Condo Media - November 2020 - 44

The Region

VERMONT

Professional Association Managers
Hiring and Contract Considerations for Association Boards
[by Christina A. Jensen, Esq.]

Here's to the managers. They are
the Ghostbusters of common interest
communities, without (we hope!)
the bumbling.
A good manager can make association governance smooth and consistent
and be a great source of institutional
memory. This is especially valuable because association boards are comprised
of volunteers with jobs and families
to juggle along with their association
board responsibilities.
BOARD AUTHORITY TO HIRE
Section 3-102(a)(3) of Vermont's Common Interest Ownership Act (VCIOA)
allows associations to hire and discharge
managing agents independent of the
provisions of their governing documents

44

CONDOMEDIA November 2020

(generally, the declaration, bylaws, and
rules). Even communities existing before VCIOA was adopted have authority
to hire managers, as long as they don't
fall within VCIOA's narrow exceptions,
and as long as the governing documents
don't prohibit it; in either of those cases,
the association's authority will need to
be carefully analyzed.
Fortunately, most associations will
have authority to hire a manager. The
declaration or bylaws could set out the
details of the association's power to hire
a manager, so these must be checked
before making any hiring decision,
particularly if the community existed
before January 1, 1999, when VCIOA
became effective. Unless the declaration
or bylaws provide otherwise, it's the

executive board that selects and hires a
manager on behalf of the association.
No matter who has ultimate authority to hire a manager, each association
will need to decide whether hiring a
manager is a good idea.
MANAGER SELECTION
AND RESPONSIBILITY
Let's start with the premise that the
manager you're considering is a good
one. A good manager is a gift, and can
make governance smooth, consistent,
and as problem-free as possible. A poor
manager could result in problems, including lawsuits against the association.
For example, while the local person
who built the community may be a great
resource for physical maintenance like



Condo Media - November 2020

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Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover1
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover2
Condo Media - November 2020 - Contents
Condo Media - November 2020 - 2
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Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover3
Condo Media - November 2020 - Cover4
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