Landlords, do you use a day worker?

For the do it all landlords here, what are your thoughts on using day workers to help you? I’ve had two, both i’ve paid between 75-85 a day. I can’t decide if they are worth it or not. One was a hard worker but had no clue what he was doing, the other knows quite a bit but is lazy. Both are shady characters, you never know if they are actually going to show up or not. It feels as if I get things done 3 times as fast with just one helper. I think I work harder with someone by my side as well. But in the end result, at best they help me get my places rented 2 weeks before I would on my own.

One is a big scary looking fellow, which helps too.

I keep going back and forth here, I would love to hear some advice from experienced landlords only.



When I’m doing rehabs in the ghetto and/or unit prep after move outs I usually hire myself a shady character or two. My biggest concern is that they will come back and break in late at night to steal copper or sinks…I’ve had it happen. To fix that I put my old military cot in the corner of one room with an old sleeping bag and a short barreled shot gun laying on top. They think someone with a gun is staying in the place at night so they don’t bother coming around. But, it’s effort well worth doing because like you said, I get units ready to rent out again and rehab projects completed in half the time it would take me to do it myself. And the labor is less than $100 per day per worker.

GooD LucK! :beer

Just from an economic standpoint, you may get it rented two weeks earlier but at $200 per day (for 2 workers) for 10 work days, that would be $2,000. Is your rent more than $1,000 per week?

Regardless of the cost, I don’t use day laborers or have any other employees. Most of these people are little more than petty criminals and I’m not risking the lawsuits, shoddy work, break-ins, or suffering through the laziness, no-shows, goofing off, or other nonsense. I can easily out work any four day laborers put together because I don’t goof around; don’t take a 10 minute smoke break every half hour; don’t show up hang-over, don’t take 2 hours for lunch when no-one is watching, etc, etc, etc. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt!


for clarification, the $100 per day is for rehab projects where I’m making no less than $20k per. When I hire the ‘petty crooks’ off the street they usually get $8 per hour, $10 if they work hard. When it comes to unit prep i usually end up doing everything myself, short of carpet installation.

GooD Luck! :beer

I like the way you think!

Yeah my thoughts as well, although I have never used two people at once so your numbers are not correct.

Something that bothers me is get lonely by myself sometimes working all day. I usually end up talking out loud a bunch. It helps keep the riff raff away as well.

As I was typing this there is a commercial out for a townhome complex right across the street from my property. They are selling at over 3 times what I paid for my house. People are flipping properties all around me. I’m not really into the appreciation hype, but this one my turn out to be a real winner. They fella across the street nearly fainted when I told him I only paid 30K for my joint. He said I’m doing it all wrong renting it. Wow where did this rambling come from? Maybe it’s all the beer.

Well thanks again for the responses fellas, specially mike.

Good night :beer

I was talking to my mentor a couple of week ago. He said something that is true. He said “If you don’t have a maid, you is a maid.” That applys to a yard man, a pool man, etc. If you don’t have help you are help. This is the USA. We are a capitalist coountry. Either you have capital or you ARE capital. You need to hire people.

If there were illegal aliens where I do rehabs they would probably work harder than what I have to choose from as it is. 100% lazy ass, welfare sucking, waists of space.

Very Very True!

GooD LucK! :beer

I don’t hire cheap labor. I got tired of redoing what they did wrong and I got tired of repairing the damage they did.

To me, it’s bad economy to pay incompetant people. I do better by hiring the guy who knows what he is doing, is licensed and insured, and who works hard for his money. He comes in, works fast, and when he is done, it is done right.

No. Good workers don’t come cheap. But it isn’t cheap either, to spend many excess days and end up having to repair hundreds of dollars worth of “accidents”, or to have your tools and equipment stolen.

How about someone who advertises themselves as a handyman? Better yet a licensed handyman. Sometimes you can find one that really knows his stuff but charges a reasonable amount.

What if somebody illegal or legally working injures himself while working for me then what happens ?

What if somebody illegal or legally working injures himself while working for me then what happens ?

It depends on the situation. If they are working for you as an employee and you are paying worker’s comp, and taking the withholding out of their check - you should be in relatively good shape. Of course, that won’t keep the employee from getting some low-life scumbag contingency lawyer and suing you.

If you they have made over $600 (I believe that’s still the number) and you are not paying worker’s comp and taking the withholding out of their check - then you may be in some significant trouble with the government AND the employee will still get a low-life scumbag contingency lawyer and sue you.

If the worker is a legitimate independent contractor, then you may be ok, but in our screwed up society - anyone can sue you at any time for any reason. Being a legitimate independent contractor is a little subjective, but generally if you’re telling the worker when to be there and what to do, they are NOT an independent contractor.

Good Luck,


I use day laborers pretty often.

Usually I get referrals from an employee. I don’t like to hire right off the street but I like to hire “Jose’s wife’s cousin”, as vouched for.

I don’t hire gaunt people with missing teeth (meth), or people who should be at a certain level in life but aren’t. There will be something wrong with them.

If I didn’t hire people but just relied on my own skills I would be working on my 2nd unit by now only.


It’s hard to get around day laborer’s for general help around the place. BE CAREFUL.

  1. If they get hurt you are responsible. Small accidents with saws, rotten wood, falls, etc can get exspensive in doctor bills.

  2. Subcontractors need liability insurance to cover property damage and a workman’s comp rider to cover injuries to their employees.

  3. General clean ups are cool but anything on a ladder is best to get a professional.

  4. If you use someone who is insured get the insurance company to fax you outlining coverage no workman’s comp leaves you open the liability.

Day labor is always a roll of the dice however if you are making money then you could get coverage cheap around $1000 range for year liability and comp. Comp coverage goes by the payroll and is rated per $1000 of payroll. Call around for a qoute to cover your butt in the long run it may save headaches.

  1. You could use a temporary employment service. I use Labor Ready sparingly but there are others that specialize in construction and will send guys with tools. If you dont like them send them back and get another. Someone will always show up and generally know what they are doing if you use the specialist. You pay the service they pay the employee and provide comp coverage.

I agree 100%. What I did with one worker, I printed him up some business cards with his name on it as president of the company. I gave it to him as a gift (he was very pleased) and kept a few for myself so I could show the judge if he sued me for his accidents. See, independent contractor is what he TOLD ME!! I SWEAR!!

There is an internet website with 5 dollar business cards.

what if you have the contractors sign a contractors agreement stating they carry insurance etc.

Im sure they still CAN come after you, but that should at least take care of some of it.