We’ve all had to deal with that one unreasonable resident.
You know the one I’m talking about. He shows up to every meeting, chimes in on every issue, and takes it upon himself to act as the neighborhood watch. Every Board member knows him by name which means that you as the property manager do too. He probably even has your cell phone number!
It can be hard to know what to do when this resident has a problem with construction, but we here at Classic Construction and Restoration, Inc. have over 80 years of experience handling resident/construction conflict.
We’re here to help.
Complaint #1: Noise
Perhaps the biggest construction-related resident complaint is that of the noise. The number one way to help prevent these complaints before you receive them is to make sure your contractor knows that work is only to be done during business hours. Then inform your residents of when work will begin and approximately how long it is expected to last. Most residents understand that when construction is necessary, there will be some loud noises involved. But they do have a reasonable right to expect a quiet, relaxing community after business hours. Try to assure them that you will do your best to provide them this quite time during the construction process.
Complaint #2: Detours/Blockades
The second biggest complaint from residents usually involves the inconvenience of having to change up their morning and afternoon commutes. Humans are creatures of habit and having to add an extra 5 minutes to our morning drive is just excessive. (I mean, really!) To help residents adjust, make sure you know in advance where the detours and blockades will be located. Speak with your contractor before construction so that together, you can come to a solution that allows him to complete the work and you to cause the least inconvenience to your residents. And if there’s no way around the inconvenience, let your residents know well in advance about the detours and remind them why it is necessary or why this temporary inconvenience might even be desirable (ie nicer roads, prettier landscaping, etc).
Complaint #3: Jobsite Cleanliness
This complaint is not unreasonable for any resident to have. Messy jobsites are not only displeasing to the eyes, but can also cause problems in the community. Debris in roads and driveways can cause flat tires. Trash could attract nocturnal critters. Carelessly placed equipment can block roads or access to community amenities….the list goes on and on. When you receive a complaint from your residents about the mess the contractor’s crew is leaving behind, take it seriously. Let your contractor know about the issue and ask him to make sure that his crew is cleaning up after themselves daily. Contractors worth keeping should take this complaint seriously as well and strive to improve the condition of their jobsites.
Complaint #4: Quality of the Work
Again, this complaint is not unreasonable at all. Heck, you might even have the same concerns as your residents! If you notice that the work performed by your construction crew is of inferior quality, don’t be afraid to make him aware of it immediately. This is true at each stage of construction. It is better to ask your contractor about the work as you go along and catch some tiny mistakes now before the project is completed. This will save your contractor lots of money and will shorten the length of time you and your residents must deal with the construction. Before releasing final payment to your contractor, you should also make sure you or your residents are satisfied with the work. Most contractors accept this as a business process; if yours doesn’t, you might seriously consider hiring a professional contractor next time.