Recognizing a Good Condo Board

March 2024

There are few requirements or prerequisites for serving on a condo board other than what might be specified in the governing documents.  These include a minimum age and not in arrears or litigation with the corporation.  A professional history or relevant experience as an engineer, business manager, lawyer, accountant, architect or designer can be helpful, even desirable.

Some desire to sit on the condo board for personal, self-satisfying or professional reasons.  Their focus is personal benefit rather than improving or maintaining the community.  An owner-landlord, for example, may prioritize low condo fees over everything else to make their rental business more profitable.

So, what makes a condo board good?

Professional Respect

Every board member, and those interested in serving, should at minimum have read and are able to understand their governing documents, and can apply reasonable judgment in making decisions.  There should be a basic intelligence and ability to analyze problems.  There is no need to be an expert on any subject.  Directors are expected to seek the expertise and guidance of professionals – lawyers, accountants, engineers, insurance brokers – before making decisions.

The board, and individual directors, should be able to communicate, collaborate, trust and work with the management professionals they employ as partners to achieve goals.

A lack of respect for other opinions creates an ineffective and unprofessional environment.

Bad Boards and Complacency

Even well-intentioned boards can become complacent.  A “bad board” takes the easier route by deferring changes to the status que or “passing the buck” to future boards rather than make difficult or unpopular decisions.

Bad boards, and directors, have a “this is the way we have always done it” mentality.  They are resistant to new ideas.

A “bad board” fails to understand, or acknowledge, that keeping fees at the same level for years is not beneficial.  While this is appealing to some owners, it is the cause of a future financial crisis and countless problems before this point is reached.

A condominium corporation is a business.  Those unable focus on operating the business for the benefit of owners and doing right by them should not be on the condo board.