K.I. from Manatee County, Florida writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Can an owner start a management company and then be hired by the association as property manager? And keep the business address as the common building?
Mister Condo replies:
K.I., I can see you are concerned that the association may be improperly managed by an owner who decides to become a Property Manager. And to be further concerned that this Property Manager is now operating out of an association-owned building. While it is possible that you may want to keep an eye out on the situation, I haven’t heard anything illegal or untoward from what you have shared here. My first big question is whether or not the owner has become a certified Property Manager (required in Florida to function as a separate business) or is simply an employee of the association (may not require a license, in that case). My second big question is if the owner is the association’s Property Manager, how do they avoid the appearance of impropriety? I am not saying that the Property Manager is going to look out for his/her own interests before the interests of others but if it ever appears to be the case, how will the Board justify hiring an owner from within the association when there may have been many folks who do not own in the association who would do as good a job (or better since this person is brand new). Many associations simply don’t allow for their Property Manager to live or own within the association. In my opinion, that is the best policy but unless your by-laws forbid it, it may perfectly allowable. All the best!