At every condominium community it happens every hour; every day. Coffee gets spilled, mud gets tracked, windows get smeared. When residents move, errant table legs and oversized sofas can scrape black marks, and even divots, into painted walls. Property managers know that keeping things clean is one of the uppermost duties of any association caretaker.
But cleaning staff are like the late, great Rodney Dangerfield in that they have every right to complain, “I don’t get no respect.” How important, really, is a professional cleaning crew?
Consultants who have studied the success of Walt Disney World have surveyed thousands of guests about what they like best about their experience at a Disney resort. Is it the rides, entertainment, food, shopping, hob-nobbing with Mickey? No, the number one thing they like about the themed amusement park is, “It’s so clean.”
Not only is cleanliness a top priority in a community’s long-term planning, it must be included with other contingencies that make up a manager’s “emergency” list, along with the plumbers, electricians and others who can respond immediately if a pipe bursts or lightning strikes. If someone gets sick in the fitness room on Saturday evening, no one wants to wait until Monday morning to see it cleaned up.
The methods used by community associations for keeping things clean can vary as much as the communities themselves. While the very smallest — a two or three-unit building— may rely on volunteer cooperation of its two or three owners, the vast majority of community associations hire professionals for regular maintenance as well as emergency clean-ups. The range of duties can vary widely.