What are the condo board's duties?
Boards of directors are representatives of the condo owners and run the condo corporations on their behalf. As an entity, they are responsible for making all major decisions regarding the maintenance of buildings and grounds, condo finances, and must uphold and enforce the by-laws, and rules.
Failure to enforce rules fairly and consistently leads to problems down the road. These can result in a lowering of the standards of comportment in the building, degradation of civility and property, maltreatment of staff, abuse of power on the part of one or more board members, as well as financial problems—all potentially lowering the value of owners’ units on the real estate market.
When boards fail to enforce or follow rules and regulations, owners may be able to seek a court order forcing them to comply. This is why it is so important to have bylaws that are overseen by a property management company.
What are the property management company’s duties?
Most condominium boards decide to hire a professional, licensed property management company to help take care of day-to-day tasks. To avoid confusion and unnecessary frustration, it's important to understand what their duties are and what they can be expected to handle.
In general, a condominium property manager has two primary responsibilities: to manage a community's daily operations and to carry out policies set by the condo board. The manager works closely with the board as an advisor, but acts at the sole direction of the board and is not technically a member of the board.
When it comes to settling conflicts, a manager is the right person to call if any condo community rules are clearly being violated. Although most property managers are trained in dealing with conflict, your manager should not be asked to get involved if you are simply trying to settle an argument with another owner that's not related to your community's rules. In addition, keep in mind that a manager does not have any say in setting policies. If you disagree with a policy, it's better to bring your concerns to directly to the condo board.
The property management company is responsible for performing property inspections and is the person or organization to contact if you have a concern about a maintenance or repair issue. If you are a unit owner and would like to report an issue with a contractor, you may bring the issue up with your manager, who will forward your concerns on to the condo board.
Your property management company also likely handles the condo board's financial affairs. This includes collecting condo fees, preparing monthly financial statements and creating an operational budget to be submitted to the board. If you have questions or concerns about paying your fees, you may discuss them with your manager.
What are the condo owners’ duties?
The easiest way to understand the concept of condominium ownership and responsibility is to see it as an apartment that is owned. Ownership extends inward from your interior walls, floors and ceilings. In addition unit owners are partners with all the other owners in the association regarding the exterior structure (the foundation, exterior walls, and roof) as well as any common areas and amenities (for example, swimming pools, clubhouses, tennis courts, play areas, etc.)
In general, the association will take care of all of the exterior upkeep of the buildings and grounds. This can vary somewhat from association to association, so it is important for a condominium buyer to have a clear idea of exactly what will (or will not) be covered. Although it is true that a condo is far simpler to own and take care of than a detached home, it carries responsibilities and when these are not met, problems arise.
All in all, condo residents should be able to live in an environment that offers a quiet surrounding, dignity, a sense of purpose, and community. In these respects, much depends on residents’ civility as well as on boards’ and managers’ ethics, leadership, transparency, and the dignified way in which they carry out the business of leading the condo.
Looking to hire a licensed property management company?
Braden Equities Inc. has been successfully managing condominium buildings in Edmonton since the 1970s. A lot has changed since then, but our commitment to the residents living in each building we manage has not. Contact us today.
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