Board Damage Property Management Renting

Incommunicative Condo Manager Upsetting Unit Owner

R.S. from outside of Connecticut writes:

Dear Mister Condo,

I am extremely unhappy with our property manager. He is unreliable, often ignores e-mails and phone calls and needs to be hounded to get anything done. This week my tenant notified me that there was water from melting snow leaking into the condo. The property manager did send someone out, however, they didn’t complete the job and were to have come back the next day. The property manager didn’t follow through and no one showed up. The next day my poor tenant arrives home to find even more water leaking in. I called the property manager who said he’d talk to the roofers but he didn’t call me back and subsequent calls to the emergency number were ignored. My tenant gave me notice that same evening. There is no regular communication from the property manager or the condo board. I would like to meet with the board to express my concerns. If I ask the property manager for a contact list of the condo board members, is he obligated to provide this to me as an owner of one of the condos in the building?

Mister Condo replies:

R.S., I am sorry that your tenant experienced such a catastrophe. The Board members of your association are officers of a corporation to which you belong. You most certainly have a right to know who they are and their names should appear in minutes from meetings which you also have access to. Will the Property Manager give you their names and contact information? Maybe, maybe not, but you can certainly ask. You have had a series of unfortunate events happen to your tenant which has led to you losing a tenant. Your complaint is with the Board and you have the right to write to the Board to make your complaint known. You may even be invited to address the Board or speak during a unit owner comments session of an upcoming Board meeting but you do not have the “right” to complain to the Board at a Board meeting or simply meet with the Board. You also have the right to run for the Board during the next election cycle, which is typically held during the Annual Meeting. If the Property Manager is as bad as you claim he is, yours would most likely not be the only complaint the Board receives. Keep in mind that the Property Manager works for the Board, not you. If the Board has simply hired the PM to collect fees and manage vendors, he or she could be doing a great job for the Board but not providing you with the customer service you feel you are entitled to. Your question to the Board is what level of service should you expect and is it possible that the service level can be increased? That may involve renegotiating the PM contract and adding additional services at an increased cost, which may not be popular with other unit owners. The bottom line is that association’s often get what they pay for. You can have a high level of service but you can’t expect champagne on a beer budget. Find out what services the Board is paying for. Perhaps an increase in service is called for. Perhaps a new PM is in order. However, all of these decisions are made by the Board, the democratically elected leaders of the association. All the best!

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