Have you been considering joining your condo board? It’s an excellent way to make a difference and to better the community in which you live, but it’s not for everyone. If you’re not sure whether it’s the right choice for you, here are some things to remember if you want to be a condo board member.
One thing to remember is that being on the board is a volunteer gig. You won’t get paid for the work you do, and you’ll also have to make time out of your week for your board responsibilities and to attend meetings. So before you join, make sure you have enough time to allocate to the meetings and to the work assigned to you.
Something to remember is that as a board member, your job is to represent everyone in the building and not just your own interests. You have to be able to keep an open mind about everyone’s concerns and ideas in your community while at the same time protecting the corporation. Part of your job here includes ensuring residents abide by the corporation’s by-laws. As a board member, you’ll be expected to follow the rules and be a role model for others.
The Condominium Authority of Ontario (CAO) is the recently established regulatory body that oversees condominium corporations in this province. As of November 1, 2017, Ontario’s updated Condominium Act requires directors to complete mandatory training through the CAO. Condo board members have to take the required training within six months following their election/re-election or appointment/re-appointment. A director who does not complete the required training within this time frame will be disqualified from the board. Currently, there are 21 short online modules to complete, which is expected to take three to six hours. There is no charge for this training, but it is important to be aware of this requirement before seeking election to your condo’s board of directors.
As a board member, you’ll be seen as a leader in your community and will often receive praise for your work. But from time to time, you’ll have to deal with some push back from disgruntled neighbours who do not agree with the decisions that the board has made. As a board member, you need to be a good listener, cool-headed, know how to diffuse difficult situations, and remain civil and professional even when others are not.
Although it can be a lot of work, being a board member for your condo is also highly rewarding. You’re not only in charge of maintaining the common areas, managing budgets, and representing the homeowners, but you’re also bettering the community in which you live, and giving people a voice when they need one. It may be a serious job, but it’s definitely one that will make you feel proud and appreciated every day.
If you’re passionate about your community and are thinking about joining your condo board, first be sure that you can fully commit to the responsibilities and time required to perform your duties.