In a Commercial Condominium setting, managers, tenants and owners have unique responsibilities to one another and to the property.
Tenant responsibilities are the simplest. It’s their responsibility to maintain a clean and undamaged space, comply with the governing documents of the Association they reside in, and to maintain good financial standing with their landlord.
Owners are also expected to maintain their properties to the standards stipulated by the Association’s governing documents. In addition, owners are encouraged to have a role in Association governance, exercised by joining the Association Board and attending meetings.
The condominium manager serves as lynchpin between the owners, their property and the Association as a whole. Their crucial role comes with many responsibilities, including:
- Oversight of the day-to-day operation of the Association in all its aspects
- Fiduciary responsibility for Association funds
- Assisting the board in the development of annual and project specific budgets, requests for proposals (RFPs), and service contracts
- Supervision of on-site staff
- Contract administration for services rendered by the Association,
- Assisting the board in enforcing of the Association’s governing documents and policies/rules
- Oversight of all property amenities, including structures, infrastructure, hardscapes, greenspaces, and storm water facilities
- Providing subject matter expertise regarding the Association’s governing documents and policies, as well as state and federal laws related to Condominium Association
Through their diligence, managers help ensure properties operate at optimal efficiency. There is, however, one responsibility that managers not have, and that is a direct responsibility to a tenant. While the manager is able to assist with basic requests such as notifying a tenant when work is being performed on the property or assisting them with general questions relating to the property, they are limited in the information they can provide a Tenant, such as certain contact information or financial information related to the Association.
“We often field phone calls from tenants and, though we can be helpful to a point, we ultimately find ourselves directing them back to their landlord (the unit owner) to have their requests answered,” says WPM Associate Commercial Property Manager Tiffany Smith.
So, why don’t tenants receive the same consideration and support as an owner does?
“Owners are the ones with the long term financial investment within the Association,” Smith explains. “It’s the owners who are represented by the Association’s Board of Directors. So, while we always do our best to help tenants, our primary obligation is to our client, the Association and its owners.”