J.K. from Maine writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We recently purchased a condo in Maine and I have some concerns about the management. The property manager is a live in, and he is also the president of the board. The treasurer states that the property manager reports to her for guidance in running the association. The property manager is taking direct orders from the treasurer and implementing changes within the building. This does not seem right to me. Is there a conflict of interest to have the president be the property manager? Also, is a treasurer allowed to make decisions on her own? Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
J.K., congratulations on the condo purchase. Condolences on how the association is being run. Yes, there is a clear conflict of interest in having any Board Member function as a paid employee (I assume the Property Manager / President is being paid to serve as the Property Manager). Take a look at the condo’s governing documents. How many Board members are there? The President and the Treasurer are only two members of the Board. They cannot make decisions without the support of a majority of the Board. Typically, the Board is 5 or more members so 3 or more would be a majority. There are only two of them so they would need at least one more Board member to complete their agenda. As for any Board member being paid to work as the Property Manager, you would be wise to point out the conflict of interest and ask that either the President resign from the Board and function as an employee or resign from being paid and hire a Property Manager that isn’t on the Board. Short of that, you would be wise to run for the Board yourself or get some other concerned association members to serve. Left unchallenged, this President and Treasurer will pretty much do what they want for as long as they can. All the best!