Tag: Condo Board

Changing Condo Board Members

Changing Condo Board MembersCondominium board members are usually elected for one year terms or sometimes two year terms. They usually rotate through positions such as president, treasurer, vice president and secretary. Changing Condo Board Members is usually very difficult. Most people are reluctant to become members of the condo board. They may be frightened about the responsibilities. They may be concerned about the amount of work that they will encounter. They may just not want to deal with the hassles that they feel a condominium board must deal with. They simply might not be interested enough to get involved. As long as the condo is running properly, no major expenses and no one is too upset most people are satisfied to let someone else do the work.  When there issues, it can be time for changes to the condo board. The single biggest issue for most condo owners is when a special assessment is levied for some major repair work. This usually gets everyone interested and attending. If people feel there is mismanagement involved or things could be done better, they sometimes will be upset enough to get involved.

The bottom line though is the condo needs volunteers to fill these positions and take responsibility to manage the condo building. The condo board is also responsible for managing the  the property manager and all issues that may arise from time to time. They can be raised by either the owners or the residents or the property manager.

Do Board Members Overstep their Boundaries

Occasionally some condominium board members overstep their boundaries becoming too dictatorial, avoiding or not taking into account other owner requirements and generally not doing the job they are supposed to be doing. This is the time for changing condo board members and  for other owners to step up and run against them to become members of the board through the democratic election process.

If you do not get involved and deal with some of these issues then you really have nothing to complain about. A condo board member must also be a an excellent communicator to get their ideas across other wise they risk being perceived as overstepping their boundaries or not listening to the complaints of the owners who are not on the board. It can be a very political position at times.

Changing Condo Board Members: Something to Think About

The following is a summary of points the condo board members need to take into account as they’re doing the job of managing the condominium building. Take a look at these and ensure that your are not over stepping your  boundaries.

  • Elected for one or two year terms
  • No one wants the job
  • Usually volunteers
  • Some on a power trip
  • Sometimes need to be changed
  • Need to be competent
  • Need to listen
  • Need to be responsive
  • Be professional

Another point is that we recommend that all decisions are documented including proper motions, who seconded the motions and how many people voted in favor of the motion. If these decisions are properly made with opportunity for full input, then it is pretty tough to disagree after the fact with something that is being done as part of the boards decisions.

On one board that we are familiar with, the president of the condo board has been in place for 17 years. This is far too long for many reasons and it is clearly time for changing condo board members so that the president along with other members are changed. They can become stale and outdated and even burned out. The task of changing condo board members may not even be that difficult if owners are willing to step up to their responsibilities.


Condo Boards Role in Property Management

Condo Boards RoleThe condo board has the primary responsibility for managing all aspects of the condo on behalf of all of the owners. The condo board is usually elected for one or two years. Board members are rotated through the positions of the condo board. The condo board positions usually include a president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and any other special board members that may be required. An odd number of board members usually works best when it comes to a vote.

Their responsibilities are quite varied however the main ones are to set a budget for the upcoming year for both the operating expenses of the condo as well as the reserve fund which is money to be set aside for all major construction and all major repairs that may be needed over the next 20 years for the condo property and the building.

Additionally they have the responsibility to manage and hire the property manager who will implement and carry out all of the operations of the building. They also are responsible to report back to the owners collectively at an annual board and condo meeting to report the status of the budget, the actual operating expenses, and any special needs or issues that must be addressed or raised by any and all of the owners.

Condo Boards Role – Summary List of Responsibilities

The following is a partial summary list of all of the responsibilities that the condominium board will be accountable for:

  • Set a budget
  • Manage property manager
  • Monitor spending
  • Determine priorities
  • Call AGM
  • Resolve owner issues
  • Set reserve fund budget
  • Special assessments if needed
  • Gain approval for major projects
  • Interface with Owners and property Manager
  • Meet legal requirements for condo

Condo Board Size and Other Practical Issues

At a minimum there needs to be at least three members on the board. This is necessary so that any votes that are tied can be broken by one member of the board. In addition the members of the board from a practical perspective need to hold the positions of President, Treasure and Secretary. The board members hold their positions for at least one year and often will rotate through the positions if they are on the board for longer periods. Some condo boards will have added members on the boards and they will be there to represent various factions and have a variety of responsibilities on the board. There should always be an odd number on the board so that there is never a stalemate on a vote.

