Condo living can be misunderstood even by those who live in condo buildings.
Condo buildings are owned by a condo corporation. Owners of the condo corporation are those who own suites in the building.
Condo buildings have rules that must be followed by those who own or reside in condo suites
Condo buildings have rules that must be followed by those who own or reside in condo suites. These rules are documented in the condo declaration, condo by-laws and condo rules. The Condo Act, established by the province, identifies rules under which condo corporations govern. Under the Condo Act, condo corporations are granted legal authority to establish and enforce their rules.
Condo directors are elected by owners to manage the corporation
Condo directors are elected by owners to manage the corporation. This includes establishing an appropriate level of fees to be paid by condo owners, deciding how money is spent to maintain the building and to establish many of the rules that govern conduct on corporation property. Once elected, directors have considerable authority to determine their priorities and focus.
Candidates for election as a condo director, like some politicians, can and do make impractical or impossible promises
Candidates for election as a condo director, like some politicians, can and do make impractical or impossible promises. There may be promises to keep condo fees down or control spending. These promises may be made without detail by individuals lacking awareness of practicalities or implications of their promises.
Condo directors working as a board decide how they wish to operate
Condo directors working as a board decide how they wish to operate. Some meet monthly. Other boards meet more or less frequently, with some choosing not to have meetings.
Condos are a home, a business and a political structure. They must be managed to reflect all three roles.
Rules are what provide cohesion, stability and structure to the condo corporation. They can also be a source of conflict.
Condo corporation directors are typically volunteers. These volunteers may lack experience or time to adequately manage the affairs of the corporation. A condominium manager is employed to handle these tasks and to advise directors. Experts and consultants will also be employed, on an as-needed basis, to advise or assist directors.
The Annual General Meeting is the one meeting each condo corporation is required to hold each year
The Annual General Meeting is the one meeting each condo corporation is required to hold each year. This is when condo directors are elected for predetermined terms. A minimum of 25% of condo owners must be represented for elections to be valid. In the absence of this 25% threshold current directors remain in their role.
Not everyone chooses to follow the rules
Not everyone chooses to follow the rules. The Condo Act and rules provide directors and management with authority to enforce rules for the benefit of residents and owners. Things generally work well in a condo corporation when rules are determined for the benefit of most and enforcement occurs when individuals choose not to abide by these rules.