Whether you are aware of it or not, living in a condominium gives you a powerful voice in the way your complex is run, especially if you choose to be on the board of directors.
The board of directors is a select group of homeowners who have an interest in their complex. In most cases, a director is a volunteer resident willing to take on this huge commitment so they can have a say in their living environment.
Managing any condominium corporation is a great responsibility requiring major commitment and time. The success of any corporation depends highly on the expertise and knowledge of the board of directors. They are the backbone of the operation. To be successful, they must continue to educate themselves on a daily basis, by keeping themselves up to date and as informed as possible. They can achieve this by purchasing informative books, attending workshops, seminars and signing up for director and management courses.
According to the Ontario Condominium Act, no one under the age of 18 may become a director. The act also states a director cannot be someone who has an undischarged bankruptcy or anyone who is mentally incompetent.
Directors must be able to manage all the affairs of the condominium corporation on behalf of the owners. Their duties must be performed legally and in accordance with the bylaws, declarations, rules, regulations and the condominium act for their specific province or state.
The Ontario Condominium Act states the majority of directors have to be present to transact any business. Directors have certain powers that allow them to hire contractors to complete necessary repairs to the common areas, hire a management company if necessary and to direct anything that pertains to the upkeep and maintenance of the condo corporation’s property.
Any member of the board that comes across an issue that is a conflict of interest must state in writing the nature of the conflict. He or she cannot be part of the discussions concerning the conflict nor can he or she vote on the issue. One of the most important duties of a director is to review all written reports and any correspondence submitted for approval. They should also read all the minutes of any meetings whether they attended or not, in order to keep themselves up to date on all corporation issues and provide the best service possible.
A director’s term on board is usually three years or less, as the bylaws state. The number of board members will usually be an odd number, since they must vote among themselves on all corporation issues. Each director has a title, and with that title comes a specific duty and obligation to the owners. Ideally, directors should have different lengths of terms. This will ensure that at least one director who has experience will be on the board at any time. A director is eligible for re-election after his or her term is completed.
It takes a very special type of person to become a volunteer director. Do you think you’re up to the task?
Marilyn Lincoln is a condominium manager/volunteer director and author of The Condominium Self-Management Guide, 2nd ed. Send questions to email@example.com. To order a copy of her book send $34.95, plus $4.98 shipping and handling to The Condo Guide, 4A-385 Fairway Rd. S. Suite #128, Kitchener, On, N2C, 2N9.
Marilyn Lincoln for Metro Dreamhomes & Condominiums