M.M. from Litchfield County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Our general manager insists on meeting every condo purchaser and renter before he approves the transaction. This seems illegal to me. He is a control freak but I think this goes too far.
Mister Condo replies:
M.M., it may go too far or it may not go far enough. Let me explain. The General Manager is an employee of the association. As such, he reports directly to the Board and may carry a considerable amount of responsibility in fulfilling his duties. I question whether or not he has the right to “approve” the purchase transaction but he may be fulfilling a responsibility of the association’s governing documents by requiring an application form be submitted. Depending on the rules of the association, it is possible that a face to face meeting is also required. This is a little more common in co-operative properties than in condos but it is not unheard of. It can even stave off potential problems. For instance, if your community was age-restricted (55 and over) and an applicant who is age appropriate announces in the interview process that he has his grandchildren spend summers with him and that is against the rules of the association, the general manager is actually doing both the applicant and the community a favor by conducting the interview before the purchase is made and it becomes a problem.
Now, if your community has no such rules and the General Manager is simply being a control freak and not representing the best interests of the community, you should complain to the Board and ask that he be replaced. However, my experience has shown me that concerned General Managers generally make for outstanding communities. Be sure that his performance is hurting the community before making a complaint. You might just find that what seems like “control freak” action to you is just an experienced professional applying his skills at making sure a person who wouldn’t properly fit in doesn’t enter the community. All the best!