Sharon, Realtor in Portland
One of my tenants gets a rent credit to manage my mixed use building. He lives there and takes care of things when I need a plumber, etc. I do not live at the building, so this is a trememdous help for me. He gets the contractor, pays for it (when necessary) and deducts the bill from his next month rent. He does minor repairs, too.
In another property, I have a tenant who wants to fix up the building because they plan on living there for 2 years and want the house spruced up. I have a deal with that tenant that they do the work and I'll provide the supplies. It's a no-brainer and a win-win situation for us both. They get the style house they are accustomed to and I get my rental redone at a fraction of the cost. I have also given them an option to buy and right of first refusal if the house should get an interested buyer (it's for sale, too.)
So, there are options. You just need to be creative and get out there and ask!
Advertise in our local Craig's List and with the Willamette Weekly Backpage. You might also consider making a tasteful little ad to place on the bulletin boards at New Seasons, or other community boards.
When you do find that perfect arrangement, be certain have a good contract that also protects YOU.