Quality Information and Support for Board Members
As a member of your community’s Board, you are responsible for administrating the needs of your community association on behalf of the other owners. To effectively perform this role, you must be aware of the day-to-day operations involved, as well as the legal requirements that must be fulfilled.
Hiring a competent and experienced management company frees the Board from the details, enabling you and your fellow Board members to focus on direction.
When a corporation chooses FirstService Residential as its management company, we assign an experienced community manager and support team to serve its needs. The community manager communicates and works directly with the Board to achieve the corporation’s goals, supported by an office with regular business hours, as well as a dedicated property assistant, property accountant and experienced management team.
As a result, Board members do not have to spend their volunteer time handling details such as obtaining quotes, meeting with trades or worrying about financial, insurance and bylaw compliance. Instead, they can focus on management, with the confidence that they have a team – essentially the corporation's office – working on their behalf. Our additional duties include collecting operating funds, investing reserve fund contributions, paying bills and ensuring the corporation complies with the Condominium Property Act of Alberta and bylaws. In addition, we serve as a contact for the other condominium owners.
What is the role of the Board?
The Board exercises all of the powers, and carries out all of the duties of the corporation, subject to any restrictions imposed or directions given at a general meeting. Board members are responsible for:
- Administering the affairs of the corporation
- Maintaining the common property
- Making rules and regulations as required from time to time
- Enforcing all requirements of the corporation's bylaws and the Condominium Property Act of Alberta
- Setting the corporation's budget and collecting the required amounts from the owners.
Board member job descriptions:
Following are some of the most common positions held by condominium Board members. Please note that not all positions exist on all Boards, and Board members may hold more than one position.
- President: The president calls and chairs the board meetings and the AGM, establishes the Board meeting agenda, and is the link for the Board to the community manager. The president works closely with the community manager to ensure compliance with the bylaws and the Condominium Property Act of Alberta.
- Vice-President: The vice-president assumes the responsibility of president in his or her absence. Since the vice-president does not have specific duties, he or she usually helps where needed.
- Treasurer: This person is responsible for reviewing and overseeing monthly financial statements provided by FirstService Residential and reporting to the Board. The treasurer is responsible for monitoring the expenses and reporting to the board. The treasurer reviews and approves the annual audit.
- Secretary: The secretary is responsible for recording the minutes of each Board and general meeting and distributing copies to Board members and the community manager in a timely manner.
In addition to these standard Board member positions, the Board may assign an individual or committee to a number of areas, which may include:
- Newsletter: Ensures all owners are kept informed about the corporation’s business, e.g. pets, parking, upcoming events, fire safety, and so forth. The newsletter also initiates two-way communication by providing information to the owners and asking for comments in return.
- Grounds/Building: Oversee the cleanliness of the building, landscaping, and meeting periodically with contractors (on an as needed basis). The community manager will offer assistance in this area. This committee will also be asked to investigate and report to the Board any requests by the owners to make changes or additions to the exterior of their units and privacy area.
- Parking: Monitor the common parking areas and visitor parking.This person may also elect to contact the parking authorities if a vehicle needs to be tagged or towed.
- Pets: Monitors pet activity. Owners are expected to pick up after their pets, not allow them to disturb other residents and register their pets, if required by the Board.
- Developer Relations: In a newly constructed condominium, the Board is responsible for communicating all common area deficiencies directly to the developer.
- Member at large: This person is responsible for providing assistance in all areas as required by the Board.
Proceedings at meetings:
The Board of Directors meets to conduct the business of the corporation. An agenda is prepared in advance by the president and circulated to all members. Time limits should be attached to each topic. In addition, reports of the Board members should also be circulated in advance.
All Board members should be aware that Board of Directors meetings are business meetings. All participants should be respectful of one another and should arrive on time, fully prepared to discuss and make decisions about all topics on the agenda. It is important to follow the agenda and not become sidetracked discussing other matters. In addition, all socializing should take place after the meeting has been adjourned.
Many corporations use tools such as Robert's Rules of Order to conduct efficient meetings. It is important to remember that Board members are volunteers who often have busy schedules. They will be more willing to be involved if their time used constructively. Therefore, meetings should last 1-1.5 hours (2 hours maximum).