RENT Magazine Q2 '23


HOW A BAD VENDOR COST US THOUSANDS We were all too thrilled to add a handyman vendor to our maintenance roster. This vendor had gone through our 3-month vetting process, during which the company proved to have the ability to produce great results at a competitive price. The owner of the company was very personable, had excellent communication with our maintenance coordination staff, and turned around work orders fairly quickly. Things were good… until they absolutely were not!

services. However, clearly, our pay cycle and the timing of inspection/feedback processes were at odds! We attempted to contact the vendor to discuss the emerging issue and work out a solution. Unfortunately, they failed to respond to any of our communications. In today’s language, one might say, “they ghosted us!” While investigating the issues at the properties, a client reached out with a question about a maintenance expense on their owner’s statement. They questioned why they had been charged for installation of a new water heater when the water heater in the property was actually less than a year old. Further investigation revealed that the vendor had communicated an urgent need for a water heater repair, which was approved. However, their invoice indicated they'd actually had to fully replace the water heater. What they actually did was remove the serial number from the existing water heater and attempted to pass it off as a new water heater. Yes, this is direct fraud! Also, yes, we should have caught this before paying the vendor and prior to a client bringing it to our attention.

A couple of weeks after the vendor was fully onboarded, we received 2 tenant complaints regarding sub-par work performed and an unfinished job. • Sub-Par work: The vendor laid new flooring on top of a rotting subfloor. The work order specifically instructed replacement of the subfloor and installation of LVP throughout the unit. • Unfinished job: The vendor brought supplies to the job site. They left supplies and material on location. However, they did not start any of the work. Upon review by our maintenance coordination team, it was found that the vendor had reported completion of both jobs and were, indeed, paid for their work. We pride ourselves on fast payment for


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