MMS Maui — property management
As a matter of public interest, we would like to share our documented experiences working with the estate maintenance and management company MMS Maui as our "fiduciary" home-watch agent, for our property in Lahaina, HI on the island of Maui.
During the pre-hiring process, we were able to conduct due diligence to ensure that the people tending to our home were qualified and honorable, as they were in possession of our home house keys, neighborhood gate card, and confidential home intrusion alarm code. We were under the impression that the two owners, who were licensed and properly vetted on the front end, were the only ones tending to our property personally.
On June 1st, 2019, we hired MMS Maui, which included a monthly retainer for predefined weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual duties. Shortly thereafter, we came to find out that the two owners of MMS took a vacation, and that another party who we had not vetted, nor knew of, and whose professional license status was unknown to us, was in possession of our property door keys, neighborhood gate card, and confidential home intrusion alarm code, allowing him/her/them open access to our home at any time.
Upon reviewing the agreement, there is absolutely no mention that anyone other than the owners would ever be tending to our house. One would assume that we would be informed prior to this handoff, so that we could take the necessary precautions to ensure that this party was also licensed and vetted. Unfortunately, we were never given that opportunity.
Handing over the keys to an unknown and unvetted party poses a MAJOR security risk to our property and neighborhood, and MMS did not seek permission from us permitting them to hand over these sensitive items to the unknown party prior to doing so. MMS acting as our representative, willingly and knowingly violated all reasonable standards of ordinary and customary business practices involving client communication, client safety, safety of personal property, and client authorization.
Subsequently, we had politely asked MMS to manage a couple minor things for our property, being that we are thousands of miles away. These requests included lowering the blinds upon leaving and reporting a landscaping issue with the management company. In our agreement, it states "Any work done outside the scope of the above activities will be billed at $50 per hour." so we assumed these requests were routine and benign if outside of the regular scope of services and were happy to pay the additional amount.
However, after a couple email exchanges regarding these matters, on July 13th 2019, the owner of MMS decided to unilaterally terminate our agreement, without notice, effective immediately. This termination caused us significant disruption with the management and care of our property and caused us additional expense, i.e. changing all the locks, flying back to Maui to interview and hire a new management company, etc.
Upon this unilateral and no-notice termination, another party who we didn't know was tasked to return our keys and gate access entry card to the management company's office, which was another breach of any reasonable security protocol. Thankfully, our property manager informed the MMS representative that they could not accept homeowner keys for liability and safety reasons.
In conclusion, based on our first-hand experience with MMS Maui, we feel that this company is truly unfit to serve as a management fiduciary company due to unethical business practices, which include a complete lack of communication and concern for security and safety of client property.