In our work with self-managing condominium associations, we've noticed that clients often have vendors providing services with no clear written agreement in place detailing expectations and compensation.

Haus Financial Services recommends that all vendors, no matter how "small" the service may seem, be provided with a written contract. A written contract is vital for the following reasons:

  • It documents the expectations of the vendor and allows the board to accurately review the work that is being done. If you aren't sure what is covered by the fees, how can you know that you are getting what you are paying for?
  • It creates a history of the regular maintenance required by the building for reference by future board members. This makes it easier for a new board to review regular maintenance needs and ensure they are being met.  
  • It eliminates questions about fee increases. If a vendor is suddenly charging a different amount from what is expected, the board can refer to the existing contract to determine if the increase is valid and if a new contract should be created to document a new fee agreement.

A vendor agreement or service contract does not need to be overly complicated to be useful. The key items to include are:

  • Begin and end date of the agreement
  • Detail of services to be performed
  • Amount of compensation
  • Frequency of compensation
  • Any items not included that can be expected to be invoiced separately

The board should draft a written agreement and have it signed by both parties, then retain it with the association's records.

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