Property Managers Can’t Fire Janitors They Don’t Employ

Cleaning: CP

This article is a continuation of this question I received from a reader:

“I am a Property Manager responsible for everything from keeping tenants happy to the HVAC system operating to the cleaning service outcomes. Although the janitor may be paid by their company, they work for me. Do you agree with my outlook?”

I covered some key points in a prior article and want to continue with the idea that your role is to manage, not micromanage. I certainly respect your desire to be engaged but believe that it can actually backfire in some instances. Rather than act intimidating and threatening to fire a worker (which you actually cannot fire but could ask for them to be removed from the building) why don’t you get to know each one by name or at least address them by their first name as you read their ID badge?

The reason I said you cannot fire a cleaner, unless they are on your payroll, is that the BSC (building service contractor) can move the worker but does not have to terminate them unless they have violated their company policies. Of course, if you encounter someone who is acting inappropriately or appears to be intoxicated, you should immediately have them removed from the building and contact the onsite supervisor or the company with your concerns and reason for doing what you did.

It might be wise for you to file a written report of who, what, when, where, etc. so that if something arises later, the details are there and not dependent on your memory. The company is responsible for supplying appropriate staff and have the responsibility for taking any disciplinary actions necessary.

Being a property manager can be very complex and challenging. Do not make it harder by trying to manage people that are under someone else’s authority. Your comments and questions are important. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean...

Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or