Thinking About Buying or Renting a Condo? What You Need to Know: Condo Board Eligibility and Expectations

If you are an investor or resident in a condominium building, you probably have some familiarity with condominium boards. Even if you are a sitting member, there is a good chance that you’re not entirely clear on all of the rules and regulations regarding the election process, and qualifications required to run for a position.

Let’s have a better look at some of the most important details.

How is the Condo Board of Directors Elected?

The number of directors ranges from three in smaller condos to whatever a condo’s declaration specifies. A standard and functional number is five, and a quorum would be made up of three directors present at a board meeting.

Board members are elected by owners at the annual general meeting. A board cannot expel a member (no matter how much they would like to) and neither can the corporation lawyer unless a specific bylaw exists on this issue. However, such laws can be dangerous regarding freedom of speech and can stop honest directors from trying to fight a corrupt board. Only owners can "vote out" directors or an entire board at a specially requisitioned meeting.

What Director Roles Need to be Filled?

In order to run the corporation effectively, the condo board needs to have a variety of filled positions. There needs to be a treasurer who oversees the financials; a secretary who takes meeting minutes and prepares agendas; a president who acts as general manager; and a vice president who acts as an assistant to the president and who can perform the duties of the president in the event of his or her absence. Of course, each position has a longer list of duties, but these ones will help give you an idea of what each position entails.

What Are a Condo Directors’ Qualifications?

In a nutshell, very few skills are required, except for a willingness to learn and honesty. The Condo Act only specifies that directors have to be 18 years or older, not in bankruptcy, and do not have a lien registered against them that has not been discharged 90 days before the elections. Interestingly enough, a condo owner that has a criminal record can become a condo member.

However, a condominium corporation can pass a bylaw that can be more accurate as far as who can be elected to the board, as long as the bylaw is within the purview of the Act. For example, a bylaw may require that:

  • All condo directors must be owners. This rule makes sense, since owners are more invested in a condo’s welfare than non-owners would be.
  • Or all directors be either owners or the partner of an owner, or the adult child of an owner, or the parent of an owner (many adults purchase condos for their parents or adult children).
  • All directors must be residents.
  • No director should be an employee of the corporation, such as a superintendent, a manager, or a security personnel to avoid conflicts of interest and problems in the line of authority.
  • No two members of the same family be on the board.

There is often little interest to volunteer on condo boards. Many owners feel it’s a time consuming job made worse by political agendas. However, if you sit on the board, you can help shape the place you call home. It’s relatively easy to become a member if you’re interested, and there’s usually little competition for positions if there’s a specific one you have your eye on. If you’ve never been a board member before, don’t worry. Your inexperience won’t be held against you. As long as you’re eager and willing, you’ll do just fine.

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