In Alberta, condo board members are obligated to respect certain standards of conduct in operating their condominium corporation. There can be drastic consequences, including personal liability if board members refuse to follow these criteria. If you are elected to the board, you must abide by the following standards to manage your condo board according to law.
Act Honestly and in Good Faith
Each board member has a responsibility to act truthfully and in good faith. To act honestly means to act without cheating, lying, misleading, or falsifying facts. Acting in good faith means to carry out commitments in the best possible way without setting one’s self-interest ahead of others.
Abide By the Law
It is critical that board members comprehend their accountabilities and act according to the CPA, regulations, and bylaws. There are severe consequences for not complying with the law. For instance, if a corporation does not comply with the CPA, every board member can be found guilty of an offense and be liable for up to $5,000. The corporation and individual board members may also be sued in court for improper conduct.
Act Fairly and Consider the Interests of Owners
A board member must always act justly in dealings with the owners, the condo corporation, and the other board members. Otherwise, board members and the corporation will often be sued for improper conduct. Situations that are considered improper conduct; as it pertains to condominium board members and corporations, include the following:
- Failing to conform to the CPA, regulations and bylaws.
- Conducting the condominium corporation’s business matters in an oppressive or unlawfully prejudicial way, or in a fashion that unfairly disregards the interests of anther party.
- Using the condo board’s powers in a tyrannical or unfairly prejudicial way, or in a manner that ignores the interests of an interested party.
Document and Record Management
A condominium corporation has an obligation to store documents and records. It is usually the job of the secretary or treasurer of the board to make sure that the documents and records are in proper order.
Inspiration tip for condo boards: Review the bylaws for any explicit requirements for record keeping. Sometimes, a condo board’s recent records will be kept with a condo manager if there is one. But the condo board must always have copies secured and in their possession as they are ultimately accountable for them.
Why is it Important to Keep Documents and Records?
It is imperative for condominium corporations to maintain documents and records for a range of reasons:
- They can aid board decision-making and budgeting.
- They can expedite the continuity of the condominium board and condominium corporation. For instance, unit owners, board members, and condo managers change. Keeping documents and records in proper order helps make sure new unit owners, board members, and condo managers are current with the affairs of the condominium.
- In the case of a dispute, well-maintained, valid documents and records can substantiate that the board’s decision-making processes were completed correctly and legally, and why they arrived at certain decisions.
The Condominium Property Act does not detail how long boards need to keep the condominium corporation’s documents and records. However, condominium corporations should contemplate developing a policy for the retention, review, and disposal of materials. Because some of these documents and files may contain personal information of unit owners, the corporation should be acquainted with the Personal Information Protection Act.