Most condominium owners are content to place the responsibility for a smooth operation of their home squarely on the shoulders of the board of directors or the management company.
When people are first elected as directors on a condominium board, there is often need for quick training and education.
It is up to the directors to make all final decisions that could affect the operations of their property. Even experienced directors face challenges where a little advice from someone who’s been there would be welcome.
These needs are being met head-on by Marilyn Lincoln, author of The Condominium Self Management Guide.
A frequent columnist in New Dreamhomes & Condominiums magazine, Lincoln has more than 29 years experience in property management and condominiums.
Her book is aimed at condominiums that want to self manage.
However, it is also of great value to directors of professionally managed condos, as well as owners.
Written in a language everyone can understand, the book is up to date regarding the Condominium Act.
The premise of the book centres on her experience in 1991, when she discovered the condo units in her complex required new doors, windows and fences.
She worked out a 10-year plan to cover the cost without issuing special assessments and by imposing only minimal increases in the monthly common element fee.
“I decided to use my knowledge and experience to write a book to help others who may need the guidance, and other people who live in a condo and want to know their rights and obligations,” Lincoln explains.
The guide offers readers step-by-step instructions for setting up an internal management structure.
It covers all the issues condo directors can expect to face, such as updating bylaws, establishing rules, collecting and presenting increases to condo fees, issuing liens, hiring the right contractor, maintaining reserve funds, conducting owner/director meetings, handling irate owners and more.
Many directors will find the sample rules and letters alone are worth the price of the book. There are tens of thousands of condo units and hundreds of aging buildings in Toronto.
Finding effective property management can be a challenge, and some smaller condominium corporations have no choice but to self manage.
For those who are passionate enough about serving their condominium community and take on such enormous responsibility with little reward, this book is a must read.