Changing Managers or Firms? Don’t Overlook the Details!

Whether change is good or bad often depends on who you talk to, and even a desired change produces a certain level of stress and adjustment. Personal changes are challenging enough, but for condo and co-op residents, a board’s decision to change property managers or firms will quite literally hit home.

If a board has done adequate research, the impact should be positive, but adjustments will still be required. If a board has done less-than-satisfactory due diligence, there will certainly be unnecessary and unwanted chaos, as well as possible financial ramifications.

English author Arnold Bennett, (1867-1931) noted a century ago that even changes for the better would be accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts. Community association boards thinking about changing managers, therefore, would do well to weigh those potential discomforts and drawbacks against their reasons for the change before taking the leap. Finding a resolution to existing issues between the association and management may be a wiser, and less stressful, course of action.

Why Make the Move?

If not completely satisfied with current service, a condominium board may decide not to adapt, but to replace a property manager, or even switch firms completely—a practice that happens more often than one might suspect. Personalities and communication styles will always come into play when a decision to replace a manager or a firm is on the table.

“It’s just the nature of the game,” says David Abel, senior manager in the condominium division at First Realty Management in Boston. “We’ve lost a couple (of associations) here and there; fortunately, we gain more than we lose.

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Comments

  • I am the chair of our trustee board, the majority of trustees decided and voted to terminate the property managers contract with out cause. Many persisting issues over the years continue to remain and it's pointless to keep talking or objecting to the issues that never change.When the p/m was officially notified the p/m sent a letter to the owners encouraging them to contact the chair to force a meeting with the trustees and allow the p/m to defend any issues that brought us to this drastic decision. The wife of the p/m who owns a unit went door to door ( she had a list of units NOT TO GO TO) asking owners to sign a partition for the trustees to stop the termination and to have an owners meeting and explain what the issues are and allow hubby to defend himself.Since that letter and visit from the wife the chair has been inundated with calls and some e-mails some congratulating the decision some urging a meeting and one dictating steps that should have been taken to reach this point. Since the decision was without cause i will not respond with a Q & A because this turns the whole process in another direction and opens up a termination with cause and by making such a decision stirs up destenison . The trustees will send the owners a letter regarding the termination any ideas what should be included in the letter as in the p/m letter several statements and words give indication that by terminating the contract how do we intend to handle the loss of knowledge that he has accumulated that has a very real impact on condo fees you pay, he is being treated unfairly in light of his long service to us and he respectfully asked that a meeting be called so all owners can hear from the board their reasoning for termination of his service. Our documents do give the trustees the authority to terminate vendors contracts as well as the mangers agreement contract because he a vendor which includes a termination clause which is what was used. The p/m in my opinion has established a divide with the owners they have taken sides and are protesting issues that are trustees responsilities to oversee It has become overwhelming and stressful. I believe the p/m was out of line with his letter Might you have any suggestions on defusing this situation. Thank you