T.S. from writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
We recently hired a new management company. The old management company was writing big checks to itself for “maintenance” charges. They were also inept in many other ways. I am a new Board member and I pushed to dump the management company. We will be talking to an attorney next week about the possibility of filing suit against the old management company. Any advice?
Mister Condo replies:
T.S., the decision to remove a management company is significant. I trust that you reviewed the management contract with the association attorney before terminating the agreement. I have seen associations so eager to fire their manager that they break the contract and find themselves still having to pay the fired manager for the duration of the original contract as well as the new management contract. Yikes! To make sure you get started on the right foot with the new management contract, you should make your expectations known to your attorney. In other words, don’t just sign a standard contract without making sure that the specific provisions are not in place to reduce the opportunity for a repeat performance. It is true that there is not a “one size fits all” management contract. Your community may have unusual needs or greater expectations from the manager that are better addressed before the contract is signed as there is little you can do about it afterwards. If your attorney fully understands your expectation, he/she can do a great job tailoring the management contract to fit those needs. This is just one way the attorney, while expensive, can actually help the community save money and get better value in the long run. Hope that helps. Good luck!