Losing a client's key - Cleaning Talk - Professional Cleaning and Restoration Forum
 
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post #1 of Old 12-30-2007, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Losing a client's key

What do u do when a cleaner loses a clients house key? How do u tell the client? Do u get a locksmith to replace the locks? What r the repercussions for the employee?
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post #2 of Old 12-30-2007, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ryanne View Post
What do u do when a cleaner loses a clients house key? How do u tell the client? Do u get a locksmith to replace the locks? What r the repercussions for the employee?
Assuming you have no policy in place...get one in place ASAP.

This is a safety issue and the client must be told as soon as possible. You need to rekey the entire home at the cost of the company. Unless you have a signed statement from the cleaner stating they understand they are responsible for the cost of rekeying a home if a key is lost, you really have no grounds to make the cleaner reimburse you.

Without a policy in place to fall back on, you can't even really fire the cleaner (in my opinion). Until they have a signed policy stating they will lose their job if they lose a key, they won't give a rat's behind about the repercussions of losing it. Policies are IMPERITIVE in this business. I am learning this the hard way. Just when I think I have it all covered, I get bamboozled by another cleaner with another doozy of a situation that I have to write another policy over. LOL

I'd have a key acceptance log where a cleaner signs off accepting a key.

Use this from now on:

KEY ACCEPTANCE AGREEMENT


SECURITY. Our customer's security is extremely important. In the event
that keys are lost or misplaced, it may be necessary for locks to be changed
in the entire facility. Employee agrees to reimburse the Employer for any
costs incurred of re-keying a facility or replacement of lost keys due to
Employee's misplacement of possession of key/keys. Loss of keys OR
obtaining key duplicates without written consent from Employer may result
in disciplinary action, including immediate termination. Employee agrees
to report any lost keys immediately to Employer or Employer's Supervisor
immediately.

I UNDERSTAND THAT BY SIGNING THIS AGREEMENT, I AM
ACCEPTING RESPONSIBILITY FOR KEYS AND SECURITY OF:

__________________________________________________ ______

I UNDERSTAND THAT UPON TERMINATION OF EMPLOYMENT WHETHER VOLUNTARY OR FORCED, I AGREE TO RETURN THE BUILDING KEYS THAT WERE ISSUED TO ME IMMEDIATELY.

Employee:

_____________________________________ Date: __________________


Witness:

_____________________________________ Date: ___________________


Torrey Shannon
Executive Director/Spokesperson
Cleaning for Heroes
The only 501c3 nonprofit in the cleaning industry that improves the lives of heroes, one household at a time!
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post #3 of Old 12-30-2007, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Thx tailoredmaid.....I appreciate ur advice. I, like u, am learning the hard way but at least I'm learning. I will have the key agreement written up 2mrw!!
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post #4 of Old 12-30-2007, 11:41 PM
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post #5 of Old 01-03-2008, 02:46 PM
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Another option (for the small time cleaner only). Don't keep the key. Have an agreed upon hiding place on the property. I did this for many years with no problems. This may not work very well if you have cleaning crews. Just an out of the box suggestion.

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post #6 of Old 01-03-2008, 09:03 PM
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Tailormaid is right on with her advice.

Realitor lockboxs are another alternative for keys, that way the customer retains the key but you have access to the box when you need to get into the home
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post #7 of Old 01-03-2008, 10:50 PM
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I wouldn't accept responsibility for hidden keys. If a client suggests it, I refuse that arrangement. The reason? Who else knows where that hiding spot is? I don't want the liability of having a key laying around, no matter how hidden it may be. What if someone found it and got access to the home to steal something? How many neighbors know about it, and then throught the grapevine others hear about it or what about a witness being around when the hiding spot is being revealed?

If I cannot control the access to the client's home, I won't do it. It's my responsibility to keep the key secured. I will not accept responsibility for every Tom, Dick and Jane who has access to it too!

Torrey Shannon
Executive Director/Spokesperson
Cleaning for Heroes
The only 501c3 nonprofit in the cleaning industry that improves the lives of heroes, one household at a time!
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post #8 of Old 01-04-2008, 10:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailoredMaid View Post
I wouldn't accept responsibility for hidden keys. If a client suggests it, I refuse that arrangement. The reason? Who else knows where that hiding spot is? I don't want the liability of having a key laying around, no matter how hidden it may be. What if someone found it and got access to the home to steal something? How many neighbors know about it, and then throught the grapevine others hear about it or what about a witness being around when the hiding spot is being revealed?

If I cannot control the access to the client's home, I won't do it. It's my responsibility to keep the key secured. I will not accept responsibility for every Tom, Dick and Jane who has access to it too!
I didn't say it works for everyone and I exempt the idea from cleaning services with crews.

I've discovered that for every attack on an idea, many others will put it to good use.

I do not see why you would be held liable for anything to do with a clients hidden key on thier property, just the opposite In my experience. If they agree to keep the key, why would it be your responsibility?

I'll point out a more valid flaw in my idea....sometimes the key is not there!

Good day,
Ev

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post #9 of Old 01-04-2008, 08:12 PM
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Hi Ev,

I was just explaining my own beliefs and protocol on the issue. I wasn't attacking. I apologize that you took it that way.

Torrey Shannon
Executive Director/Spokesperson
Cleaning for Heroes
The only 501c3 nonprofit in the cleaning industry that improves the lives of heroes, one household at a time!
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post #10 of Old 01-05-2008, 05:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TailoredMaid View Post
Hi Ev,

I was just explaining my own beliefs and protocol on the issue. I wasn't attacking. I apologize that you took it that way.
Hey, no problem, likewise.

Retired from the cleaning business after 10 years.
Founder of Start-Cleaning-business.com
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