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Question
Good Morning.
My main question is regarding severing ties with our property manager. We have had a property manager for our rental property (single-family house) for almost 10 years, with the tenant she placed there for that entire period.
The real estate office she worked with was sold several years ago to a new company, with the same property manager maintaining the rental.  We have been dis-satisfied with her, personally, for a number of years. A lack of adherence to our requests for maintaining the house to our specifications, a slowness to honor requests for estimates, as well as conflicts with our tenant, such that the tenant (an older woman and her elderly parents) prefers to discuss issues directly with us.
Now the management has changed hands again, and we are wondering if we have an obligation to this property manager that we MUST follow to the newest management company.  We no longer have a lease with the current tenant, nor do we want or need one. She has been an excellent tenant, and we are happy for her to stay as long as she needs to.
Can we sever ties with our property manager?  Or must we continue to deal with her as long as our tenants are in place? Wouldn't our obligation have been to the original company, and not to the property manager herself?
Thank you for your time.

Answer
Joyce,

So sorry you have had to deal with this.  I am not an attorney but I think I know what an attorney will say..."show me the property management agreement"

Please refer to your property management agreement and read it top to bottom.  See if their is a clause that discusses the status of the agreement if the business changes hands or ownership changes. Also, see if any agreement is still enforce or automatically renews year after year. If it does automatically renew the legal way out is if it is enforceable when the company changed ownership.  If the agreement is solid then just give notice you want to end the agreement.  

If you do not have a property management agreement in place or the original one has lapsed and you see no reason to be obligated to the current property manager or current company then simply tell the tenant to direct all payments and communications to you.  At the same time call the property manager and tell the property manager you have asked the tenant to pay you directly.  

Let the tenant know what you are doing and should the property manager threaten the tenant in any way you will support and protect them.  

If the property manager or company tries to make a "stink" simply and calmly ask them, in writing, to supply you with an agreement obligating you to use their services. If they do, read-it and decide if you need an attorney.  

Chances are they will just let you go...especially, if it is now under new management. If they continue to harass you then pay an attorney to send a strongly written letter that you ending your business relationship.

I hope that helps and good luck.

Regards,
Steve Schiffer
Olde Town Brokers, Inc.

Real Estate: Florida

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Steve Schiffer

Expertise

Questions about buying, selling, renting or investing in residential and small commercial real estate.

Experience

Licensed real estate agent since 2003

Organizations
Orlando Regional Real Estate Associate (ORRA)

Publications
WKMG Channel 6

Education/Credentials
GRI

Awards and Honors
Voted Orlando Magazine Hot Realtor in '06 & '07

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