ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS FROM CONDO OWNERS
We have been invited by Minister Best of The Ministry of Consumer and Commercial Services to participate with “Building a Better Condo Act” which is a condo reform to ensure better protection and governance for Condo Owners.
Mention has been made on the importance of hiring a good property management company and how they may influence a well-maintained Condo and keep maintenance lower. COA has submitted an extensive report to the Ministry. It is important for Condo Owners to understand that the Property Manager only impliments decisions of the Board of Directors as the Contracted Property Management company employee. Recommendations are extremely important however Condo Board Members need to be informed and aware that they have a fiduciary duty to comply to the Condo Act when making decisions on behalf of the Corporation therefore must accept responsibilities of their decisions and not leave it in the hands of their Property Manager. The Board of Directors have too much power no doubt and many of them abuse the power and do not comply to the Condo Act. The Condo Act is self-governed which is the largest single problem of the Act and it needs to contain diciplinary and a fine process for those who do not comply to the Act. It is no different from the various other Acts in affect Example… Traffic Act, Human Rights Act, Accessibility Act, Health and Safety Act. As it stands now it leaves a wide open space for too much control and abusive power for bad Board of Directors and unfortunately the good Boards who run the affairs of the Corporation in compliance and in good faith are affected. Continue reading
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.