Are you dissatisfied with the service provided by your building manager? Would you like to change your building manager? In this article, I’ll take you step-by-step through the process of changing your trustee.
DURATION OF THE MANAGEMENT CONTRACT
Good to know: the syndic contract cannot exceed three years. When a contract comes to an end, it must be extended by a majority of votes (50% + 1 vote), either at the Annual General Meeting or at an Extraordinary General Meeting, which can be held at any time. So you can change trustees whenever you like. Read the management contract carefully before terminating the contract, to avoid exposing yourself to any late payment penalties. For the new managing agent, opt for a one-year contract, renewable annually at each ordinary general meeting.
Consult the other co-owners before any general meeting to ask for their opinion. Are they also unhappy with the building manager’s work? Make sure you inform the other co-owners so that you can obtain their support when you vote at the general meeting (50% + 1 vote).
REQUEST SEVERAL QUOTES
Ask for quotes from different property managers. Compare different quotes. The fees – often a fixed amount depending on the number of lots – are one thing, but there are other points to bear in mind, such as :
- Administrative costs. Some trustees add 12% to the basic fee to cover their administrative costs.
- The number of meetings with the condominium council provided for in the basic mission. Often there’s only one scheduled, but I think one should be scheduled every four or six months to ensure proper monitoring of the building.
- The cost of organizing a second Annual General Meeting (AGM) or Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM).
- The price for monitoring disputes and work.
- The hourly rate for any service outside the normal scope of the syndic’s mission.
- That load statements contain two columns for allocation between lessor and occupier.
- Office opening hours.
Once you have one or more estimates to present to the other co-owners, ask the outgoing managing agent to add the following items to the agenda of the next General Meeting – at least three weeks before the legal fortnightly deadline:
- Terminate the mission of the outgoing managing agent (or do not renew the existing contract).
- Appoint the new trustee.
- Signing of the new building manager’s contract. By a 2/3 majority, a mandate may be given to the Co-ownership Council.
- Mandate the new trustee to either take over existing accounts or open new accounts. I recommend the second solution, for reasons of responsibility.
- Ask the outgoing trustee to close the accounts.
- Do not discharge the outgoing trustee.
PROCEDURE IN THE EVENT OF A DEFAULTING TRUSTEE
The choice of a new managing agent must always be approved by the Annual General Meeting by a majority of 50% + 1 vote.
If the managing agent doesn’t reply to emails and hasn’t organized an AGM in recent years, you should :
- Send it a request, by registered letter, to convene an Ordinary General Meeting or, in the event of serious default, an Extraordinary General Meeting.
- The syndic has 30 days from receipt of the request to convene the General Meeting.
- If the syndic has not reacted within 30 days, the co-owners, provided they represent at least 20% of the votes, may themselves convene the General Meeting.
- In this case, the General Meeting will usually be organized and held by the condominium council.
- From then on, the procedure is the same as that described above.
IN THE WORST CASE
If the trustee has committed serious breaches, you can refer the matter to the justice of the peace. The latter may dismiss the trustee and appoint a new provisional trustee. Any single co-owner can appeal to the Justice of the Peace.
Don’t be afraid to change syndic if you’re not happy with yours. There are some excellent trustees. Those who do their job well are often the ones you don’t hear about. Ask your friends and family for tips.