The management of a condominium corporation is a shared assignment between the property manager and the board. While some boards may be more active than others, the manager is the one who is constantly on the ground and is aware and involved in the daily operating activities of the condominium corporation and their requirements.
Usually once per month, the condo board and the manager have the opportunity to sit together and review the ongoing activities of the condominium corporation. It is the moment of bonding, where the board is looking to the manager to be fully updated.
In order to be effective in this form of communication, it is highly important for the manager to be organized and precise in outlining the outstanding issues, if any. The preparation for the board meeting should not be done last-minute, but rather should start at the end of the last board meeting and continue throughout the period leading up to the next board meeting.
The following steps provide a guideline of what can be done to prepare before the next board meeting:
Prepare and circulate the agenda
First, prepare and circulate the agenda, in accordance with the Act and the corporation’s bylaws. The agenda should include notification of any invitee to the board meeting and the reason for it, as well as the time allocated to each of the invitees.
It should also include the approval of the previous board meeting minutes, any outstanding issues which the board has asked the
manager to deal with and any items up for discussion and approval (i.e. contracts, etc.).
Prepare a management report
The items on the agenda should be addressed in a very concise way in the management report, including what was done, how the manager was able to resolve it, and if they were not able to resolve it, why it could not have been resolved. Any physical issue with the maintenance of the common elements should be detailed, along with the recommendation by the manager on how to resolve it, and if possible, at least three detailed quotations which should include the work involved and if any guarantee is being provided and the length of guarantee, where it may be required.
In addition, the manager’s recommendation on which contractor to choose and the reasons for the selection should be included.
Some work may require the involvement of an engineer, and if so, the manager should also provide the board with three quotations which should describe the work required and the cost.
Review the corporation’s financial position
Finally, it is important to review the corporation’s financial position and the result of operations for the month or quarter end prior to the board meeting. The manager must remember that the board has a responsibility to all unit owners, and as such, should be apprised on the status of the corporation’s financial position. This requires the manager to review and fully understand the financial reporting.
The manager should remember that the financial position of the corporation is an important tool for the directors. It is the item that will influence the decisions of the board on issues related to the management of the affairs of the corporation and will determine the future of the corporation’s budget. There will be physical items, which despite the financial position of the corporation, will be required to be completed, while others may be required to be postponed.
The manager should be well-versed in the financial position as his or her input will assist the board members in their decision making. The input of the manager should not be limited only to the physical and financial aspects of the corporation, but also to other aspects. This input can be with respect to any other building issues which may occur, such as noise complaints, people smoking in the stairwells or littering in and around the building. It should also be the manager’s initiative to
bring suggestions to the board for a community event or circulation of a newsletter.
The more proactive the manager, the more benefit the board will receive.
Shlomo Sharon is the CEO of Taft Management Inc.