Real Estate

Should the “all volunteer” condo board be abolished?

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 28th, 2022 1:56 pm
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2018
725 posts
1141 upvotes

Should the “all volunteer” condo board be abolished?

Many condo boards and their members do not represent the interest of owners. With my limited observation, the volunteer condo boards tend to attract wrong type of people, who in the best case, are power hungry politically trained thugs who like the feeling of ruling over their fellow peasantry owners. In some long time buildings, the board members tend to become an inter connected small clan and deeply entrenched in the building. In more sinister cases, it has attracted criminals like the cases below who get their hands on multi million dollar budgets to line their own pockets.

Should the law related to Condo board be changed? I would think we can let the professional property manager (maybe further regulated) do the daily work, and use regular and frequent owner referendum to make all decisions on budget and contracts award above a certain amount. With a few hundred owners a referendum is not too hard to organize.

Alternatively, the law should provide to make at least 2-3 fully paid position in the board and preferably from outside the building, so the board attract the right type of people who have a true sense of serving the interest of the owners.

Love to hear your thoughts on this.

https://www.mississauga.com/news-story/ ... do-owners/

https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/ ... -1.4547396
6 replies
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2010
3722 posts
1645 upvotes
1. There is no limitation on who can be on the board as long as you own the unit. So why not step up and be on the board if one believes that board is doing something wrong.

2. There is a by-law that board members must be re-elected every 2, 3, 4 years depending on their positions. This is to mitigate a certain person or group of people's conflict of interests.

3. As a condo owner, you can request any condo-related documents such as monthly financial statements, meeting minutes and copy of invoices. Don't just leave everything to the board. Do you own research. Know your right. Trust but validate.

4. Property managers also have their own interest. They don't live/own any of those units. Wait and see how much they charge on real simple work. PM's love to jack up their invoices and make margin off them.

To OP, your first article is actually about property manager stealing from condo owners without board approval. How does this have anything to do with board members? LOL

Disclaimer. I am a current board member (for about 3.5 years) for the condo townhouse complex (little over 100 units) and we have residents sending little gifts/thank-you cards to current board members. They love self-management as maintenance fee has been pretty much stagnant (which directly translated to property value). I know there are bad apples out there but I just wish to remind people that board members do not get paid to do their jobs and they do this out of their personal time. I know 90% of board members have their main jobs too.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2018
725 posts
1141 upvotes
rapashoo wrote: 1. There is no limitation on who can be on the board as long as you own the unit. So why not step up and be on the board if one believes that board is doing something wrong.
I have heard stories that residents elected a new member with a voice to challenge the existing board, only to have a court order placed on him restraining his access to the office and other board members. So unless you are "politically trained" and have some backing, the chance of challenging a board is not good.


rapashoo wrote: 2. There is a by-law that board members must be re-elected every 2, 3, 4 years depending on their positions. This is to mitigate a certain person or group of people's conflict of interests.
I have seen a group of 3 couples, between husbands and wives, controlling a condo board for more than 10 years. And those are visible connections. Other less visible connections are even harder to see for an outsider.



The idea that the board members should not be paid is very misleading. Just like the idea that politicians should not be paid. People should get paid for their service. Very few people have such high moral standard for service. If we don't pay them, they maybe inclined to find a way to pay themselves, which is a lot worse, and I suspect happening in many buildings.
Deal Addict
Mar 22, 2010
3722 posts
1645 upvotes
Hey, you might want to double confirm your story before posting...

By-law prohibits multiple persons from one unit be on the same board. Your story about group of 3 couples with husbands and wives is just incorrect. (Unless each of them own separate units. In this case, there is nothing you can do to stop them)

One can be on the board for over 10 years if he/she got re-elected. If not, I can confirm that it is also wrong.

You don't need to be "politically" trained to stand against the board. Everything, again everything is written on the declaration and by-laws document which came with status certificate when you purchased your unit. If you can't find this, you can also find all those information on the CAO website. Information is there, owners are just lazy to look for it.

Only thing I would agree with you is where you mentioned about board members getting paid. This is "remuneration" issue. Some condos allow it by passing a special by-law (i.e. waiving monthly condo fees for board members). All I am saying is there are ways to improve things but I have seen just too many owners not willing to do anything but complain to the board. (And usually they complain when their units are impacted in bad ways)
Last edited by rapashoo on Dec 28th, 2022 10:31 am, edited 3 times in total.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jan 9, 2011
15849 posts
21614 upvotes
Vancouver
rfduser123 wrote: I have seen a group of 3 couples, between husbands and wives, controlling a condo board for more than 10 years. And those are visible connections. Other less visible connections are even harder to see for an outsider.
If enough people have a problem with that, they will vote in other people. If there is nobody else to vote for, it's because nobody else is willing to run. So everyone gets the condo board they deserve. It's just like democratic elections everywhere.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2018
725 posts
1141 upvotes
Kiraly wrote: It's just like democratic elections everywhere.
This is very true, such condo board practice is a minature version of how our democracy works, or not working.
Deal Addict
Nov 13, 2013
4060 posts
2544 upvotes
Ottawa
Dismissing his concerns so quickly seems premature. There are problem boards and the disinterest of most owners is dangerous. As above said like our democracy in general. Installing professionals and giving more power to the property manager of course has its own risks and adds costs. Actual criminal behavior is very rare.

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