Being a condo director generally means more time and involvement than most board members expect to give. This, combined with the challenges of condo management, can lead to dysfunction at the board level.
Condo directors that accept a few basics of condo board management are likely to serve more effectively in their volunteer role.
Conscientious directors recognize that when a resident presents an issue to the board, they generally think of how it will affect them personally and their suite. When a board reviews the issue it should be evaluated on a building-wide level.
Condo board meetings are not supposed to be harmonious. This is where issues need to be evaluated and decisions made. This should be a high-stress environment with all participants working together to improve the status quo.
An effective board is able to analyze and decide on items as they come up. Decisions should not be avoided. Directors should recognize that failure to make a decision is a decision for the status quo which can have significant implications.
Good condo boards provide an environment for spirited discussion. When the time for discussion is over, condo boards are expected to decide based on a vote. Such votes are rarely unanimous.
Signs of problems with the Condo Board
- Communications between board members and owners go astray. Board members may stop responding to major issues if they are unyielding and have a personal perspective.
- Board members fail to attend scheduled meetings and don’t respond to e-mails.
- Increased volume of e-mails and phone calls from owners, and more commentary, is a general sign of owner frustration.
- A board unwilling to respond to owner questions and concerns.
- Meeting agendas are relatively consistent and do not change to reflect current matters.
- The same issues are addressed at multiple board meetings. The board may be unable or willing to make decisions or deal with problems. It may be ignoring repeated repair requests until a problem worsens or an unwillingness to support change when analysis suggests it is right for the condo corporation.
When condo boards and owners are in opposition to each other, a good board will take the high road. They will seek and follow professional advice. They will point condo owners to this advice and their own condo documents in support of their decisions.
Most problems can be resolved through a combination of transparency and communication so long as condo directors have a sincere desire to work for their corporation.