When you take on the role of caretaker, you often have to live on the property. That’s not always bad, especially if you’re on a ranch or some other beautiful property. When you live there, the rent's usually a part of your compensation package. As a caretaker, you'll make rounds of the property on a regular basis, keep regular office hours and be on call for emergencies and tenant problems.
Keeping watch on the property for the owners is your primary responsibility. You're the eyes and ears of the owners and need to let them know when problems arise with the buildings or land, including roads, open spaces and landscaping. You’ll need to watch the comings and goings of people on the property too to make sure everyone's safe and trespassers keep out. Ensuring that tenants legally allowed to live on the property are the only ones doing so is also part of the job. Familiarize yourself with tenants’ vehicles so you’ll easily recognize strangers.
Many caretaker jobs require you to have at least minor fixer-upper skills. You’ll need to be able to do light carpentry, electrical and plumbing work when needed. The caretaker may be the one doing all the gardening and lawn care too. Alternatively, it may just fall on you to keep a list of competent contractors you can call when something needs fixing. Hire responsible landscaping, painting and cleaning crews to make yourself look good, since you’re responsible for the property’s appearance.
Caretakers are responsible for reporting regularly to the owners. You’ll let owners know when maintenance issues arise, especially when they're bigger than a small repair that you can handle. You’ll keep ledgers of the repairs you’ve made as well as unusual activities, such as if you had to call local law enforcement to confront trespassers. Turning in regular reports on your rounds of the property and the state of the buildings and grounds is also part of the job.
Two for One
Many properties hire couples to serve as caretakers. Property owners may look for a couple to talk with guests, clean and prepare rooms and write caretaker reports each month. Meanwhile, they may expect maintenance duties like making repairs and taking care of the landscaping to fall on the man. No matter how you divide your duties, a couple who doesn’t mind living and working closely together can easily manage the work.
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