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Hiring Caretakers & Estate Managers For Your Home

By: Chris Hogan MSc - Updated: 21 Oct 2012 | comments*Discuss
Hiring Help Local Caretaker Caretaking

Estate managers and caretakers might at first glance seem to be jobs from a by-gone age but although a lot of large houses and estates were left to go to ruin in the middle of the last century, there are still many left. But that's not the only sort of place that needs people like this to keep it running.


Caretakers are not just about houses. There are plenty of businesses and local authority buildings such as retirement homes, hospitals, schools and the like that need someone to look after them, especially the local authorities' office and town halls themselves. Many caretaking roles are for blocks of flats, and not just the council-owned ones, but large private apartment blocks in the cities need looking after too.

Caretaking isn't necessarily often about doing the jobs and making the repairs, although sometimes it can be. It's often more about constant monitoring and checking to make sure that the fabric of the building and the systems that support it are in good condition. Certainly a caretaker will take care of simple jobs such as replacing light bulbs and fixing doors that stick, that sort of thing. But it's not necessary to be a plumbing and heating expert, just enough to know how to operate and maintain the systems and recognise when something is going wrong, then call in the relevant expert to fix it.

Estate Managers

In some larger establishments, a caretaker might well report into an estate manager, who will control all the staff that look after a building and it's inhabitants, such as gardeners and gamekeepers, and even electricians and plumbers if the property is big enough to support its own. In some cases the estate manager may have housekeeping and catering staff reporting into them, but that is less usual.

The use of the word 'estate' always brings to mind a country estate with it's manicured lawns, tennis courts, model farm and cucumber sandwiches, and while those houses still exist and need management, it could quite easily be a university, training college or hotel, basically any large building, particularly with significant grounds, that requires constant maintenance. And it's an area that is likely to continue to grow as lottery millionaires, celebrities and footballers all seem to have a newly built mansion on their shopping list as soon as they've made it.

Where to Find Caretakers and Estate Managers

The job market for caretakers and estate managers advertises in a number of places. Local advertising often works as employers know that people whoa re already committed to the area are more likely to stay for the long term. In specific niche markets such as the management of hospitals or universities, then the trade newsletters might do the trick. For the estates in the traditional sense, there are a number of agencies that specialise in placing these staff and they will advertise in publications such as 'Country Life' and 'The Lady'.

One thing about this type of position is that accommodation is often provided with the job. This makes sense for the employer as there's no obstacle to having employees on tap and, as the accommodation is part of the remuneration, wages can be proportionally lower. The downside for the employee is, apart from being within shouting distance of an employer, that they may not be able to get a foot on the housing ladder, and that could be a problem as they near retirement age and lose the accommodation, with no windfall from a house sale.

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