Set Stage for Incident-Free Work by Contractors
If your community is like most, you rely on a variety of outside contractors or vendors to perform services. For example, landscaping, plumbing, or electrical work are commonly farmed out to vendors who send their own choice of workers. This means that individuals will be in your community whom you don’t know anything about—and who potentially don’t respect the association’s members or rules. Unfortunately, it’s not uncommon for outside contractors to make unwanted comments towards members, management staff, or guests in the community, or to engage in inappropriate behavior, such as using profanity or lewd language. And that can result in members feeling uncomfortable, and—in a worst-case scenario—violated.
Here are two steps to take that will encourage contractors to interact appropriately while working in the community:
- Use contract to control conduct. Include a clause in your contract with a vendor or outside contractor that requires it to follow certain rules. Ask your attorney to draft such a clause and tailor it to your community. At the minimum, it should: (1) specify the manner in which the contractor should conduct himself; (2) specify that comments of a lewd, sexual, discriminatory, harassing, or derogatory nature are unacceptable; and (3) specify the consequences of a violation, including immediate termination of the contract and being required to vacate the premises.
- Observe contractor’s conduct. Train your staff to take notice of outside contractors while they are working at your community. Ask them to immediately report to you any comments or conduct by a contractor that could lead to a complaint.
For tips on responding to complaints and taking action ASAP, plus Model Language to include in a contract with a contractor, see “Set Expectations for Outside Contractor's Conduct,” available to subscribers here.