Toronto Property Management CompaniesBeing on a community’s condo board of directors is not for everyone. While the board is comprised of unit owners from the building itself and represents the interests of the owners when it comes to the management of the condo corporation, there are many challenges associated with the position of a board member.

It is essential to first understand the general duties a condo board member is expected to fulfil. Generally, the condo board is responsible for making sure that the rules and regulations, declaration, and by-laws are being followed by the owners and residents in the community. This can sometimes be difficult, as owners can get into disputes and dealing with rule-breakers can be challenging

In addition to enforcing rules and resolving disputes, the board should ensure that the condo corporation’s finances are being handled appropriately, including a sufficient reserve fund and good allocation of the community’s resources.

Many boards hire a Toronto property management company to help them with these duties. This company can then help maintain records and manage finances, though the ultimate decision-making power is with the board. The property manager will also usually be responsible for ensuring that the building is being properly maintained, including day-to-day cleaning and repairs of common elements, and long-term maintenance needs.

As you can see, there are many aspects to being a responsible board member, and working well with your property management in Toronto is a key part to doing a good job. As the former president of the Association of Condominium Managers of Ontario, Steven Christodoulou works with condo boards on a day to day basis, and can provide some good insights into what challenges they face, and how to deal with them. Here are some common issues you might face if you join the board.

1) Time commitments.

Being on the condo board is a time commitment, and can require many hours per week, depending on your role. Here are some averages to anticipate, but note that this can vary depending on your Toronto property management company, how many residents your condo building has, and factors specific to your condo community in general.

  • President: often 2 to 3 hours per week, though can reach up to 10 to 15 hours per week when dealing with less experienced management or during special projects.
  • Secretary: about 1 to 2 hours per month, though this varies greatly depending on additional duties the secretary may have, such as taking meeting minutes and any publications.
  • Treasurer: about 2 to 3 hours per month to work on budgetary issues and signing cheques as needed.

If you are unable to make a commitment to spending this kind of time on your condo community, then it is possible that being on a condo board is not a good fit. If you are already on the board, then finding effective time management strategies is necessary so you can fulfil your obligations.

2) Receiving complaints from owners and residents.

Perhaps the toughest part of being a board member is dealing with conflict. This can arise in a variety of ways: owners may be upset about rule violations, such as noise or pet restrictions; or they could be upset and complaining about maintenance or repair issues that are ongoing.

Your Toronto property management company is an invaluable resource when these types of issues come up, and you should definitely consult with those who have good leadership qualities so that you can learn effective ways to resolve problems. Note that it is the duty of the condo board to ensure that rules are followed and enforced, and residents do have the right to ensure you are fulfilling those obligations.

One of the best things you can do as a board member is to ensure there is effective communication, as that can alleviate many problems and tensions. Setting up a central mailbox, email address or even phone number can be a good way to direct issues and complaints so that your residents feel they can reach someone when problems arise.  In condominiums managed by ICC®, we ensure that all requests are vetted by the Property Manager and forwarded to the board accordingly, depending on the circumstances and what decisions may be required by the board.

Have you ever had a problem communicating with your condo board? Share your experiences in the comments; also, check out our eBook for more interesting information on condo board member and Toronto property management best practices.

3) Proper use of finances and community resources.

Among the most important duties, you have as a condo board member is ensuring the money coming in from residents in the form of monthly maintenance fees is being well-spent. Due to the high maintenance fees in some buildings, residents can be particularly vocal if they feel their money is going to waste.

  • On average, Toronto condo owners spend $530 per month in condo fees on a unit that is mere 900-square feet.
  • Typically, condo owners pay about 50 – 80 cents per square foot, though some areas have reached rates of 90 cents to 1 dollar per square foot.

With these types of fees, it is also essential to maintain a good reserve fund. Few owners are happy about chipping in for special assessments when a major building component fails, particularly if their fees are already high.

moneyBecause of that, you should ensure that all guidelines regarding reserve fund studies are followed, including having them conducted at regular intervals and setting aside amounts to cover future anticipated major repairs. Your property management company in Toronto can help you with these types of duties – from ensuring the study is carried out, to making budget recommendations so that current financial resources are maximized while setting enough aside for future use.

Are you currently living in a condo community and considering joining the condo board? It is a rewarding position for many people, though be sure you possess the qualities needed to represent the owners and residents in your building effectively. Honesty, integrity and the promise to act in good faith is a great start!!  Additionally, CCI (Canadian Condominium Institute) offers fantastic introductory and more advanced courses and seminars for board members to become more informed about their duties and responsibilities in representing their many owners.

If you want to learn more about the property management services ICC® provides and how we can help you ensure your condo board is as effective as possible, contact us today.

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