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Subject: Property Manager shared condo budget to vendors
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Author Messages
KellyW
(Georgia)

Posts:7


02/02/2006 7:12 AM  
I am a new member of the recently elected board of directors for a condo building in Atlanta. Yesterday, we learned our property manager, who works for a well know property management company,shared the condo association's budget with two of our vendors. We were all livid, as this has cause an uproar with the office manager and maintenance crew. Has anyone experienced anything similar and what was the outcome. Thanks
ChadC
(Indiana)

Posts:15


02/02/2006 10:05 AM  
Kelly I feel your pain. We have somewhat of a different problem as the Property Manager, is married to two of our vendors. We have a new board this year and contracts have already been signed, so we are just riding this year out. I feel that anytime we get bids on projects this information is passed onto the Managers significant other, and once the bids are brought to BOD, there's always one bid that is lower then anyone else for the project. Now don't get me wrong I'm all for saving money, but this seems to give the wrong impression. We have started to get bids on items and we make sure they are sent to the BOD instead of the PM.
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/02/2006 10:52 AM  
ChadC, I suggest getting sealed bids. Sending bids to the BOD is a good idea but sometimes the problem can be within the Board. We put Contractors on a Preferred List after we find out they do good work for a reasonable cost. Board members can open or view the opening of bids and then we compile and tabulate them for presentation at a Board meeting. If you cannot trust your management company on bids, can you trust them with other important matters?

BTW that Manager really gets around - married to two vendors and has a significant other

RogerB
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


02/02/2006 11:05 AM  
I noticed that also---was wondering if it was polygamy or meant as "in bed with the vendors", like the president of our HOA, as well with the MC! I have always disagreed with a new board having to take on the old board's signed contracts because our election is in Feb. and the contracts are signed in late Dec. or Jan. Even though the old board may have had experience, this very type of thing just like our president, who is leaving this month (hopefully), has left our HOA with signed contracts that were self-serving and not discussed with the rest of the board per other directors.

RogerB: Are those contracts binding, if they do not have a 30-day either side termination clause?
EdR
ChadC
(Indiana)

Posts:15


02/02/2006 11:20 AM  
Sorry let me clarify, the old board somehow got us into this situation where the PM is married to one person, who owns a Landscape and Pool Company, which has caused us to have one person running the show. We have the hardest time trying to get separation between the 3 companies. And yes for this year just to not have the place fall apart I have decided to not challenge the contracts and yes call it what you will, I will have to babysit this situation for this year. We have formed a very good board and all Board members are on the same page as we have a problem. We are all working very hard to resolve the issue and have more control put back into the hands of the BOD.
KellyW
(Georgia)

Posts:7


02/02/2006 11:31 AM  
Thanks to the property manager sending our homeowners budget to 2 of our vendors, we now have an unhappy maintenance person and an unhappy vendor. I wish we could post the names of companies and people we have received poor service from - it would make life easier for all of us to know about these companies/people.
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


02/02/2006 12:40 PM  
KellyW:
If you have a "good" list, maybe the message will get across that those not on that list are not! That's the way our HOA handled it; problem was the MC made the decisions about vendors, and in fact, even dealt with homeowners and approved the vendor for work done on homes by providing the vendor (there would be fax numbers from the MC to the contractor printed on top of form) with an ARC/ACC application, telling the vendor it was okay to go ahead with work AND THEN the ARC/ACC committee would receive the ap later; in most cases, the work was already completed by the time the ap reached the committee--when this was brought up and certain of the board complained, they were accused of interfering with the MC's job--there was nothing the committee could do then and nothing they can do now--by the time you know about it, it's too late to handle it.
EdR
RogerB
(Colorado)

Posts:5067


02/02/2006 2:06 PM  
EdR, if it was approved by the Board I believe a contract can be binding on the association even if its term is several years. Even when signed by the President without appoval of the Board or if the term is longer than that authorized by the Declaration, it might require a court decree to break a contract if negotiations fail.

The Board should approve all contracts. Why would any Board delegate this authority to the Management Company? However, minor repairs and emergency repairs are sometimes needed and these should be authorized in the Agreement.

Our contracts read "This Agreement may be terminated without cause by either party 30 days after receipt of written notice." I wish every management company would incorporate this into their "standard" Agreement.

RogerB
JimR
(Colorado)

Posts:21


02/04/2006 11:44 AM  
I guess that I am just a little tougher on ethics than most, this property manager should be history to your association or complex. Disclosuer of this type and breaking of the trust is an ethics question, which she apparently has very little of.

If you look at RogerB's ad after each of his comments, it states professional advisor. Propery managment is a profession. I do not see the professionalism in this property managers act of improper disclosuer to the vendors on this condo project.
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


02/04/2006 12:00 PM  
JimR:
You are right on again!
EdR
JohnM3
(Florida)

Posts:288


02/06/2006 7:55 AM  
Big warning to all from 14 year veteran of BOD. Never ever hire a management company(MC) that does it all. We made a mistake 7 boards ago of hireing a company that the husband was the mc the wife was the office manager, the only daughter was accounts payable/recieveable and the son in law did the lawns. What a nightmare evry time you called to tell them about a problem you were in there opinion attacking a family member. Never ever do that it is a horror from ****.

Ref the problem with shareing the budget that is simple if a bid comes in that matches the budget or is super close I throw it in the garbadge. I ask our PM who has used a certain vendor and call the hoa if they say did a good job then they are allowed to bid get at least 2 bids on everything period. Sure it slows things down but remeber a sad bod is a bod who depends on the pm to do everything. If you get crooked pm's its usually cause the board is too lazy to do their own homework. This is work being a bod member understand or stay away from it.I personally wish the city fathers would have quaterly or monthly meetings with the bod's to iron out problems on a city wide basis instead of fighting with us constantly over doing what they are paid to do. Cities put up with **** that hoas would never put up with.
Thats my 2 cents worth on this issue me I say fir the pm for giving out this info. But remember if you know what she is doing and you let her know then you know exactly what you got there is no hidden agenda especially if you confront her and place it in the minutes.
EdR
(Texas)

Posts:170


02/06/2006 9:10 AM  
JohnM3:
It's your friend EdR again--we have the exact situation with current MC for our assn. Husband, agent, owner, wife--accounting mgr.; daughter--inspector. Agent has been in legal trouble regarding waste disposal before along with another relative (this was in newspaper), and same situation--we constantly get letters in attack mode after making a simple complaint or suggestion. Basically, the posts here should all be compiled into a book for people to read BEFORE hiring an MC, but I'll have to tell you, we were told NOTHING about the other employees being relatives when interviewing the MC.
EdR
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