Condo Boards & Reserve Funds: Perils Lurk in Older Condos | Page 6

Discussion in 'Real Estate General Discussions' started by dt_toronto_geek, Dec 8, 2007.

  1. Ex-Montreal Girl

    Ex-Montreal Girl Active Member

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    Thanks. I'll check it out. I was told I'd have to give up my Saturdays (and early in the morning at that!) to haul my sorry butt up to somewhere in North York for 8 hour seminars. Nooooooooooooo way.
     
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  2. PinkLucy

    PinkLucy Moderator Staff Member

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    Those are the advanced courses, and even then I don't think they are 8 hours long, but it could be wrong. I had an email floating around from just before the holidays. I'll see if I can find it. We did the intro course as a group a couple of years ago. I think it was two one hour webinars.

    ETA: Found the email. The intro course is 2 1 1/2 hour webinars; there is also a 3 hour in person course (Thursday night) about governance issues, running effective meetings, common problem areas, etc.. There is a "level 200" course that is more intense and runs for 2 Saturdays, all day -- lots of detail covered on insurance, service providers, etc.

    IMHO the intense course would be more beneficial for boards that operate without a PM. The intro course webinars were a good overview for people new to condo boards.

    There's also a law firm (Fine and Deo maybe?) that offers free breakfast webinars on various topics every now and then. For example, I participated in one about pets in condos (we have a lot of issues) that was very informative -- it was about 45 minutes and I just dialed in from home.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
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  3. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    The Condo group of Heenan Blaikie also offer free seminars to interested people. They also publish a Condo Newsletter which is often quite useful. It has links to their last few seminar videos. See http://www.condoreporter.com/
     
    #78
  4. PinkLucy

    PinkLucy Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks! (maybe it was one of their webinars I took -- I'm thinking it wasn't Fine & Deo -- they do some educational stuff though) There's lots of good information available if you go looking.
     
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  5. Condo Madness

    Condo Madness New Member

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    Your property management company's district manager may also be a good source of information. Your board should also buy a copy of Nathan's Company Minutes, 10th edition. It is expensive, about $160 including shipping and taxes but you only need one copy. It tells you how you need to run your board meetings and AGMs. A great reference. Marilyn G. Lincoln, the author of a condo column in the National Post has a manual for directors running self-managed condos. It too is excellent. You can find the prices and addresses here:
    http://www.condomadness.info/Book_reviews.html
     
    #80
  6. Ex-Montreal Girl

    Ex-Montreal Girl Active Member

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    Thanks everybody. I will check these out. I am not against education or information. Just getting up in the morning and getting dressed on weekends ...

    I am thinking we need condo education for residents as well. Some people think this is like a rental and you can call the super to fix your dripping faucet. Stuff like that. Funny and frustrating.
     
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  7. Condo Madness

    Condo Madness New Member

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    The board should write a Owner's and Resident's Guide for your building.

    It will take awhile but you can do it slowly, updating it with newer editions once a year or so until you have what you need. The writing and editing of the handbook teaches the directors at the same time which is a real bonus. Add the condo's rules and put it online to save printing costs.

    The landlords need to know their liability if their renters, or their guests, flood the unit, break the rules or damage the common elements. Many don't have a clue.

    Buy a good general management book. Most stuff a board does is general management. Peter Drucker wrote a good one on managing non-profits and on Managing by objectives. His books are great, most of the business books in the bookstores written by celebrity executives are junk. You can find used copies of Drucker's books online at really cheap prices.
     
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  8. DSC

    DSC Senior Member

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    Many condos have website with lots of information. Some are closed (i.e. only open with passwords) others are freely available. Quite a few in their area are listed and linked to in the Members' page of the St Lawrence Neighbourhood Association. See: http://www.slna.ca/slna-members.html
     
    #83
  9. Ex-Montreal Girl

    Ex-Montreal Girl Active Member

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    Thanks again.

    We redid the Welcome Package last year which was a painful process. It contains a lot of the info people need, and could easily be updated and beefed up. But I guess it's attitude I am thinking about.

    As for a website, as much as I would love to create one, not yet. I'm guessing that half our residents don't even have computers or, if they do, can't manage much beyond email. It's an older crowd. We do a monthly newsletter and, when we asked people to submit email addresses for PDF instead of more expensive hard copy versions, had virtually no takers.

    For example, during the blackout, one elderly couple expressed concern to me that they would miss out on important survival-type info because they don't have a computer. I had to tell them that, even if they did, chances are it wouldn't run at all or for very long, without power.
     
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  10. PinkLucy

    PinkLucy Moderator Staff Member

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    Attitude is key. You can give people all of the info in the world, but if they don't care or think they are somehow exempt ....

    In my previous condo, everyone was provided with both an electronic and a hard copy of the rules, but the favourite excuse was "I didn't know that, I didn't bother to read the rules". Those people will always exist (and sometimes they're the Mayor :) )
     
    #85
  11. doug

    doug Active Member

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    In a building I lived in, I complained about construction noise occurring between the hours of 7AM and 11PM, despite the condo declaration stating that construction could only take place between 9AM and 4PM, Monday to Friday, a board member responded via our newsgroup stating that the city allows construction to occur between 7AM and 11PM and there was nothing the board could do about it.
    6 months later, the same board member complained, via the newsgroup, about construction noise in the building that was occurring between 7AM and 11PM.
     
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  12. Maxine

    Maxine New Member

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    Hi everyone!

    I recently learned via our condo minutes that a board member has had their floors replaced and that the condo corporation (read: me and other units) is paying for this. While there is an engineering report supporting the board members claim - I'd like to know the proper protocol for this:

    QUESTION: Should Board Members disclaim such information to owners in advance or should owners simply find out about such info on their own, by reviewing their condo minutes?

    Thoughts?
     
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  13. Ex-Montreal Girl

    Ex-Montreal Girl Active Member

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    I am not sure what you mean by an engineering report supporting this. Was the floor in danger of imminent collapse due to structural deficiencies not caused by the owner/Board member? Was the damage caused by deficient common elements, e.g. windows or balcony doors that leak? Did a pipe burst? Did the upstairs neighbour leave the bathtub faucets running for a week? In other words, what was the reason for this repair?

    If it were for nefarious reasons, I doubt it would appear in the non-confidential portion of the minutes. Everything pertaining to any named suite (owner name and/or suite number), including reno applications and approvals, is redacted. So my guess is, the corporation took on the responsibility because something was caused by the corporation or by another owner and that owner at fault will have to settle up sooner or later, via insurance or the courts.

    P.S. Board members are owners too. People often forget that. We are just as entitled as you are to repairs and replacements after damage caused by the corporation or another -- and, as such, there's no need to declare such damage or repair.

    P.P.S. Not that you don't have the right but what made you read the minutes in the first place?
     
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  14. PinkLucy

    PinkLucy Moderator Staff Member

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    When I was a board member, I had my floors replaced. There was a leak because of a missing membrane and my floors were ruined. Should I not have had them replaced?
     
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  15. Davidackerman

    Davidackerman Moderator Staff Member

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