L.B. from Prince William County, Maryland writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Currently our HOA pays a service company to empty 7 trash cans on common property once or twice a week, but it is expensive. Do you see any legal issues that would prevent us from paying a neighborhood teen to do this? Perhaps the teen and his/her parents could sign a work agreement that defines the work and limits our liability in case they get injured on the job.
Mister Condo replies:
L.B., I appreciate saving money as much as the next person and I applaud your frugality. However, the risk of liability far outweighs the potential for savings in this situation, in my opinion. There is a reason that professional waste management companies exist. They are fully insured, experienced at what they do, and own equipment designed to do the job and protect themselves and their customers. Needless to say, a neighborhood teen would offer none of those assurances and leave the association open to all sorts of problems. Leave the trash removal to the pros and look for savings elsewhere. All the best!