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Neil Fjellestad's Blog


By Neil Fjellestad | Property Manager in San Diego County, CA

Rental Property Management in Lemon Grove, CA

Ms. Management Q and A (part 4)

I have asked my business partner Carol Levey who is a recognized national educator in the multihousing industry to share some of her professional management insights. She provides temporary leasing specialists to major apartment community operators, tailored training coursework to onsite personnel and consulting services to property management professionals across the country. She is one of the original team that produced the National Apartment Association course leading to the respected NALP designation. She produced "Let's Lease" - the first industry CBT (computer-based training). She writes for the Apartment Association of Metro Denver as Ms. Management. 


Q.  My maintenance manager is concerned that his tech has been scheduled to perform a repair when the teenage daughter is in the apartment alone. Is this a legitimate concern? The mother has set up the appointment so why shouldn’t we accommodate?

Answer. You should have written policies that outline the conditions under which you will enter an apartment for both an emergency and non-emergency repair. These policies should be communicated and uniformly be applied on a consistent basis. There are good reasons to not be alone in an apartment with a minor. An accusation initiated from a minor is a difficult problem to unwind and promotes negative messages to everyone on the team regardless of the outcome. A teenager might communicate to the outside world via a smart phone in an attempt to cope with boredom or have some “fun” that can cause unnecessary drama.

Q.  What if the maintenance tech arrives at the apartment and is greeted by several minors at home unsupervised?

Answer While this situation doesn’t present the same problems as the first it raises other issues such as whether the gathering and/or the behavior of these minors is known and/or condoned by adults. Any improprieties that could happen in this circumstance are not the work environment to perform a repair. Instead contact the resident and explain why the repair cannot be made unless an adult is present or no one is in the apartment and you have permission to enter.  

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