S.G. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
Hi! If our property manager has a contract that is not signed. As a board, can we still move forward to have him terminated? Since he has no signed contract or claims he cannot find the one that was signed can we not renew his non-signed contract at the annual meeting? The Annual Board meeting is in December. I really would like to know our option before that meeting as a board member. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
S.G., as you know I am not an attorney and offer no legal advice in this column. Without fully reviewing the contract and/or operating agreement your association has with this property manager, I would be unable to give you any useful advice here. I wonder why this manager is working for you without a contract. That is quite uncommon and really puts both the association and the manager in an awkward position. How can the Board terminate him for performance if there is no contract? How can the manager plan ahead for the association without knowing if or when he might be terminated? How would the Board evaluate the manager’s performance to determine if he was doing a good job? My best advice here is for the Board to engage with the association’s attorney to inquire what the next steps are. It is possible that this manager had a verbal agreement with the previous Board or Board President. Since he is functioning as the Property Manager, it could be argued that there is a valid verbal agreement between the association and the manager to provide ongoing service. My guess is that the attorney will insist that the Board and Property Manager put pen to paper and have a formal agreement on file, complete with a start date and a renewal or excuse date, whereby the association could legally terminate the agreement for cause and that the agreement would cease to be valid after a certain date if not renewed by both parties. All the best!