Really, what else can you do but to sue him? No more mobs with pitch forks. Witholding your records is deliberate, willful conduct designed to hurt the Association, so there may be punitive damages and/or attorney fees to be recovered.
Are property managers state regulated or licensed in NJ? If so, you can contact the regulator. In Florida, Property Managers of Condos and HOAs must hold a state license. IF not, no choice but a Legal Action.
this is what happens when a home owner who has the right gets on the board with no business experience and conducts business for all the owners == it is all the owners fault for allowing this - as they say, you get exactly what you wish for ---
My approaches are always to attempt settlement without lawyers. And don't let pride or ego get in the way.
Staying focused on getting records back leads to these suggestions.
1. Offer him some 'bone' benefit relative to future employment references.
2. Offer him $1000 if he is willing to spend 40 hours spread over the next 4 weeks meeting woth the new manager. Will lead to a positive remark in future reference inquiries.
Bottom line: find something in it for him to get what you want. Otherwise spend $5,000 in lawyers and wait a year for the records.
In hind sight, maybe shoulda got the records in hand first before firing the guy!!! For others in this situation, make an appointment to look at the books, and then bring a posse and grab all the records out of the shit bags effing office.
This is sad...
When we transisitioned to a management service, our former sec/tres. Held all of our records. She was asked by them to turn them over and guess what she turned over them alright. She turned over only what she wanted them to see.Claiming her computer went bad and she lost a lot of records......funny right? Oh it gets better and I wished I could explain more, but cannot..
So my guess is he has something to hid or it would have been done my now.
I say find a good laywer that deals with condos and go for all it's worth. If you win there will be money there for him.
If he is a legal management service you can sue for money and also have his license revoked. Hope he is legal, cause if not I think you will be S.O.OL
Don't back down.send him 1 last and final certified, with return receipt requested. And give Him only 30 days to turn over everything, then if no response go after what belongs to you. And have your lawyer ready to roll at that time.
Most lawyers give a consult for free, so acquire one and find out what your rights are and be ready if he gives you the thumbs up. -----OR-----
Maybe try Another management company and see if they can try and get those records, but not sure if they will get involved, but you can try and explain to them and just maybe they will work with you.
Our out come was we started over from square one, with very little money that she claimed was in our account and the mangement service (one that is very well known) built us back up to where we are today, with much thank you's to them. It hurt us, but we are back on bored after 2 years and it was a struggle but we made it. Lesson to be learned and it will never happen again.
Get yourself together and stand strong and fight back.
That management service owes you so go after their license #1 and take back your association. Your records, money and reports belong to you. Let the laywer go after him, that's his job, but make sure he is a good laywer and well known.
You can also apply to your state congressman for help.
P.s. I hope other condo assoc. is reading this.....be on guard to fly by night management and also self managed assoc and HOA 's. it is not worth the hassle to save money.
Our lesson was learned the hard way......just my thought!
Sounds like Jersey HOA issue, you should defiantly contact CAI, the local chapter and the national chapter, pretty much everyone is fishing up there, they should definitely have a review system for the:
Lawyers, engineers, property management companies, etc.
Don't forget the power of social media! Tell him you are about to write a review on Yelp or some similar site. It's free, and the threat just might get the results you want.
If he has a professional certification, report him to your state licensing board. They may have the authority to take action on your behalf and save you legal fees.
As an HOA board member, I insist upon keeping as much of the records as possible under our control with copies to the PM. All board members have exactly the same records, so if one of us goes "AWOL," one of the other two can step in if needed.
I agree Larry
I make it my duty as sec. To ask the management to send me a copy of all transaction that are done on our premis.
We have a meeting every three months with them and I ttrack all in coming and out going finances and compare with the financial report of which is always in agreement with my records.
Nobody will ever dupe us again. This is my duty and along with two others we stand solid.
Most boards take management for granted. DON'T
I trust no one when it comes to our money.
When you let yourself be known that you are keeping track, then management knows this and will work right with you.
This is my story and I wished others would follow the same thing.
Lazy boards spell trouble in the long run.
I am still smiling today
There is no regulation of property managers in New Jersey. The DCA regulates planned developers, but not the hired help. Since the records are necessary for tax purposes, you should have your accountant and lawyer complain to the IRS that proper tax documents cannot be prepared, and ask them to intervene.
Go to you state hoa board and complain. I live in NJ so mine is in Trenton, NJ. If that don't work you can contact the Attorney General office in your state , it depends on what state you live in, not all states passed the law to get the attorney general involved the state of Maryland did. I am working with a group now to have certain rules set up for Property Managers that they must apply to, or they will be prosecuted.
Board Members must do regular inspections of HOA documents and records, require regular reports, and keep back up copies whether records are kept by an off-site company or another Board Member or owner. Owners and Board Members have to stay informed and involved at all times to avoid these situations. Hopefully there are attentive and interested owners who will speak up and step up. Unfortunately I know many won't bother. Our HOA has a website where monthly financial reports and Board minutes are posted, and regular e-blasts are sent to all owners who are interested in knowing what is going on.
Our management firm has represented several smaller condominium associations in NJ transition from disgruntled prior managers. There are various techniques to get the documents that are in fact “owned” by the association”, but are being withheld by the now fired property manager. Clearly, the old manager was not part of a professionally run organization, and I doubt highly that they’ve even heard of organizations like CAI.
Even if you are able to get some of the documents, you’ll never know if you have them all. The real bottom line is that you need to pick up the pieces and get your association back in order. Even without being handed the entire file on a silver platter, there are still methods of collecting much of the information that you probably need. A good management company should be able to assist you in ascertaining the most vital information etc., and should be able to eventually piece everything together. It takes a little more time, but it can be done.
I would avoid wasting time in waiting for the legal system or governmental authority to step in unless there is reason to believe there’s been any criminal activity such as theft etc. I would likewise recommend spending money on an attorney only if you are unable to procure certain financial or bank information.
Despite posts elsewhere on this blog site there are good, ethical, law abiding property managers out there that only want the best for the communities that they manage.
Best of luck, and do keep us informed.
Really sorry to hear of your troubles. I know this won't help with the current issue but let us help in the future. We at Tampa Automated Logic provide a web based property management software solution that eliminates this issue. Once your community starts using our MyCommunity your files and data will always be available. Even when you change property managers! Go to http://TampaAutomatedLogic.com to see more and please don't hesitate to call on me to prevent this in the future.
Sign up for online access at your bank, and then download all the past bank statements. You also may be able to download the scanned checks for the last few years. Talk to the bank officials to see what records they retain. Also sign up online with your utility companies and your insurance company to get all your past bills. Start matching bills to checks in the bank statements. You should be able to get receipts and piece it together without too much labor.
If you had an audit, get any backup records from the accountant.
If you sue the past manager to get the records, also sue for wages you paid for bookkeeping that you had to duplicate.
Your financial records are the most important information you need to obtain. You should be able to get this info thru your bank!
This is the best advice get the records you need for transision before you let the old property mgr. go and consult with your attorney
find out first exactly what a new mgr. would need.The board members might even have this information and don't forget the historians that still live in your complex they are big helpers. seek them out.