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Self-managed vs. managed condo associations: what's your opinion?

Posted on Sat, Nov 27, 2010 @ 07:38 AM
  
  
  
I am wondering about the decision to self-manage versus hire a property manager for our condo association. Is there a certain size association that self-management does not make sense? My experience is that smaller properties (3-10 units) can self-manage no problem and hiring a property manager is not necessary. I have also see much larger associations (~100+ units) that I would expect to hire a property manager. I am interested to hear others perspective and experience on the matter.

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I think size does matter! For larger (100 and over) associations it is possible for owners to self manage but the owners better be real good at what they do. They should not have a full time job as running the association will take away a lot of their free time. Personally I would advise against it for their own sanity.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 7:53 AM by Victor


Usually in the case of smaller HOAs, that would be true about self-management. I've been in several smaller condo buildings and have found that for the most part, it is far more difficult to get other owners to get off their dead butts and lift a finger to help. A lot of these folks, particularly 1st-time owners, think that they are still living in a landlord situation, where all of the 'work' is done for them and they just have to sit back and let it magically happen.  
 
 
 
Sometimes, it IS a problem being in a small association where no one wants to do anything and one or (if you're lucky) two people end up doing everthing for the HOA.  
 
 
 
In these cases, if the HOA can afford it, and if they can find a property management company who won't steal their assessments (a big IF), finding a management company might be a better idea.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 8:16 AM by Donna


32 units. 25 years old. I wish we had property management, but I can't get anyone else to go along with the idea. They say it is too expensive, yet no one has ever looked into how much it would cost. I am curious. How much of your monthly "dues" are owners paying for property management? 
 
Outside maintenance is a real issue. Unless I actually take a photo and submit it to them, they don't see what outside work needs to be done - please paint the rusted railings, please trim the shrubs because they are overhanging the sidewalk which makes it difficult to even walk on the sidewalk, please do something about the front yard because the grass has all died (they decided to not water one summer to save money), please sandjack all of the sidewalks as many of the cement slabs are not lined up by as much as an inch and create a hazard and liability, etc. They don't uphold and enforce or even know what is in the Bylaws. We are supposed to be no pets. Well, we have cats and birds and for a year now the board has been going to "draft" a letter to give to the owners. For four years my 2nd floor balcony has been pulling away from the building due to ground freezing and thawing. They keep saying it is going to be fixed. As far as the budget goes they do not want to specify anything for reserves "in case we need the money for something else." This is, of course, illegal in Minnesota. They don't run the corridor fans 24/7 because "the electricity would cost too much," and, therefore, our corridors stink of secondhand smoke that seeps out around individual entry doors. Owners dig up the common elements for their own gardens and they look like crap. Owners place objects in the common elements outside which they are not supposed to do - kitschy stuff like gnomes. 
 
Yes, I have been on the board in the past and don't plan on being on it again. 

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 8:26 AM by nellie


Are there some economic condo association surveys that give some guidance as to what the average cost per unit is (maybe a state or national survey). We have a 80 unit condo assn in FL and pay over $65K for accounting services ($10K) and part-time management ($55K) (employee) services? Does anyone have a reference point as to whether this is high, low, or average?

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 10:20 AM by Mark


You need to review your state condominium act. Most staes have such a law. In it you may find that as a consdo association you must engage a klicensed management company to assist in managing your property. If this be the case in your state then tyou have no choice but you can minimize the cost by assigning minimal tasks to that contract. You should also find size data-very small associations are usually exempt. Also be aware that your state law over rides any conflict with your bylaws on any matter.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 10:49 AM by Charles Adler


My word of advice is to run, do not walk "RUN" to your nearest real estate agent and sell out of the association if you can.  
 
I bought into this place 5 almost 6 years ago and the BOD'rs were nothing but mean nasty people whom I no longer respect nor want to talk to. They left our place in dire need of repairs and everytime we asked we were told no money in the kitty. They neglected to have our pumps cleaned out yearly which resulted in $ 3 to 5,000 dollars in repairs. A law suit pending because the contractor neglected to do his job correctly and an owner fell and they would not pay her medical bills. Owners roof are leaking due to the fact that one BOD got a cheap estimate and fly by night roofer. We voted for the roof to be installed and then had no say into who the roofer (her friend) was. I could go on and on about all the rules and laws of an association that have been broken here, yet I am tired of it all.I have fought to correct things but I have 4 people who wants to get this all straightened out and the others do not care. We voted management service back in April and it took the president 7 months and numerous phone calls to management to get her to return the signed contract to them. 
 
