that it is locked when they leave.

-ERD50
__________________
ERD50 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 03-03-2014, 05:03 PM   #10
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
sengsational's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 3,847
I used one for contractors and real estate agents (I listed it myself for a flat fee, but my listing had the buyer's agent getting 2.0%). It worked well. I had my sister go by there and change the combo after each agent or contractor.

Even though I told the agent they must call me and arrange an appointment to see the house every time, one agent was furious when she didn't schedule an appointment, tried to get in, but couldn't due to the combo change! This was the same agent that said I "couldn't" do what I did (putting 2.0% instead of 3% for her commission). Even though I hated it, that agent was the one that ended up with the commission.

Ah, but I digress. The problem with the lockbox that I bought (just a Home Depot one) was that anyone that had the combo could theoretically change the combo, and lock "your people" out of the house and turn your lockbox into a brick. Hehe: "bricking your lockbox".
__________________

__________________
sengsational is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
home sale, home security, lockbox, rental


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Putting the "40" of the 60/40 portfolio allocation into your house? Kabekew FIRE and Money 24 11-28-2010 07:34 PM
Anyone worked with an Architect to build custom house? Amethyst Other topics 14 03-04-2010 07:31 PM
William Sharpe interview - "lockbox strategy for retirement spending" DblDoc FIRE and Money 18 05-23-2008 10:34 AM
Pay Yourself First or How did you create a savings plan that worked? peteyperson FIRE and Money 54 09-15-2005 09:11 AM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:53 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.