A reader writes: “It is not my job to inspect your work yet I am constantly receiving complaints from tenants that consume a lot of my time. What can you do about it?”

I totally agree with your position. The contractor I am working with has been struggling with staff turnover, which is none of your concern since staffing probably was a primary reason for your outsourcing the work in the first place. They also do not seem to be responsive in a timely manner for areas that continue to receive the same complaints. I have suggested to all stakeholders that we take a deep breath and work towards a win/win outcome. Following are some suggestions to consider.

  • Clarify key points in the contract/specifications as it relates to dealing with complaints. As we all know, there are valid and invalid complaints, which have to be considered on their merit. An example of a valid complaint is a restroom that was not cleaned properly the night before. An invalid complaint would be the complain the restroom is not clean at 3 p.m. when cleaning is not scheduled until 6 p.m. A solution would be to schedule in a day porter to inspect/police the high use areas around noon each day. This would require you to change the specifications and/or budget.
  • Schedule regular meetings (brief and with an agenda) with the contractor until all issues are resolved. I noted that you save the complaints that come in and hit him with a barrage every week or so. I suggest you forward all complaints/requests to him immediately with the expectation that he will respond with XX hours. Give him permission to defend invalid complaints with suggestions as how to remedy.
  • I also suggest you hold him to the specifications which require regular Quality Control inspections with a 0-100 grading scale. You should partner with him in determining high priority areas (front entrance, restrooms, hallway, etc.) and stress that these areas need to be inspected more often than other areas.

Your contractor is a very important partner is keeping your building clean while staying in budget.

Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. 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 CTCG50@comcast.net.