Many people want to know what is involved in becoming a board member for their condo or homeowners association. It is a role that often goes without much appreciation, but it can greatly influence the quality of life of people in the community.
Here is everything that you need to know about what is involved in becoming a board member:
The Difference Between Board Members and Property Managers
Property managers and board members are very different, albeit related positions that have to work together in order to ensure the needs of the community are met – and residents are kept happy.
Board members are often unpaid volunteers who simply want to look out for the best interests of their neighbours and overall property. Property managers are professionals that have designations or certifications with years of experience of related work to the maintenance and management of residential properties. Ideally, the two should work together: the board represents the residents, while the property manager represents the interests of the owners and executes their responsibilities (managing the property investment itself).
Board responsibilities will change depending on the building management contract, local laws, and the management company that runs the building. In general, the board’s responsibilities may include:
● Establishing, approving, and delegating policies and procedures for the building. Residents will be expected to adhere to these policies while the management company will provide their own input and help enforce the policies.
● Initiating and approving bylaws and rules which, again, residents will be expected to adhere to and the management company will influence and enforce.
● Setting the budget based on the available funds, necessary expenses, and discretionary spending decisions. The management company will, again, play an important role in advising the board. Eventually, they will send the final budget to the owners for ultimate approval.
● Reviewing, authorizing, and delegating maintenance, repairs, contracts, employees, and other expenses. The maintenance company will provide recommendations, quotes, and other insights before implementing the board's decisions.
● Meeting the owners
● Executing investments with the help of a financial planner in order to maintain and increase board budget over time
● Reacting to emergencies
● Approving financial reports
● Maintaining communication between residents, the owners, and the management company
● Running and managing committees.
New Laws For Condo Board
A CBC investigation revealed that three men joined the board “of about a dozen highrise condominiums in the GTA, gaining access to their multi-million dollar budgets and reserve funds.” Recent abuses like these of the condo board system have led to new legislation, which dictates that board members must disclose whether or not they actually live in the building (although outsiders are still permitted to run for the board).
Requirements to Join a Board
Generally, the requirements to join a condo board are relatively low. You need to be at least 18 years of age, have no history of bankruptcy, and be mentally competent. Typically, boards consist of 3-5 members depending on the size of the building. Members are elected at annual meetings by the residents and owners of the building.
Interested in becoming a Board Member?
If you believe that you might be a good board member then ask your local board about what is involved in becoming a board member. The experience and insight you gain will be invaluable.