To be successful, a condominium community needs a dedicated Board of Directors who understand their roles and responsibilities and are committed to fair representation of the residents they have been elected to serve.
The volunteer Board of Directors must approach the operation of their condominium corporation as a business. It is their responsibility to protect the investment and interests of all the owners. This includes maintaining the common property, managing the finances and creating policies that promote harmony between people living in a multi-family environment – perhaps for the first time.
To make this happen, the Board must meet regularly to set goals, interpret and administer the bylaws and make decisions on behalf of their community. Effective condominium Boards are those whose members are respectful of each other and work together with a spirit of cooperation.
It is important for Board members to understand their roles and, while there can be several areas of responsibility for Boards such as parking control, architectural considerations and common area maintenance, there are five fundamental positions that every Board needs to fill.
- President – is responsible for the successful operation of the community. He or she sets the agenda, and chairs the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Board meetings, maintaining order and keeping the discussion on topic. The president is responsible for the daily execution of the corporation’s business and is the primary Board contact for the community manager.
- Vice President – takes over the duties of the president in the president’s absence and helps with projects where needed.
- Secretary – Minutes of a condominium corporation are public documents. The secretary’s job is to accurately record the proceedings of Board meetings in minutes and distribute them to the Board for approval. Once they are approved, the management company makes them available to those who need them for real estate transactions, mortgages, insurance and legal purposes.
- Treasurer – The financial health of a condominium corporation is important to all owners. No one wants to see the monthly contributions increase due to mismanagement of the funds. The treasurer is the Board member most involved with the preparation of the budget draft, which is reviewed, adjusted and approved by the Board. Then it is the treasurer who closely monitors the monthly financial reports, provided by the management company, and ensures the expenditures align with the budgeted amounts. Realistic budgets and fiscal management are imperative.
- Community Manager – Contracting a reputable, experienced management company lightens the Board’s workload immensely. The community manager is the Board’s link to the management company. He or she attends Board meetings and is a resource to the Board as they set policies, determine maintenance requirements and manage the common property in compliance with the bylaws. The community manager implements the decisions of the Board, supported by an administrative team that includes an administrator, accountant and full-service office.
Of course, there may be other areas of Board responsibility depending upon the community, but these are the essential five positions on a typical condominium Board. In addition to these, there may be a need to monitor parking or pets, prepare newsletters or supervise maintenance or landscaping contractors. Clear understanding of the roles will contribute to well-functioning leadership for the corporation.
Elected Board members will have a variety of skill sets and experience as volunteers. A partnership with a strong management company will provide the guidance and knowledge that will support the Board as they fulfill their duties.
For more information on how the right property management company can bring out the best of your Board, contact FirstService Residential
, North America’s leading property management company.