UrbanToronto News - the latest headlines
Dynamic Exterior Pattern Turning Heads at Enigma on the Park
ALSO


The condo act, board powers, registration, etc..

Wooba

Active Member
Joined
Jun 29, 2009
Messages
316
Likes
2
#1
Very soon I'm going to be moving into a new condo. I'm considering running for the board. I would appreciate it if someone with experience could give an idea of what sort of things are to be expected, some of the pitfalls, highlights, etc.

On the turnover day, does the new board get elected right away? If so, does this new board have the power to make a decision such as, removal of the property management company? Or does something like that require an additional vote from the attending owners/proxies?

If the condo is a new phase of a complex (ie., shared amenities) how would it work for the 2 buildings to have different property management companies running them?

I've been browsing through the condominium act, but it's not exactly straight forward reading.

Thanks..
 
Joined
Mar 28, 2016
Messages
28
Likes
4
#3
I'd recommend being open and transparent while following the law. Communication is key and the more you have of it, the fewer problems the residents tend to have.
 

theGuest

New Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2016
Messages
40
Likes
1
#4
This is such an interesting topic. I've read other comments on this board on how challenging it can be to be accosted by residents in the elevator. I'm curious to know the time commitment.
 

DSC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,282
Likes
3,742
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
#5
Being on a Condo Board is 'interesting' and is actually something all (well, many!) owners should do. If you want an idea of the kinds of things Board do, take a look at some of the many Condo blogs (e.g. http://www.tocondonews.com/ and the many legal blogs like http://www.lashcondolaw.com/ and condo columns like the Gerry Hyman one in the Saturday Star.

The time commitment can vary enormously; in our (small, 50-unit) building I have been on Board for 9 years. At first we met every 3-4 weeks for 3-4 hours but at that time we had a very poor Manager (or series of Managers) and a poor Management Company - and a rather 'hands-off' policy. Then the PM and the Company got worse so we took over more and more of the daily tasks (getting quotes etc) so it took even more Director time. Then we hired a new Management Company and a new Manager and things improved greatly. We now have meetings every 6-7 weeks and they last about an hour (we do also have email 'conferences'; we do not need to constantly discuss the same issues as we are able to get 'facts' and quotes promptly. Also, because the Manager is on top of things and is proactive our Super is much more effective (with the old Manager(s) he never got responses to issues so basically decided it was not worth reporting potential problems). Basically, Boards set and monitor the Budget, approve quotes over $x, supervise the Manager and discuss how to deal with issues that can range from 'improvements' to problem residents to new services like installing Bell Fiber. All this needs to be done within the rules and regulations set by the Condominium Act, the Corporation's own by-laws and, of course, the Corporation's Rules. Being a Director can be quite fun and the occasional interactions with unpleasant residents (all buildings have some) are greatly out-numbered by interactions with the others, who appreciate what the Board is doing. We have found that keeping all residents informed of what is happening and what is not feasible has really helped to make life in our building better, and our lives a s Directors much easier and more pleasant.
 

DSC

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2008
Messages
9,282
Likes
3,742
Location
St Lawrence Market Area
#7
What is the process for getting on the board?
Directors are elected and the process must follow the Act which says: "28. (1) Subject to subsection 42 (1), the owners shall elect the board of directors in accordance with this Act and the by-laws. 1998, c. 19, s. 28 (1)." Basically, each Unit has a vote and those with the most votes at the AGM win but some Directors can be elected only by resident owners and the Act is clear that anyone over the age of 18 unless they are an undischarged bankrupt, owe the Corporation money or have been certified as incapacitated can stand. You do NOT have to be a resident or even a tenant - I could run as a Director in your building, though suspect I would not be elected
If you are interested you should do some reading and put your name forward - it is, generally, good fun and good directors are hard to find. (The Officers are subsequently elected by the Board, they are NOT elected directly by owners.)
 

PinkLucy

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
6,718
Likes
2,550
#12
I've been on my board for about 5 years; because it was a new condo, it was quite a bit of work in the first couple of years, going through the performance audit, negotiating with the developer, figuring out which contractors to use, changing out the management company (and pretty much every other contract that the developer had saddled us with).
 
Joined
May 15, 2012
Messages
858
Likes
183
Location
Toronto, ON
#13
Everything @DSC said and more.

I have been on our Board for three+ years.

Transparency and communication are key. If owners know what you are doing and why, they are less likely to criticize you for it. We run a website and we post just about everything there. We also have a monthly newsletter for the unwired -- although it doesn't contain as much as the online posts.

It's amazing how little condo owners know about things. For example, they do not own the balconies which are exclusive use common elements. Therefore, they can't do as they please out there. So education and clearly written rules are important.

We have about a dozen "usual suspects." The whiners and complainers and rumour-mongers and second-guessers who know more than any engineering company because they say so. I have developed a "stare" so they just back off. Most people are appreciative. I guess their attitude is, "I don't want this responsibility so I am glad you have assumed it."

We have a lot of work here. Part of it is due to an utterly incompetent PM who doesn't know it but he's about to get whacked. Most of it is due to the fact that we are an older building undergoing a lot of major repairs and renovations and we are very much involved in the process.

It's a challenge but it keeps this girl out of trouble.
 

PinkLucy

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 10, 2009
Messages
6,718
Likes
2,550
#14
Haha, I hear ya. We went through a management company change (because it wasn't just the PM, it was a systemic issue) and things have been so much better. But yes, we have the usual suspects too! I suspect they are everywhere.