Should Your Condo Board Have a Property Management Company Representative?

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A condominium’s board of directors is comprised of unit owners from the building itself and represents the interests of the owners when it comes to management of the condo corporation. There are many challenges associated with the position of board member. That’s why appointing a board position to a representative from your property management company can be very beneficial. Being on a condominium’s board of directors is not an easy job.

Before you decide if you feel it would be helpful to have your property management company get involved with the board, it is important to understand the general duties a condo board member is expected to fulfill. Generally, the condo board is responsible for making sure that the owners and residents in the community are following regulations, declaration, and by-laws. This can sometimes be difficult, as owners can get into disputes and dealing with rule-breakers can be challenging.

Please note: Legally speaking, the property management company representative is not an actual board member. They are there to be an "arm’s length" advisor, to attend the AGM, and sit in on other meetings if necessary.

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

Sounds like a lot, right? That’s why many boards hire a property management company to help them with these duties. The company can help with things like maintaining records and managing finances, though the ultimate decision-making power is with the board. The property manager will also 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 company is a key part to doing a good job. The experts at Braden Equities Inc. work 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 3 of the areas in which a property management company can assist you if they join the board.

  1. Deal with 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 property management company is an invaluable resource when these types of issues come up, and having them sit on the board so that you can learn effective ways to resolve problems is just common sense. Your property management company will also ensure there is effective communication, as that can alleviate many problems and tensions. They can help you set up a central mailbox, or email address as a way to direct issues and complaints so that your residents feel they can reach someone when problems arise.
  2. Help to oversee financial matters and duties. 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. Because 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 can help you with these types of duties if they are on the board – 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.
  3. Save you a great deal of time. Being on the condo board is a time commitment, and can require many hours per week, depending on your role. This can vary depending on your property management company, how many residents your condo building has, and factors specific to your condo community in general. If you are unable to make a commitment to spending this kind of time on your condo community, then it is possible that having a property management company representative sit on the board would be wise, as having their expertise can save you a great deal of time in the long run.

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

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