The Condo Act should legislate that condo board members must hold professional designations related to the position requirements, psychological testing, and strong track record of proven accomplishments and experience with references.
Owners should send in their resumes for specific positions President, Secretary, President and 2 Directors. Candidates should be scored and put into the specific positions by Owners and not the board elect.
It is illegal for Condo Boards to call for 5 new board positions by resume at the AGM but they do it anyway. These Boards need to be personally fined and their Directors Liability Insurance cancelled. Condo Owners need to vote for candidates to fill each position based on proven experience and qualifications. Having a Board with no experience is a run away train. Real professionals that understand business should be on the board.
Candidates like a professional janitor or caretaker of buildings, for example, engineer, lawyer or paralegal, C-Suite professional with leadership abilities, a jack of all trades with advanced governance, business professional experience, persons with a professional real estate career or appraiser, perhaps a security or emergency management officer, and designated accountant are what is needed to ensure good governance and intelligent decision making ability. Also a person with credentials in the construction, building world. Board members need some knowledge of construction, refurbishments and mechanicals. The possibility of approving overpriced contracts could be a huge problem with Directors who have limited knowledge.
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The Condo Game – a documentary examining the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America. Nov 21 on CBC Doc Zone.
This documentary from Bountiful Films examines the forces at play behind the fastest moving condo market in North America – Toronto – and discovers that the glittering glass hides a sea of troubles. The first startling revelation for many people will be how very much the condo market is focused on investor profit, not affordable housing. One expert even says that it’s really not primarily a housing market but a commodities play. And that means that average Canadians, just looking for a place to call home, are joining a game for which they don’t have the rule book. The Condo Game, Thurs Nov 21 on CBC Television’s Doc Zone
Another problem from Condo Owners, it never ends. It is a true shame that these types of things are happening to condo owners all over the province As you are aware, COA was involved in the condo act review and it has been a concerning process. There are still substantial flaws. During the process and the over 90% involvement of service related trades may have compromised new recommendations for changes to legislation in particular funding for the CAO Condo Authority of Ontario and the CMRAO Condominium Management Regulatory Authority of Ontario. Are Condo Owners expected to pay for Property Managers to be licensed? Interesting, many Property Management Firms receive monies for their contracts from Condo Corporation and status certificate requestions ie. $125.00 there are many Property Management firms who keep $100.00 and the remainder goes to the online service provider. The question “Why is this happening when PM is a paid contractual services of the Corporation?” Why does the contract not already include this services of license property managers from licensed firms.
In many situation it is the fault of the Board of Directors who allow Property Managers free rein to do as they please. The numerous complaints the COA receives from Condo Owners is that they are concerned of kickbacks and overinflated contracts which impacts the financial stability of condo corporations. It could be from either Property Manager, the firms and/or the Board. Unfortunately without condo owners standing up for their rights and joining COA; it is difficult to combat. The Board has a fiduciary responsibility to act in the best interest of the corporation. Property Management firms are only contractual services and the property manager is delegated by that firm to over see the operations of the corporation ONLY on the instructions of the Board. If you are a past board member you may have been in a position to force changes for a new company but again that decision would have to be with a majority vote so if there is no support of this decision then you may have to call a meeting with 15% owners and try to force changes. Many condo owners feel they may be ostracized and or have more conflicts by complaining but the situation will get worst and there may be concerns on your financials.
If the corporation has broken personal ownership items of a Condo Owner they should be responsible however the Condo Act is self governed which lends itself to abuse and a one side power against Condo owners in many cases. We wish we could give more positive answers to help Condo Owners but there are none because the Condo Act has tremendous Flaws!
COA is always looking for support and volunteers because if we can grow with a strong following as the Teachers Association or any other Associations only then will Condo Owners have a strong voice and government will have no choice but to listen without the constant influence of service related trades protecting their own interest. Condo Owners have to stand up for their rights, it is long overdue!
It is common for Condo Owners to be angry with the Property Managers blaming them for not returning their phones calls and/or not resolving their problems. Property Managers ignore their requests for help; frustrations develop and Condo Owners become angry and hostile towards Property Management.
Condo Owners are barking up the wrong tree.
The Board of Directors are to blame because they have the power. The Board controls all of the operations of the building which includes contracts and all service related trades. They approve Property Management contracts and the Property Management company designates a Property Manager to the building to do as the Board says at all expense because they want to ensure their contracts. There is alot of money involved; many of these contracts can range from $120,000 to $300,000 depending on the size and amount of buildings involved. It is a very serious stake in the Condominium World but one that has created major controversy of responsibility because even though these Firms are paid by the Corporation they report to the Board and in most cases believe they represent the Board.
Be wary of getting into arguments with Property Management because once they report back to the Board of Directors; chances are you will have more even more problems afterall it is the Board who is instructing Property Management to ignore your requests. If you have a good Board – it would never get this far.
How do Condo Owners know if their Board is operating in compliance to the Condo Act? The $1 Million dollar question can be answered only if Condo Owners start taking responsibility and learn about Condos, watch their Boards and speak out if they feel things are wrong. Until then; Owners will suffer the consequences of disputes, theft, fraud and a serious problems with their Board of Directors.
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