If you are an investor or resident in a condominium building, the chances are that you 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 that regarding the election process, and qualifications require 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.
When a vacancy occurs on a board because a director resigns, the remaining directors may choose a temporary director to help serve on the board until the next annual general meeting or AGM takes place. At that point, the director must become a candidate for the elections if he or she is interested in remaining on the board.
The owners at the AGM elect the board of directors. A board cannot get rid of one of its members and neither can the corporation lawyer unless a specific by-law exists on this issue, and 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 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. Another little-known fact is that someone with a criminal record can actually become a director.
However, a condo can pass a by-law that will be more accurate as far as who can be elected to the board, as long as the by-law is within the purview of the Act. For example, a by-law may require that:
- All directors must be owners. This 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, 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.
- However, in deciding to limit who can be a board member, a board should be cognizant that, in so doing, there will always be a sufficient number of interested owners. For instance, if, in a condo, most owners are non-resident, the third option above may present a huge problem.
It is very difficult for condos to find suitable candidates for boards. In fact, often there is only one candidate for each space on the board. In such a case, the candidate is "acclaimed" at the AGM, not voted in. These are elections by default! This also makes it simple for a sub-standard board to bring in its own candidate and perpetuate itself, to owners’ dismay and feelings of helplessness.
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