G.B. from Cook County, Illinois writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I live in a 60-unit condo complex in Illinois. The complex consists of 6 buildings each with 10 units. I’ve noticed in the last couple of months that my building is not being cleaned well. It’s especially obvious on the first floor. I called our management office to see what’s going on with our janitorial service. I was informed that we have a new vendor doing the cleaning and it’s one of the board members. Is it okay for a board member to be given a contract?
Mister Condo replies:
G.B., I am sorry that your building isn’t being cleaned as well as you are used to. I am sure that paying for the building’s cleaning as part of your common fees and seeing the work being performed less efficiently is quite frustrating. Hiring a Board member to do any work for the association is not a good business practice. Even if the work is stellar, it gives the impression of favoritism and impropriety. Changing cleaning contractors is well within the Board’s purview but hiring one of their own for the job gives the impression of a conflict of interest. It isn’t typically forbidden by the association’s bylaws but common sense would dictate that the decision to hire one’s own company shouldn’t be made by a Board member. Ideally, the Board member would either resign or another company would be hired for the cleaning. There are certainly plenty of others to choose from. As for the quality of the cleaning, you are free to complain to your Property Manager and even the Board itself. Ultimately, it is the decision of the Board who they hire for the job. All the best!