Cost of Poor Condo Management

March 2018

Having lived in a condo building for many years, residents get used to the way building management operates.  There is less awareness of how other buildings are managed.

Looking at how a building and its management is perceived by outsiders is one way to gauge how well a building is managed.  Looking at how a building is perceived in the marketplace remains one of the more effective ways to identify how well your condo corporation is managed.

In March 2016 a condo suite in Building A sold for $675,000.  In April 2016 a similar condo suite in Building B sold for $795,000.  Building A and Building B are high-rise condo buildings of similar age.  Both suites are modern, updated and of similar size.  Amenities in the two buildings are virtually identical.  Why did one sell for $120,000 more than the other?

Governance Culture

If condo resale prices are an indication, Building B board members make better decisions.  Board members may be more experienced or dedicate more time.  Building B places more reliance on committees to undertake research, manage projects, communicate with residents and enhance social programming within their corporation.  Building A has little in the way of active committees.  Building B condo owners elect, or re-elect, directors that deliver results.  Results are evident to residents and visitors to the building.

Financial Competency

Building B condo fees are lower and no special assessment in recent memory.  Building A has had multiple special assessments.  Sound financial management in Building B is a reflection of the sound management provided by its condo board.

Building Updates

Building B updates its amenities to reflect changing interests and tastes.  Building A amenities show damage and wear.  Exercise rooms, the most heavily used amenity in most condo buildings, are an important indicator.  Building B maintains current commercial equipment designed for frequent use.  Building A has lower quality equipment that displays its age.  Both buildings recently updated change rooms.  Building B opted for higher quality finishings and a more modern design.

Overall Cleanliness & Appearance

Building B looks cleaner.  Elevators, hallways, amenities, parking and outdoor space all appear to be cleaned more frequently.  There is no visible trash in public areas of the building.  Trash, organics and recycling is better managed.  Structural damage is not visible.

Building A allows trash and recycling to be deposited in multiple locations throughout the building.  These bins, located in public areas, regularly overflow.  There is visible staining of infrastructure from improperly discarded items.

The market voices a decided preference when comparable suites in neighbouring buildings command dramatically different prices.