Being on condo board both pleasure and pain

August 23, 2013

Whether it’s a stray cat terrorizing garbage cans, noisy and nosy neighbors or getting residents to pay monthly condo fees, being an elected member of a condominium board can be both exhilarating and exhausting.

If you sit on your condo board, give yourself a pat on the back. It’s a tough job when you have to be the bad guy or deliver bad news to your fellow residents.

Here are some tips we’ve taken from ElectionBuddy users that will make your job easier:

  • Know the law: State and provincial laws limit how you can respond to issues and they differ from state-to-state and country-to-country. Research the laws dealing with condominium and homeowner associations here.
  • Act fast and be decisive: There’s no best way to deal with problems of any kind other than to understand and strictly enforce the policies in your association’s agreement.
  • Use professionals: Understand, that as volunteers, your experience is limited and going outside to a lawyer, accountant or collection agency is OK. Reader Paul McClintock suggests Professional Parliamentarians should be part of this list as they advise boards on procedural matters in their meetings and potential controversial matters (or members). “I have also provided one condo association board with training in Robert’s Rules of Order, after they lost a costly lawsuit due to lack of following proper procedures,” he says. See  www.parliamentarians.org for more resources or to request help from the national association.
  • Pay attention: Every board member should pay attention to the finances – be aware of what is in the reserve fund and where the money is being spent. Also review your policies to reduce the risk of fraud or negligence.
  • Foster pride in your community: Events like yard sales, BBQs, movie nights and pool parties can have a lasting effect on how people view their community. When people have pride they want to do the right thing and do their part. Neglect the property and your residents will stop caring too.

Check out our informative series on Condominium Elections and how online elections can help Homeowners Associations.

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