January 9, 2024 - Blog Post
The Property Manager and the Board
The Property Manager and the Board
It’s been a month since my last blog. Christmas and the holidays have finished and we’re into a new year 2024. It sometimes seems like time is flying by. Just when we get one task done another one comes along. Hope everyone who had holidays enjoyed them and got the rest they needed before heading back into the regular routine. For anyone who didn’t have holidays or only a few days, I hope you are doing well and that you have found a good balance between your work and life routines. Speaking of routines this blog post is about the routines we use and the relationships we develop and depend upon in running a condominium corporation. So, let’s get started.
The management of a Condominium Corporation is a complex matter dealing with long-term strategies and day-to-day operations. Some corporations who have people with the right skills and experience and willingness to take on the task may choose to self-manage. Others choose to hire a property manager to handle the day-to-day operations and to advise the Board on long-term strategies. Whether self-managed or managed by a property manager hired by the Board, the basic relationships stand between the Board and whomever is assigned with the day-to-day running of the corporation. This relationship is an essential and collaborative one in the management and operation of a condominium community. Here are some key aspects of this relationship:
- Governance and Oversight:
- The condo board is responsible for making decisions and setting policies that affect the condominium community. This includes budgeting, rule enforcement, and major property repairs or improvements.
- The property manager, on the other hand, is responsible for executing the board's directives and ensuring the day-to-day operation of the property. They play an administrative and operational role.
- Open and effective communication is vital. The property manager serves as a liaison between the board and the residents. They provide regular updates to the board on property-related matters and relay the board's decisions and policies to residents.
- Financial Management:
- The condo board typically makes decisions regarding the condominium's budget, including setting fees and allocating funds for various expenses.
- The property manager helps implement the budget, manages financial transactions, and ensures that expenses are in line with the budget.
- Property Maintenance:
- The property manager oversees the day-to-day maintenance and repair of the condominium property. They may hire and supervise contractors, handle emergencies, and perform routine inspections.
- The board may set maintenance standards and priorities, and the property manager ensures they are met.
- Rule Enforcement:
- The board establishes rules and regulations for the community, and the property manager enforces these rules, addressing violations and ensuring compliance.
- Vendor Management:
- The property manager often handles vendor contracts, negotiations, and supervision. This includes hiring landscapers, maintenance personnel, security services, and others.
- The board may have the final say on vendor selection and may provide guidance on budget limits.
- The property manager typically provides regular reports to the board, summarizing the financial status, property maintenance, and any issues or concerns within the community.
- Major decisions, such as capital improvements, may require approval from the board, and the property manager may provide input and recommendations based on their expertise.
- The condo board holds the property manager accountable for fulfilling their contractual obligations, and the property manager is responsible for executing the tasks assigned by the board.
- Conflict Resolution:
- In cases of disputes or conflicts within the community, the property manager may play a role in mediation or resolution, working with the board to address issues that arise.
The specific details of the relationship can vary depending on the condominium's bylaws, the terms of the property management contract, and the needs and expectations of the community. A successful partnership between the condo board and the property manager is built on effective communication, mutual respect, and a shared commitment to the well-being of the community.
Unlike Ontario and the Central and Western Provinces, Nova Scotia does not require property managers to be certified. It therefore becomes incumbent upon Boards to do their research and ensure that a property manager that is being considered has a good reputation and the requisite experience to fit the Board’s skills and experiences. It also requires that:
- The Property Manager and the Board get along with one another;
- There is an appropriate level of trust between the Property Manager and the Board;
- Expectations between both are well understood;
- Lines of communication remain open and used often;
- Appropriate feedback loops are established and maintained; and
- Duties and responsibilities are well laid out and understood.
In future blogs we’ll look more closely at these requirements. Having a good working relationship with your Property Manager can ensure the Board is concentrating on the right tasks and that the corporation runs efficiently and effectively. Let’s face it, in my experience, as a volunteer a Board Member doesn’t usually want to have to deal with the day-to-day operation of the Corporation. It is enough that they provide the right oversight and direction for the Corporation’s affairs. Stay tuned for more.
CCI Nova Scotia
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” Edward Everett Hale
Tag(s): Board Dynamics