The termination of the property management relationship is defined in the management contract. Most contracts can be cancelled with a 30 day written notice to the other party. If you suspect the management company has failed you in their fiduciary duty, which is of the utmost care in dealing with your financial interests, or failure to supervise and care for your property, you may want to bring that to the broker's attention and shorten the time of the notice. The broker may be willing to let you out of your contract immediately. While you may be required to pay him for services, you are not under any obligation to continue allowing him to manage your property and collect your rents. You may terminate that at any time you see fit. He is your agent and you can fire him and take control of your property at any time.
Start with a frank written discussion of the problems and email it to the broker. Ask for a written response to your concerns. Putting your concerns in writing and having the broker answer you in writing is good because you can review it and both decide on the solutions to the problems.
If you are completely done with this relationship take the following steps:
1. Send an email asking them to surrender all keys to the property.
2. Get copies of the utility and all vendor bills and names, addresses and phone numbers, i.e. the landscaper, water company etc., and notify those vendors of the change of management.
3. Get copies of all leases and the tenant ledgers.
4. Send notice immediately to the tenants of the new management company name, address and phone number.
Be sure to hire a new management company prior to cancelling the old one. You do not want to be in the painful position of having to manage your own property. This is not what you do. It is not how you made the money to invest in the first place.
Mary Sawyer, CCIM
Portfolio Property Management
Feb 1, 2010