From a practical perspective it is often very difficult to get people to go on the boards of condos and as a result some people will remain on the board for years providing for lots of experience and for entrenched positions on various topics. Owners need to participate and ensure that their investment is being properly managed. Occasionally new people will offer their services on the board and if there is any dissatisfaction with the current board they are easily elected and the longer term members of the board are ousted.

Board members should also be rotated on a regular basis but never all of the board members at the same time. It is very helpful to have experience on the board, particularly on large complex properties with a combination of rental units and owner occupied units. These situations represent a more complex arrangement and sometimes require unique solutions for various issues that manifest themselves between tenants and owners. Often there will be two sets of property managers as well which further complicates the situation. One Property manager is responsible for the building and all of the common elements, while the other is responsible for the tenants and the interiors of the rented units.

Condo board members are never paid for their services, however any expenses that they might incur as a result of their duties is usually paid after submitting an expense form covering the cost and explaining what the charges are for. This is a pretty standard procedure with most condo boards.


Condo Building Security

Condo Building SecurityEveryone of us wants to feel secure in our home. It is a place were we do not need to be concerned about strangers and we do not need to worry about our possessions being stolen. We can retire to our home and relax after a day at work or traveling or what ever it is that we do. Many people take the security of their condo for granted. They feel that as long as their door is closed and locked, they will be secure. Actually there is a lot more that you can do as a condo owner. It starts when you decide to purchase any particular condo. Investigate the security that is provided by the condo, to make sure that it meets your personal security requirements.

The vast majority of condo’s employ a security system of some kind. Some are pretty simple and really will allow anyone to enter who has a little bit if ingenuity. Others are like fort Knox and cost a fortune to manage and control. They employ camera and audio systems, security guards around the clock at the gate and who also roam the property. This can be a high class security program which also costs a great deal of money.

With these two extremes in terms of security, how does one decide what level of security is right for you and appropriate for were you live?  We listed a few items to consider as part of your condo building selection process. They may not all apply to your situation, however take what applies to you and use as you wish.

Condo Building Security Criteria

  • Crime rate in the location were you will live
  • Crime rate of the building you are considering
  • Security program currently in place
  • Effectiveness of the security program
  • Cost of the security program
  • Condo boards attitude towards security
  • Audi and camera system in working order
  • Guest entry process
  • Apartment entry
  • Door dead bolt
  • Balcony door security

These are all issues that should be considered when you purchase a condo. The more security that you have, the more it will cost so take this into account. Sometimes you can apply over kill to a situation that does not need a high  level of security. You end up paying a great deal for something that is really not necessary.

Effectiveness of Building Security

In out city there is a building that is one of the most desired locations to live. Many people from high-profile positions in industry and government live there. This building has 24 hour manned security, audio and camera systems. In addition you must still be buzzed into the building even if security allows you onto the property. A very nice building that really does a good job of keeping the opportunists and the rift raft out of the building and from entering the  property.

Unfortunately, if someone really wants to get in they will do so. In this particular building someone wanted to get even with a judge who had ruled negatively against someone. They posed as a repairman, gained access to the property and then the building. All they did was knock on the door and gained entry to commit a rather serious crime.  This really shook up the building residents and the security system and procedures were reviewed and updated.

the point of this story is that you really need to guard against the opportunists and make it difficult for the average con man or thief to gain entry. This will deal with 99% of all possible crimes. The last 1% is almost impossible to deal with and will cost you a great deal of money as well.

Summary

Review the list of condo security items we listed and make your decision on the level of security you need to have as a unit owner and a building owner. Keep it in perspective and avoid spending too much money on security

For more ideas about keeping your place secure, click here.

 

 


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