In addition to an affordable, relaxed and low-maintenance lifestyle, condo living means working with your neighbours to make a great place to live even better. For this reason, condo boards are established for most condo complexes so all owners can have a say in how their community is run. Read on to learn more about these governing bodies and what their responsibilities mean to you as a condo owner.
What Are Condo Boards?
A condo board refers to the group of individuals responsible for making all major decisions in your condo community. Sometimes known as a homeowner’s association, anyone who owns a unit may be elected by other members of the complex. Unless otherwise outlined in the community’s bylaws, at least 2/3 of the board must be unit owners or mortgage lenders.
What is the Board Responsible For?
Responsibilities held by the board or association are specific to the community and typically include:
One of the largest responsibilities the board has it to collect and oversee condo fees. In addition to allocating the fees as necessary to run the community, the board must also make an annual budget and report with disclosure to all unit owners. The board must also keep owners up to date on the reserve fund, which is money put aside in a separate account to cover any major repairs.
The condo board will keep funds set aside to make any repairs to common property and, in some cases. to the individual units. While this is an unlikely scenario in new developments especially, it’s great to know that if the roof starts leaking, the board will be on top of it.
One of the largest perks of condo living is having (mostly) everything done for you! Landscaping, snow removal, external upkeep (painting, roofing etc) as well as the maintenance of common areas are all taken care of by the board. Funding for maintenance is drawn from collected condo fees and is kept separately from the reserve fund.
Rules and Regulations
To ensure a great place to live for everyone and to maintain the value of all units, your complex will be subject to certain condo bylaws. The board helps oversee these bylaws by making sure unit owners are following the rules. For example, there might be bylaws regarding pets in condos, parking restrictions, etc.
What Are You Responsible For?
As a condo owner, you have a say in how the complex is run - including voting for board members. This also means you have a responsibility to participate in board meetings, read information sent out by the corporation and review financial statements and budgets.
You must also remember that condo ownership is a shared endeavour which means you, along with the other unit owners, are responsible for paying your fees in order to maintain the community as a whole.
In short, a condo board helps to keep your condo community running smoothly. In addition to helping you keep the low-maintenance lifestyle you’ve always dreamed of, the board keeps your neighbourhood well-maintained and looking great. For further information on condo living in Alberta, check out these useful tips for buying and owning a condo or visit Condo Law for Albertans.
Photo credits: people meeting