Apartment complex board issues... need advice

Hey all, so back in June I bid a apartment complex job, submitted my bid… in July they called me and said the board approved it just needed my proof of insurance and W9. So I brought all that in, set a date and did the job. It was 17 units and all walkways + breezeways. Well they sent out a letter for people to move their cars while we were there to get the front of the sidewalks, so we got as much as we could but a lot of people wouldn’t move their vehicles. At the end I did a walk through with two guys on the board, they had a little bit of issue with not understanding that their breezeway floors were painted and I had to explain the color difference they were seeing was the concrete underneath ( I was already told they are going to be repainted) … well the two guys approved it and I even told them that for the next month I would come out once a week and get as much as the walkway facings as I can just to make up for people who wouldn’t move their vehicles, even though it’s not our fault. I also did the curbs on the entrance and around the middle buildings for free. So they approved everything, came the next morning and submitted my invoice, my information in their computer was all messed up, got that fixed, the lady said the person who cuts checks is out of town and will be back this week so I said ok. Well I haven’t heard anything so I call today… the lady who submitted my invoice and everything told me that the president of the board is not satisfied so they put a hold on the check… wtf? She said well I gave them your number last week and they were supposed to call you and discuss it, well this is the first I’ve heard. I asked for her number and she said sorry I can’t give you her information but I will relay a message for her to call you. Well so I called the agency over the apartments and they told me the board has all control and there’s nothing they can do… so now I’m going to go up there tomorrow and have a face to face chat but I’m just needing some advice on what to do if they refuse to pay. If they say “hey we found some spots you guys missed blah blah” then I’ll agree to redo that area, but besides that Idk what to do. Can they just NOT pay you? The job was basically $10,000 and now Its being withheld and it was a huge job I got done in 4 days and it’s been over 2 weeks without payment.

Ok so I do alot of apartment buildings. I’m assuming you have a contract with the scope of work clearly stated. Please tell me you didn’t just get the ok from the property manager and start cleaning. I have so many questions.

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I know it’s a nice chunk of money, but it’s still early on… In cases like this it pays off to be nice! Be calm, check in ask what the issue is… Make it right and get paid!

Unfortunately, we live in a vary unfair world… Sometimes things are not gonna go so smooth… But one Thing I’ve learned is to take the nice route First!!

I’m sure maybe some areas aren’t what they expected and they might have you re do them and then they will release funds… Stay calm & professional.

PS: I hate HOA’s

Also, In the future for a job of that amount ask for a deposit… Don’t just go out and pull money out of your pocket… Helps in situations like this


If he got a contract that will tell all. Hell most of my apartments dont pay for 90 days

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I’ve never asked for a deposit once in my life. Heck I’d feel guilty! But all other advice seems sound!


Typically 30 to 90 days for payment. If they want you to clean something else have them give you a written punch list. Property lien after 90 days


The problem is we dont know what he agreed to yet.

Smart move. Pretty much gives you the upper hand too.

Guilty? Unless your planning on running off with it… no reason to feel guilty!

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What exactly is a written punch list? And a property lien? How could I do that lol.

Ok well I’m not sure what to say the apartment complex I work for requires so much more. They use compliance depot. Such a stupid amount of extra work that I have to pay for.

Any way look ink is cheap. Never forget that. Hire a lawyer to write you a generic contract based on your company’s needs. It will save your company if something bad happens. Or someone stiffs you out of 10,000 dollars.

Punch list is just a “to do list” that you have a person of authority do walkthroughs on and clear the list. If they want something changed or corrected. Then they look at it again. Punch list is done and you invoice.

Property lien is just a judgement against the property so they can’t sell or transfer ownership of the property without paying you.


I mean I do 70k contracts and have to spend 10-20k out of pocket before I start getting payments. It’s not a brag and yes it’s a burden! But big companies like fiscal responsibility in contractors and don’t want to feel like they are financing the project upfront.


I bid those in January, got an email that said I had the job and please give a start date for April. I gave up after for or five unanswered emails trying to give them a start date. Glad I didn’t get them or give them to East TN pressure and get Chad screwed. Small world

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Tennessee charges sales tax on cleaning services?

Just a small tid bit of advice from me is block out contact information on the estimate…

You may have lurkers in the forum that now know what you bid on them and can show them you trashing them on an open forum.

Just get what they want done and be patient.


Did not think about that… thanks

Yeah small world… it took a month in a half to respond to me

I’ve worked for apartment communities on the other end on the maintenance end for like 12 or 14 years… sometimes it takes so long for people get paid that they put liens on it like @Innocentbystander said… the property that I work on generally pays pretty fast and last year we had a $42,000 lien put on our property for a pressure washing job that got done, somehow it made it past 90 days… I figured out a long time ago if you’re going to do big big jobs like that you got to have the money to cover it for at least 3 or 4 months… hell if even the restaurants that I work at most of them are on net 30 and I get paid more like net 45 net 50… I would complain but honestly they all pay me in the end :slight_smile:


I have a customer that’s 241 days late and owes me a few thousand. FYI don’t do work for the dollar store where they are “generally a dollar”… threatened to lien the property a few weeks ago and got a check in the mail today. I was so excited to open it!!!

$230 :neutral_face: