Property managers offer invaluable expertise to condominium boards on a wide range of matters, from holding proper meetings to navigating sensitive owner disputes. Given this important role, it is important to make sure that your condominium’s property manager is educated, efficient, and the right fit for your condominium community.
But how do you find the right property manager? Here are a few tips and tricks for navigating the property management market to find the perfect fit:
- Ask for referrals: Condominium industry professionals (e.g. lawyers and accountants who specialize in condominiums) have worked with many different property managers and can offer insights and opinions on who you should (or shouldn’t) use.
- Ask for references: Once you have some property managers or management companies in mind, you may wish to know more about their experience. Consider asking for references from previous employers (e.g. if a manager previously worked for a different management company) or other clients (e.g. other condominiums whom they currently serve).
- Compare and read the management agreements: Not all management agreements are created equal, and some may have hidden costs or may include fewer services than others. Consider having your lawyer review the agreement(s) as well to offer insights on what is advantageous, normal, unusual, or unfair.
- Ask questions and negotiate: If you have found a property manager that you would like to work with, but there is something in a management agreement that you are unhappy with, raise it with them. These agreements may have negotiation room and the process of discussing your concerns with the manager may give you further insight on whether you enjoy working with them.
- Review the Condominium Management Regulatory Authority (CMRAO) public registry (https://www.cmrao.ca/en-US/public-registry/): This registry will confirm if the manager and/or management company is properly licensed, list the type of licence and licence number, their employer (if applicable), and will list any restrictions or investigations into the searched party.
- Consider your condominium’s unique needs: Each condominium community is unique, and you may have specific needs you’re looking for the property manager to fill. Consider what makes your condominium unique, and ask potential managers how they can address these needs.
Annie Bailey, JD
Lawyer, Robson Carpenter LLP