Q: I am frustrated with the management company of our condominium association. I don’t think they are being candid about our finances.

Now it seems they are getting politically involved in terms of who should serve on the board of directors. They conspired with our attorney, whom they recommended, in a campaign to force a director off the board because he was against their continued retention.

I am on the board too but have tried to keep quiet. What should I do?

Robert Meisner

Robert Meisner

A: If you can document these allegations, you should bring them to the attention to the rest of the board members in writing and demand the appropriate action. Since you appear to be in the minority, however, you may be best advised to retain your own counsel who then can advocate on your behalf and, in effect, on behalf of the association against those directors who are allowing the abuse by the management company and the association’s attorney to occur with impunity.

It would also be helpful if your attorney can confirm your suspicions about the management company and the association attorney to ensure that you are doing the right thing.

Such abuses occur all too often in associations where the board does not recognize and understand its fiduciary and legal obligations. And they occur particularly where the management company and the association attorney are economically dependent on each other for business.

Shockingly, I have seen attorneys representing both the association and the management company at the same time in cases where the parties’ interests diverge. If the management company was at fault and needs to be held accountable by the association, there is no way that attorney can ethically represent both parties.

Remember, if either the management company or the attorney recommend or insist on one single option for a new service provider, that is a red flag. The Board should always solicit multiple bids and be resistant to any pressure to hire a new service provider from a current one.

Robert M. Meisner is the Principal Attorney of The Meisner Law Group, based in Bingham Farms, Michigan, which provides legal representation for condominiums, homeowner associations, individual co-owners and developers throughout Michigan, including Grand Traverse, Leelanau, and Emmet Counties. His book, Condo Living 2: The Authoritative Guide to Buying, Owning and Selling a Condominium is available at www.momentumbooks.com. He can be reached at 800-470-4433 or bmeisner@meisner-law.com. Visit the firm’s blog at www.meisner-law.com/blog.

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