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Residential Property Management/Management Company / Fiduciary Responsibility

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Question
I own a condominium in Virginia.  The condo association contracted with a new company to manage the property.  This new company asked owners for a blank check so as to set up an automatic withdrawal of condo dues from each owner's bank account.  I submitted a blank check as asked.  This happened several months ago, and the management company still has not set up the automatic withdrawal.  I am still writing checks, but the management company was late in depositing one check, so they've assessed a late fee.  Other checks I wrote and mailed on the same day cleared before the condo's due date, so I'm pretty sure the management company had the check -- they just failed to process it.  My primary concern is the possible breach of fiduciary responsibility by the management company.  They've had a blank check with my routing number and have done nothing with it.  They have not been responsive to phone calls or e-mails.  Do I have any recourse?

Answer
Not sure where there would be a violation of any fiduciary responsibility. If you feel the late fee is invalid, simply write a letter to the management company explaining why, and disputing the charge. As for the automatic withdrawal, in that same letter you can inquire about that as well. Sometimes it takes a while to get the systems in place to facilitate electronic payments, or perhaps they delayed the roll-out for some reason. But as long as the blank check doesn't get forged and cashed, you're probably fine (note that anyone you write a check to has the same bank account information). Send the letter certified mail which should catch someone's attention.

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Mike Fortunato

Expertise

Very familiar with all aspects of property management (tenant/landlord issues, lease administration, facilities maintenance, financials, etc). 25+ years in property management

Experience

I have been in real estate management for 25+ years, both residential and commercial properties. Currently own and operate a commercial and residential real estate management company in southern California.

Organizations
IREM; BOMA; MLS; National Association of Realtors; California Association of Realtors

Education/Credentials
CPM (Certified Property Manager) and RPA (Real Property Administrator)

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