Connecticut Unit Owner Wants To Fire Management Company: Good Luck

Trying to get rid of a management company that is firmly planted into a Connecticut condo association is impossible unless the board of directors agree.

That is what a former board member learned after raising questions about how to get rid of her management company.

The unit owner, who lives in the New Haven area, said her association does not have its own attorney despite the fact that there are about 200 units.

So she went to a real estate attorney who advised her that if she collected a petition she could “instruct” the board at the annual meeting to seek bids from other management firms.

This made no sense to me so I asked her what the association’s bylaws had to say on the issue. She said it was silent except for the fact that the board had the right to hire a management company.

In that case I told her, state condo laws do not require condo boards to solicit advice on management companies.

Therefore she and her friends could “instruct” the board all they wanted to, if the board wanted to retain the present management firm it could.

The only way she could have a real voice is to get back on the board and to encourage other like-minded owners to do the same.

“But people here are so apathetic,” she replied, “unless our fees go up.”

That is unfortunately the problem at most condo complexes not only in Connecticut but throughout the country.


6 Responses to Connecticut Unit Owner Wants To Fire Management Company: Good Luck

  1. HappyOwnerAndBoardMember1 says:

    Apathy is the problem here. Owners could petition and get a vote to remove the current Board, but then they would have to find candidates and elect a new board.

    One resident wanting to replace a management company is a far cry from actually improving the association. Just like one citizen not liking the Mayor or Governor should not be enough to insist on a new one.

    Be careful what you ask for. Forcing a board to replace a manager does not mean that the association would get a better manager. Replacing and subsequently overseeing a manager takes good, consistent research, education and work – not a task for the apathetic.

  2. Linda Palermo says:

    I believe that the members of the Corporation, should be able to vote on who their property manager or management company will be. At stonybrook we are self managed our board relies on our office manager who is not a property manager to do various duties. Their protect the office manager and the members are left to write a complaint to the Board of Directors. The Board leans toward the decision of the office manager. The members complaint is discussed in executive session; the Board votes and the minutes only say what the out come of the vote is. The members who writes the complaint is left in the dark, because they are not allowed into executive session. Management companies and or property manager are usually under a contract. So why is it difficult to fire a management company or manager if they do not live up to the conditions of the contract? And why should a property manager have a right to be insobordinant to members who are paying them for their services. Then there if the issue of files retained in the cooperative/corporations files. If a members writes a document/complaint or not, it gets put into the cooperatives/corporations file. When a member reviews the file, I for one have found documents that do not belong in my file and have been placed into it by the office manager under who’s direction it is uncertain; I am toldthe file belongs to the Cooporative. Why is the Cooperative/Corporation allowed to comingle the documents in this mannner? It appears as though the members have less to say under the amended laws.

  3. CT Condo Ombudsman Supporter says:

    Connecticut needs enforceable condo laws.

    By law, unit owners should be guaranteed a voice in decision making affecting them.

    Mandating by law that condo associations utilize a competitive bidding process incorporating at least three competitive bids and allowing unit owners to vote on all projects and contracts over $2,500 will help make matters more transparent and give owners a greater voice in decisions.

  4. Sandi Martinik says:

    I agree with the Ombudsman Supporter and I believe unit owners need to have a vote if a resolution is created.

    We at Glen Oaks, Newington is now dealing with an indoor pool repair that is a catastrophe. The board did not vote on a $50,000 indoor pool project and did not get a permit for the job. The President and Treasurer signed the contract without a board vote. And, the board members did not stop the job regarding the job without the board vote.

    It appears the unit owners may be paying up to $50,000 plus $30,000 for the damages.

    The board has put in the claim to the contractor’s insurance; however, the contractor is no longer in business. As unit owners we have been given suggestions and will be moving forward to protect our personal pocketbook. Because, it appears the board may be negligent which is a grave concern. More will be revealed!

  5. Sandy says:

    Nowhere in the article does it mention the reason why the person wants the management company removed. Managing a condo complex is a thankless job. The only time you hear from people is when they want something or to complain. Most of the time it’s complaints. Residents fail to recognize that they are not the only clients of management companies and call continuously over issues that actually are not within the jurisdiction of the management company. Or, they receive a notice of a violation they have commited and scream, swear, yell and deny the allegation. Efficient, effective and honest companies are not easy to find and I am very pleased that our complex has found one. Most management companies are contracted and if an association wants to terminate services, those terms are always spelled out in the contract itself. I know of a complex in my area that wanted to terminate a property manager and the contract specifically stated it had to be done by registered mail within so many days. The board of directors complied with the terms of the contract, however,the property manager would neither accept nor sign for any registered mail. So there are some shady management companies and these should be reported to the Dept. of Consumer Protection, the Attorney General’s office or both.

  6. Edward says:

    Sandy and to everyone .What you need to understand here is that to a management company this is a 9 to 5 job , a job of which they took on to deal with Tenant’s complaints, If they don’t want to deal with complaints than they can find another job. For us , this is our home, where our lives happen our holidays, occasions,births , deaths, should I have to caution my family and friends about the mud slide caused by city workers or the huge crack in the walkway that I have complained about for the last two years. should I be treated with blatant ,rude disrespect from the management company because I asked for these things to be taken care of ?

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