If 2011 is not better with management service, I will be selling out of this whole mess. Which also I might add if someone checks out this situtation, I may not be able to unload my condo. 
 
So I will say make sure you ask alot of questions, get things signed in advance and if you ever decide to buy a condo, get all the paper work first before signing on the dotted line. 
 
P.S. The BOD stepped down and we don't have new ones in place "YET" 
 
It is being promised for the last 2 months by management service............You read between the lines on that one..........We are still waiting for our meeting with them, a financial report that was promised back in June and repairs to be done. One is just as bad as the other. Oh and 4 people are way behind in their dues..........WAY BEHIND!!!!!!! You be the judge 
 
If association are run correctly you have no problems, but yes it is alot of time dealing and if you work you should not volunteer for the job. I don't work and have been trying hard to get onto the board, yet I feel I am being black balled by the former president and her little friend. Good luck and hope things work better for you!

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 11:05 AM by s


In our state whether we have a property manager isn't determined by law. 
 
 
 
Here is how we worked it out. 
 
 
 
We are part of a 24 unit condo that has 2 pools, inside and out, and there are amenity agreements with 2 other condos for use of the pools (which includes 60 units). We hired a management company for $15 per unit per month of the 24 to handle the financials, billing, monthly records and to get bids for the association. In addition, we hired a parttime onsite pool building manager to watch over the common areas and open and close the pools. This cost is offset by the amenities agreements and allows the 2 pools to continue to be open.  
 
 
 
Our BOD has become quite involved for all the checks and balances. It appears to be working well.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 12:13 PM by David


I have a unit in a 448 unit multi condo. We are self managed. As with all Condo Associations everyone complains but no one does anything so over the years that I have been here (7years) the President a lady thinks (&will tell you)that she owns the place & has it all tied up. She does exactly as she wishes. No one contests them at Elections but all moan. This condo has been here for 25 years when we bought here the seller told me that the fee's were going up but it was about time because they had not done so in awhile. So you might expect being self managed the fees running costs would or should be less. No the fees have increased every year since & in some instances we feel that the grounds & maintenance have slipped. Plus they have let people get away without paying their fees to the tune of $6000 dollars in some cases and guess what happened then. The economic downturn, banks foreclosed on several properties first leaving the association out by thousands of dollars. I live overseas so there is not much point in standing for the board. Either way I think that unless you are prepared to DO something you are between a rock & a hard place whichever you decide on.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 12:55 PM by Les


Wolf--in what state are yopu located?

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 1:45 PM by Charles Adler


The choice is n't only between being Self - managed or having a management deal either with an employed manager or a management company.  
 
If you have a good board, they can do much of the decision making, setting the priorities, appraising quotes etc. and employ only a good association administrator / book keeper instead of a manager.  
 
When you call someone THE MANAGER they get big ideas.  
 
.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 4:23 PM by John C.


If you want meaningful answers to your questions please always name the stae in which your condo is located. Every state has a condominium act and there are differences bewteen these documents. To get a correct and definitive answer you need to specify where-(what state) you are located in.

posted @ Saturday, November 27, 2010 6:30 PM by Charles Adler


I am the president of a 16 unit condominium in NJ. Our management company is dropping us in March when the contract is up. What are the pros and cons of self managing the building? Thank you

posted @ Thursday, November 17, 2011 1:17 PM by David


I live in a condo in Boston with 5 units and we are self managed. 
 
In the past 3 years I suffered damages in my unit coming from a unit above and nobody is taking care of this issue. 
 
Can I legally impose to establish a professional condo association? 
 
If not how can I have the issues fixed if the other unit owners do not care.... without relying to my insurance? 
 
thank you 
 
 
 
Jesse

posted @ Saturday, June 30, 2012 3:28 PM by Jessejo


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