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Linda Palfi
CNC Properties
Box 47033 Creekside, Calgary, Alberta
P: 403-998-7732
F: 403-592-8002

Suggestions for condo managers

Reviewing the condo documents for dozens of buildings every year, I see a record of the same mistakes being made by property managers. Some of these errors cause confusion and could even see people buying the wrong suite! Here are some tips to help condominium managers and Condo Boards avoid common mistakes.


* Refer to "suites" not "units". The numbers on doors are civic addresses, not the legal unit numbers (with rare exceptions). The risk of confusion is real, as there are often legal unit numbers matching other suites' civic numbers. In a condo high rise, for example, there can be a civic address suite #104 on the ground floor, and a legal unit #104 on the twelfth floor, say, which might have a civic address of #1205. How the surveyor numbered the suites for legal identification seldom has any correlation with how suites are civic or postal address identified.

* Directors do not need to resign at the annual general meeting. "Resign" sounds ominous and isn't accurate. The Board members' terms have expired and they are simply replaced by the new Directors when they are elected. While we're on annual general meetings, point out to owners that nominations for Directors do not need a seconder. A nomination is not a motion. Nominations can be made by anyone eligible to vote, even by a person nominating themselves. You want to encourage participation and make it easy for owners to be candidates for election or acclamation to the Board.

* Stop advising Boards to turn responsibility for exterior windows and doors over to each homeowner. The Condo Act's option to do so expired 'way back in 2002. Anyway, no cost is actually avoided this way, and a new complexity is created to coordinate window and door repairs and replacement. The entire idea of condominium is that we pool resources and do these things centrally; and to ensure they're actually done.

* Board minutes need to tell the decision-making story to first-time readers. While property managers don't usually record the minutes, they should guide the Directors to ensure that minutes make sense to owners and prospective condo home buyers who are reading them for the first time.

* Don't chair the AGM, as that should be done by the outgoing Board Chair or another Director. It's their building and their meeting. Do help with balloting for Directors, with other administrative tasks, and with guidance on the agenda and procedure.

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