Serving On A Condo Board Takes Time And Commitment

In the same way it takes a village to raise a child, it takes a group of conscientious condo owners to keep the building and property in good working order and the ensure rules are followed and enforced, for the benefit of all of the residents.

A condo board must have at least three elected members to serve as directors for up to three years. Any condo owner in the building can stand for election, as long as they are at least 18 years of age and not in a state of bankruptcy.

The board is primarily tasked with taking care of immediate and future repairs, ensuring there are enough funds to cover those costs now and into the future.
The condo’s board of directors also must:

Appoint an auditor who makes sure the finances are soundly managed.
Organize an annual meeting of the condominium unit owners to present the work overseen by the board over the past year, showing how their fees have been spent, saved, and managed. They must also present the plans for the year(s) ahead, as well as any other issues the condo owners bring to the table.
Conduct condo owner meetings throughout the year as needed to address complaints, concerns and suggestions.
Approve bylaws dealing with the responsibilities and powers of the board, and abide by the Condominium Act.
Approve rules to promote the safety, security and welfare of the owners.

The directors of the board may vote to hire a property manager (or a property management business) to oversee the day-to-day operations such as:

Responding to owner complaints
Maintaining common elements
Hiring and monitoring service companies.
Keep operating records

Becoming a condo board director is a big responsibility and a huge commitment, so be sure you have the time and expertise to serve your fellow condo neighbours.

Ask your Kirby Chan to help you understand your condo bylaws and to help you decide if joining the board is right for you.

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Pets and Condos: Better Check Your Condo Rules and Regulations

Condo Pet Rules and Restrictions

If you are a pet owner and are planning to move into a condo, it’s best to check whether Fido is allowed to move in with you, too.

The condominium corporation’s bylaws or declaration or rules will stipulate whether pets are permitted and, if so, what kind (whether goldfishes, dogs, birds, cats, etc.), how many, and other restrictions. While your realtor may have some insight into the pet restrictions in your new condo, inquire yourself or have your lawyer check into it, just to be completely sure.

Just as in life, exceptions can be made to the rules. If the owners of 80 per cent of the units consent in writing to amend the bylaw and the condo board supports the change, then you may be able to have Fido move in after all.

According to the Condominium Act 1998, condo boards may pass rules that condo owners must follow, as long as they are reasonable and abide by the Ontario Human Rights Code. In the past, courts have determined that issuing a blanket ‘No Pets’ rule is unreasonable and unenforceable because it’s too vague. Service dogs, such as those trained to help people with physical or mental disabilities, are exempt from pet bans. Residents must be sure to have the proper medical documentation to support this claim.

Those condominium corporations that enforce their no-pets rules to the letter, with no history of making exceptions to other unit owners, typically win court cases. Those condo boards that are lax or haphazard in enforcing their no-pets rules may find themselves on shakier territory.

Either way, at this point the final decision will rest with a judge. So if you are a pet owner or are considering getting a pet once you become a homeowner, just make sure the condo you intend to buy allows for pets, present and future.

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