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Most condominium boards decide to hire a professional, licensed property manager or management company to help take care of day-to-day tasks. To avoid confusion and unnecessary frustration, it's important to understand what property managers' duties are and what they can be expected to handle.

In general, a condominium property manager has two primary responsibilities: to manage a community's daily operations and to carry out policies set by the condo board. The manager works closely with the board as an advisor, but acts at the sole direction of the board and is not technically a member of the board. Any questions or concerns you would like the board to address should be sent to the property manager but addressed to the board. Similarly, keep in mind that making a request through your property manager is not a way to bypass board approval, as the board still must approve all requests.

When it comes to settling conflicts, a manager is the right person to call if any condo community rules are clearly being violated. Although most property managers are trained in dealing with conflict, your manager should not be asked to get involved if you are simply trying to settle an argument with another owner that's not related to your community's rules. In addition, keep in mind that a manager does not have any say in setting policies. If you disagree with a policy, it's better to bring your concerns to directly to the condo board.

The property manager is responsible for performing property inspections, and is the person or organization to contact if you have a concern about a maintenance or repair issue. If any contractors are hired and are working onsite, the manager should monitor their performance, but not necessarily supervise them, as contractors should have their own appointed supervisors. If you are a unit owner and would like to report an issue with a contractor, you may bring the issue up with your manager, who will forward your concerns on to the condo board.

Your property manager also likely handles the condo board's financial affairs. This includes collecting condo fees, preparing monthly financial statements and creating an operational budget to be submitted to the board. If you have questions or concerns about paying your fees, you may discuss them with your manager.

Your manager is available as a resource to residents, but should not be expected to be available 24 hours a day, unless you're experiencing an emergency that threatens your life or your property. If you would like to see your property manager to discuss a concern, it's best to call and schedule a meeting.