S.G. from New Haven County, Connecticut writes:
Dear Mister Condo,
How do we get rid of our property manager before his contract auto renews in January, 2021? Not sure how many board members feel the same because they are elderly and have lived here for years. Can we get a signed petition from all the owners that want him gone? Would that help? We are trying to organize something before the annual meeting in December 2020. He does a terrible job. Any advice would be helpful. Thank you.
Mister Condo replies:
S.G., the hiring and firing of the Property Manager is the purview of the Board. Elderly or not, these folks have been democratically elected to conduct the business of the association. Without seeing the management contract your association has entered into it is impossible for me to give you solid advice on how to terminate the contract. Many management company contracts have a clause that assumes the contract will be renewed unless notice is given by the association in advance. Sometimes the advance notice is 90 days, sometimes 6 months or longer. Whether or not the Property Manager is doing a good or bad job is for the Board to determine. The contract may only call for the Property Manager to handle the books for the association, which may be in perfect order. The contract may call for the Property Manager to simply manage the vendors who provide services such as lawn care and trash removal. Again, if these vendors are performing poorly, that is not necessarily the Property Manager’s fault. The bottom line is that you need to have Board Members in place who will conduct the association’s business, regardless of their age or how long they have been on the Board. If the Board is complacent and/or happy with the work the Property Manager is doing, you will not likely get the change you seek. If you are going to go to the trouble of gathering signatures to petition the Board, you might just as well find new volunteers to serve on the Board. These new Board members will then assess the Property Manager’s contract and performance and determine if it is time for a new one. All the best!