After Hours Lock Outs

Apartment Lock Out

We have all taken the 3 am call for lockout service. “Hi, I locked myself out of my apartment; can you have someone from your team come and let me in?”

And we all have some form of the following:

Apartment Lock-Out Policy

If residents lose their key or become locked out of their apartment, the following options are available: [loosely adapted from a quick search result on Google]:

  1. During posted regular business hours (excluding holidays), residents may come to the main office for assistance.
  2. After regular business hours, but before 9:00 pm, residents may contact the emergency phone number provided on the office door or the recorded message, and a staff member, if available, will open the door.
  3. After 9:00 pm, no lockout service is available, and residents have the option of calling a locksmith at residents’ own cost and expense.

Is it Customer Service or a Serious Liability?

I do admit that I see the people side of this in that we want to be there to assist with any after-hours calls, no matter nature.

I also see the downside in that many of us do the service but charge for it if it is after hours.

In that case, right or wrong, I see severe liability in asking my service team to collect a check, cash, or money order before handing out a key.

I also see an obligation in asking them to rifle through a resident’s file to compare and contrast ID’s against written records.

Or, even worse, they just take the resident’s word for it.

In any case, I am looking for some quick thoughts on the subject.

Is it a good move to stop doing lockout service altogether during off-hours and leave residents on their own?

Your always wondering multifamily maniac,

M

Author: Mike Brewer

Out to put a dent in the multifamily universe. Love compelling conversation...