R.M. from New Haven County writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
I ‘m the president of the Board of a newly developed condominium association. Can we replace the property manager that was hired by the developer? 76% of units are sold; we have two homeowners on the board. I’m not happy with her performance although I will say she is trustworthy.
Mister Condo replies:
R.M., welcome to you and your new community! As condominiums transition from developer control to Board control, there are plenty of hiccups that can be experienced. The answer to your question is in your condominium documents where you will find the terms and conditions for when the Board takes over control from the developer with regards to governance of the association. Until that time, it would be very unlikely that the developer would agree to change property managers as the current manager was hired by the developer to assist in the day to day management of the property so that the developer can focus on construction and sales. To further complicate matters, your association may be the first of several phases, each with their own set of transition issues. My best advice to you and your fellow unit owners is to seek the advice of an experienced community association lawyer, separate from the attorney hired by the developer, to keep an eye on the best interests of yourself and your fellow new unit owners. In addition to guiding you through the often tricky area of developer transition, an experienced community association attorney will prove invaluable as the association finds itself in need of establishing further rules or dealing with potential lawsuits arising from construction defect issues. Just as the current property manager was hired by the developer, the attorney associated with the development was hired to represent the developer’s interests as well. You should have your own counsel to get your own advice. All the best!