DON'T LET THEM TOUCH YOUR MONEY! PAY YOUR OWN ASSN BILLS AND WRITE YOUR OWN CHECKS. IT'S NOT THAT HARD! ALSO, DO YOUR OWN ESTOPPELS AND KEEP THE FEES.
In handing management over keep in mind that the management company is your employee and the Board is responsible for what it does.
The Board must still provide direction, authorization of work and budget, supervision, and keep documentation/records of work done. Require regular maintenance reports and receipts. Inspect the work and make sure it is satisfactory and within budget. You can rely on their professional opinion and recommendation, but keep tabs on what they are doing, why, and costs.
The actual transition process is pretty much on the new management company. However, your Board still needs to follow the progress.
We just went through this process at the beginning of the year and it went real smooth because we chose an extremely competent new management company. Our former management company was co-operative to a point and for a couple of items became unprofessional jerks. Our new management company did an audit and asked permission of our Board President to go back several years due to some issues uncovered in the prior year.
I recommend going to the CAI website (http://www.caionline.org) as they have a wealth of documents and documentation on the topic of transition.
Whatever you do execute a contract with them. VERY detailed. Be specific. Make it renewable in one year at no increase in cost. Rquire an evaluation after 6 months. Watch them like a hawk, especially if they handle the bills. Require two signatures on all checks, one being the board treasurer. Watch all transfers of money that may occur between whatever accounts you have. Check with other condos around your area to see what they pay a management company. Most importantly, GET REFERENCES!!!
handing over your community to some management company is the foolish thing I ever heard of - if you want to go broke or even go into bankrupty then move forward with this awful plan
As a board member I can tell you that if you choose to go with a management company, make sure you have control over the situation in general, especially finances, bills, etc.
Also set up the contract in your favor make it work for you. Remember no one cares about your money except you.
By saying you're geting ready to "handover" the mgmt of your assn to a new prop mgmt co, tells me you are not the type of boar member I would want on my board. The prop. mgmt co does not manage the assn, the board does. All the mgr does is carry out functions assigned to him by the board through their contract with the mgmt co. Anything thing the mgr does must be (should be) approved by the board. Many of the previous posters have offered very good advice, I certainly hope you heed it. The very worst thing any assn BOD could do (and far too many of them do!!) is to "hand over" their assn to the mgmt co!!
Best answer was from Ron
Worst answer was from Jim
wrong all together answer was Mary
Sorry guys those are my votes.
Second of all we have handed everything over to our management company. A very large and dedicated on the web with great results management company. And no we did not get them from the web. They are local in our town and wonderful people to work with.
Yes we each (15) pay a fee monthly to their services, (22.00) and they took over everything. They have recovered money back for us from deadbeats who think that only other people must pay.
We have a 3 member board who does watch over everthing and I myself approves or disapproves anything she sends me in the line of maintance. If it is to much it goes back to be discussed. The other 2 are right on board with me.
They have gotten dicounts in our utility bills, back tracked 3 years of some of things the old treasurer was doing wrong. on and on and on.
We and I speak for all of us have no complaints and the board is open to any discussions before we go to our meetings. we stated to them that having board meetings every month for one year was important, now we dropped back to quarterly meetings.
I guess it is all about presentation and what you want and what to expect from management.
So do your homework stick together and you will be grateful if you hire the right company.
Might I also say we were dead ash broke when we hired them. Today we have much of our maintance taken care of and it was a good deal that was neglected for years, and money in our account and owing nothing.
Our first year we assesed everyone and equal amount to be put back into our account and everyone agreed this is what needed to be done to bring us back on board.And today we are happy.
Beware! I have served on the board for over 6 years and was president for over 3 years. Plus over 40 years management experience. The last company I worked for I was resposble for 134 employees and I had my own business a couple of times. I met regularly at education programs with other presidents. Management companies all do what I call the "Management Dance." That is the least amount of work to keep the contract. You must hold there feet to the fire. I kept a running list of all assignments and duties, who was assigned to do it and when, and when it was completed. It made evaluating their work easy and nothing fell through the cracks.Have a 30 day cancellation clause that works both ways. We interviewed over 20 companies and still only got mediocre. I met with them every week for 2 hours and gave them the written list. They still were behind. People were fired for not sending in bills on time. $55,000 error on budget because manager didn't read consultant report on reserves. I caught it because I read and checked All their work. It should not have been so much work for the president. After all, we are paying them to do the work. If I hadn't been a work-a-holic by nature I can't imagine what would have been done. They also didn't keep up on the laws. Just remember the board is ultimately resposible for everything and you are their boss.
HOLD THEIR FEET TO THE FIRE.
Thank you Mary, your answer is spot on! Before turning things over to a Mgt company you need to know that the BOD is still in control and the Mgt company works for you so you have to stay active. You need to tell them your expectations:
1. You want monthly financials showing all expenditures, income, owner delinquency by unit and bank balances including reserve accounts (we are required by our state to maintain at least 10% of our budget in a reserve account).
2. You need to make sure they are consistent when they follow your late fee policy and that liens are filed per your bylaws to protect your interest. 3.You need to see a check registry and know where your funds are going. 4. One person still stay on top of the legal issues, don't just let them take over you need to know about each delinquent owner and/or case. 5. You need a set policy for paying vendors, you should require them to have workers comp and liability insurance before they are permitted to do work and be paid. 6. Make sure you have copies of each owners ledger before turning the books over to the Mgt company so there are no problems. 7. Make sure you see paid invoices for utilities and anything considered a common expense (insurance, gas, water, trash,etc) that the association pays for so you don't risk the chance of an interuption in services. 8. Stay on top of things and "inspect what you expect" and don't just hand over the books without followup. 9. Make sure the yearly contract is detailed as to what they will provide and it should have a 30 day out so if either party is not happy they need to give 30 days notice. 10. The BOD still needs to know your bylaws, Declarations, and state condo laws.
Our previous BOD had little input on our property and they let it get to the point where the Mgt company (since the 70's) basically told us they would only pay our bills and they were tired of dealing with us. We were forced to oversee the daily operations. Rather than hire a new company, we started requesting copies of all invoices that were paid, bank statements, and we stayed on top of the delinquency and legal issues quicker because we were tired of hearing" you have no money". We managed the Association and the maintenance and they simply paid our bills. Things improved so much, deferred maintenance was taken care of, and we finally had money. The Mgt company saw the improvements, they wanted to take over everything again but we said heck no. In 2010 we gave them notice and we terminated their services (boy were they surprised), we hired a CPA and we are now self managed and still doing great, but it is a ton of hard work!
You have tons of good information from the previous posters but I would like to add several ideas. Yes, do call references and find out why they like/dislike the mgmt company in question. The ones that bubble over with enthusiam have experienced good works by their property managers and they should be able to explain what they liked the best. Also look for a manager that knows condo law like an expert because he/she will have to do battle with lawyers that have little experience with condo law but lots of gall to try to bluff the "evil board" into a corner.
In my experience it is very difficult to get anyone to come to a meeting let alone volunteer to serve on the board. Getting a good management company that can deal with as much technical work as possible (pay bills, manage funds, create budgets, deal with vendors and large projects, etc) will make it easier to get volunteers on the board. Follow your instincts and make sure you and all of the board members review the financials every month. Good luck!