Establishing an E-mail Policy

December 2019

E-mail is the most commonly used communication method in condo corporations.  Directors, residents and condominium managers rely on it daily.

While phone and in-person communications still occur, e-mail and texting tend to be the dominant methods of communication.

Directors and condominium managers should be aware that any form of written communication, including e-mail and text, can be used or misused.  Another important consideration is that not all written communications require or are suited to a written response.

Establishing policies on how to handle written communications can save trouble, time and money.

When a complaint is sent to more than one person who should handle the response? Multiple people should not respond to a single communication.  Numerous individuals offering conflicting or inconsistent information can create problems or require clarification.  This takes much longer than providing a single and clear response.  Designating a single point of contact for e-mail communications avoids an unintentional failure to respond to an inquiry or matter.

When an e-mail is received that does not make a specific request, is a response necessary? While some such communications may deserve a response, others may be nothing more than rants.  One approach is to provide a generic response to all e-mail communications such as “thank you for writing to us.  We will review your communication.  Should a response be requested, it will be provided as appropriate.”

Business e-mail communications involving consultants, lawyers or other individuals should be responded to by a single individual.  Having a single point of contact can avoid unnecessary billable hours or miscommunication.

Avoid “reply to all” when responding to an e-mail unless necessary.  General use of this feature and autocomplete for sending e-mails often result in sending information to incorrect recipients.  Always check the recipient list before hitting “send”.

While bcc, or blind copy, hides recipient names from being shown, it does not prevent e-mail from being resent.  This is no protection against broader dissemination of an e-mail communication.

E-mail is part of the corporation’s official records.  Establish a separate e-mail address, instead of using a personal e-mail address, for condo corporation business.