How Condos Are Managed
When you purchase a condo, you are not just purchasing the space within your own unit, you are also purchasing a shared interest and portion of ownership in the entire building and property. Since these shared spaces and structural elements require maintenance, you also must share in the responsibility for any repairs and upkeep needed to keep these shared elements of the condominium in working order.
A condominium development runs like a small town: each unit owner is a member of the condo corporation or Owners Association, and each member has the right to vote at meetings when decisions are made about shared and structural elements. An elected Board of Directors runs like a town council, making decisions on behalf of all owners, and will often hire a property manager to do the work on their behalf.
This board is responsible for managing the condo property, keeping official records, managing building finances including the reserve fund, and maintaining the shared spaces and structural elements of the building and its heating, water and electrical systems.
Board of Directors
Condo owners elect a Board of Directors to oversee and manage the condo corporation's affairs. Generally this board will meet once a month. The board must have at least three directors, and each must be at least 18 years of age and an owner of a unit within the condominium building.
These elected board members must act in good faith and are required to disclose conflicts of interest in writing. Each member is elected for a term of one to three years depending on the bylaws of each particular Homeowners Association, and in most cases the terms overlap so there is always a board member with knowledge of how to run the corporation properly. Directors may be removed from the board prior to their term being up by a majority vote if deemed necessary by the Association.
Responsibilities of the Board of Directors can include:
- Ensuring the building and shared property is maintained and in good repair.
- Make sure appropriate amounts are invested into the condominium reserve fund to cover major repairs.
- Oversee financial accountability and appoint an auditor.
- Organize annual meetings of all unit owners, and any other owner meetings that may be needed.
- Passing bylaws that outline the powers and responsibilities of the board, governing how meetings will be run, how often elections will take place, and how shared fees will be collected.
- Passing rules that affect the safety and security of all owners.
Sometimes a Board of Directors may opt to hire a property manager to run the day-to-day operation of the building. This person will be accountable to the Board, and their responsibilities may include collecting common expense fees, responding to owner complaints, hiring and supervising third party services, keeping operating records, and maintaining common spaces.
Annual General Meeting
At minimum, the Board of Directors must hold Annual General Meetings (AGMs) where all unit owners attend and vote on major decisions that will affect the building. AGMs are usually held within six months of the end of the condo corporation's fiscal year to allow time for owners and Board Members to review all relevant financial records.
Voting during a meeting is generally based on the number of units, not the number of owners.
Other Owners Meetings
The Board of Directors may call for a meeting of owners at any time, and provide notice of the meeting's purpose in advance of the meeting. Owners may also request a meeting to discuss any topic of concern. A written request can be submitted by at least 15% of the unit owners, and a meeting will be called by the Board to discuss the topic with 35 days.
The Board of Directors hold and attend board meetings, usually once a month. Generally only directors attend these meetings, but invitations may be issued for other owners to attend and discuss matters with the board.
Meeting minutes must be kept of every board meeting, and these minutes must be made available for review by any unit owner free of charge.