Over the years there has been a rise in management companies that want to do more than just manage the accounting and official records of the association. I think many people in the industry would tell you that there isn’t that much money to be made from an association if the management company only handles the records and the finances. The money to be made is in providing the other services like landscaping, pest control, routine maintenance and other services.
Obviously, you should know whether or not your management company owns the other company that wants to provide all of these services to your community. Florida law for condominiums provide:
No written contract between a party contracting to provide maintenance or management services and an association which contract provides for operation, maintenance, or management of a condominium association or property serving the unit owners of a condominium shall be valid or enforceable unless the contract:
Discloses any financial or ownership interest a board member or any party providing maintenance or management services to the association holds with the contracting party.
So, there is now mandatory disclosure in a condominium. Is that enough? Amazingly, there is no similar provision in the HOA statute.
Some management companies refused to go down the path of providing services other than pure management. Their owners thinking that to do so would be a conflict in and of itself. Some of the larger companies obviously think the opposite and believe they are simply providing an additional service at a competitive price.
Remember……if a service provider is not doing a good job, the manager is supposed to tell them to get their act together or face being terminated. One school of thought says that a manager won’t rat on or complain about a sister company.
Today I would like to hear from all of you. What have your experiences been as board members with management companies who perform multiple services? Managers, you can write in anonymously and tell us what you think as well.