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]:
- During posted regular business hours (excluding holidays), residents may come to the main office for assistance.
- 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.
- 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,