Landlord by Design

Property Manager basic tool box

Property Manager basic tool box

 A property manager tool box, is a crucial piece of equipment for all property managers and landlords.
I cannot tell you the amount of times Shelly and I were grateful to have some basic tools with us.
I do want to point out that we hire out almost all of our maintenance, however, sometimes if there is an emergency or small repair, we want to have some basic items on hand.
I wanted to write about what you need at all times.The first step is to go to any local hardware store or Canadian Tire and pick up a small to medium size tool box.
It should be large enough to carry the items I am about to suggest, but small enough to fit easily in the trunk of your car.

The items I am about to suggest are the minimum, you can carry more, but do not carry any less.

  1. Lock lubricant / deicer – we have gone to show or inspect many properties and the key sticks in the door.  With a little bit of lubricant, you can avoid a future service call, or frustration from your tenant.  People will not often do this automatically.  I attended a service call one day for a sticky lock and when I arrived to check it out, I noticed a can of WD-40 in the apartment.  The tenants could have easily fixed there own problem, I am still not sure why they even had WD-40.
  2. Appliance touch up paint – Appliance touch up paint is one of my favorite discoveries as a landlord / property manager.  It can make a stove, fridge, bathtub, sink etc.. look awesome, with very minimal effort.  It comes in a small bottle, and can work wonders on chipped appliances or bathroom fixtures.
  3. 60 watt light bulb – this should be self explanatory
  4. Set of screw drivers – When it comes to carrying screwdrivers, it is a good idea to get a decent variety.  If you only want to buy a few, then I would at the very least have a mid-sized Phillips, a small flat head, and a small Robertson.  The Phillips screws are very common in door locks and cupboard hinges.
  5. Vice grips – If you are only going to carry on set, a medium pair will do
  6. Adjustable wrench – medium size
  7. Measuring tape – it will be common for you to have to measure a room, or for blinds, appliances, etc..
  8. Channel lock pliers – these can be used for a variety of things
  9. Needle nose pliers – medium size
  10. Hammer – hammers always come in handy
  11. Nails – I recommend a couple of sizes, and a small variety of screws is good to have also
  12. Duct tape – duct tape can be used to temporarily repair just about anything.  Make sure to buy the higher quality brand name kind.
  13. Pen – you need to always be ready to take notes
  14. Pencil – make sure it is sharpened
  15. Note pad – you can get a small one from a dollar store
  16. Black Marker – a fine point one is best
  17. Plastic tie wraps – these are good to hold just about anything together
  18. Hose clamps – 4″ is good to have for dryer vents, I would also recommend a few small ones, they can come in handy for plumbing repair

That sums up the basic list for a property manager or landlord that just needs enough for emergency repairs, or small repairs.

Michael P Currie
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