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Pita HOA tenant

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mojob, Oct 15, 2006.

  1. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    What would you guys do in this situation: There's this tenant, who used to work for the property manager who I have the contract with, that won't leave the irrigation controllers alone. Any time we get the slightest amount of rain she will turn off the controller that I can't lock. I've bit my tongue up until the other day. We had two days of light drizzle (1/4-1/2" maybe). I go over to the property to turn off the controllers so the place will dry out so I can mow later in the week. I find one controller already off(the one I can't lock) and another controller unplugged from the electrical outlet, which erased the programs that I put in. I'm guessing she didn't unplug the other controllers only because she couldn't. This really pissed me off, but I didn't say anything. So, I'm there mowing and I look up and the sprinklers are on right where I was going to mow. Now, I have leaves three inches deep that are soaking wet to deal with. BTW, I have zones programmed to come on during the day because I overseeded some weak spots. Well anyway, I blow my stack. I knock on the tenants door and as politely as I could, I asked her if she's been messing with the controllers. She denied it even though she's admitted doing so in the past. I forgot to mention that I recently discovered the start time that I programmed into the clock that won't lock had been changed. This caused an overlapping problem and coverage issues. This explains some of the weak areas in the grass. There's no telling how long this had been going on. I mentioned this to her and she said that another tenant didn't like the sprinklers coming on so early in the morning, but she wasn't the one who changed it. BS! I told her I didn't want anyone messing with the controllers and walked off because I was sick of hearing her lying to me. Here's my question: should I mention this to the property manager and/or HOA board and should I bill them to reprogram the one controller? Didn't mean to write a novel I just had to explain the situation and maybe vent a little too.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Since it's near the end of the season, consider adding a monetary amount sufficient to calm the frustration to next year's bid.

    That, or study the controller that you can't lock until you find a way to lock it :)

    Don't you love one contract that covers hundreds of people?
  3. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,570

    absolutely you should tell the property manager... cover your butt....

    let him know what is going on, and that it is creating problems.
  4. imdawrlus

    imdawrlus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    set it and cover it with duct tape
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    First thing I'd do is have a conversation with the property manager or HOA board. I'd have three goals; 1) Point out the problem and how it's adversely affecting maintance and how the grounds look and 2) Be ready with some good suggestions that would stop the problem and 3) Ask their permission to allow me (and pay for) what I recommend doing in #2.

    So here's what I'd recommend to handle the situation (#2 above); First, All of the controllers need to be hard wired, locked and totally secured. If that's not possible with the current controllers, then new [locking] controllers need to be purchased and replaced. All controllers need to be hard wired. Second, a rain sensor needs to be installed on each controller. This isn't very difficult. Rainbird and Hunter both make excellent rain sensors that sell for about $20 wholesale and $40 retail. And they take only 30 minutes or so to install. Third, after the above two items were completed the HOA would send out a flyer to every tenant explaining that new controllers were installed, and rain sensors were installed, and that the they were to keep their hands off these items. (There are polite ways to say all this). Of course, they would have to pay you (or an irrigation contractor, if you are not one) to do all of these things.

    The addition of the rain sensors would not only be smart water management, but they'd also help appease the tenants who were probably frustrated with sprinklers coming on in the rain. I know that's one thing that frustrates me when I drive down the road and some commercial property has their irrigation going on during a downpour of rain. The rain sensor helps prevent that from happening.

    These steps would solve your problem.
  6. Tharrell

    Tharrell LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,967

    Yeah, tell the manager.
    Also, here's a trick I picked up in the pest control industry. Cover the controller you can't lock with vaseline or something really icky.
    You'd be surprised how fast people will pull their hands back after touching something icky or greasy.
  7. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Thanks for all the input guys. Jim, I'll do what you said and Tharrell I get a kick out of all your posts. You're one funny mofo.

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