Condo Corporation Hierarchy

You’ve just received an infraction notice with a fine for the ill-fated party you decided to throw over the weekend. Your gut instinct is to lash out and send a scathing email to your condo manager, because apparently they’re the “fun police”. While your anger may be real, it’s definitely misplaced.

It’s a common misconception that your condo management firm (and your condo manager) make the decisions for your complex. The condo manager inevitably ends up as the messenger who gets shot due to their role in sending out all the bad news from noise complaints to recouping of costs after a leak to everyone’s favourite, increased condo fees or the dreaded special assessment.

Who in the H-E-Double Hockey Sticks do they think they are??

It’s a pain felt by most condo owners at some point or another. Unfortunately, there is an underlying hierarchy that exists and while it may appear as so, your condo manager is not the grand poohbah of your building and is only following directions from the board of directors.

The hierarchy often resembles total chaos to outside parties, however this is created with a number of factors needing to be taken into account. In the interest of brevity and not wanting to put you to sleep, let’s just talk about the most common.

For example: A complex in the urban center of a medium to large city. In order to make decisions, your condo manager has to be cognizant of the following:

  • Condominium Property Act
  • Human Rights Act
  • City Bylaws
  • Condominium Corporation Bylaws
  • Any other provincial, federal, or municipal acts/law that apply

Gross eh? We can hear you starting to snore already. Once all the relevant information has been reviewed, your manager provides that information, along with suggestions and recommendations to the board. Note that the recommendations are based entirely on what’s permissible by law and what’s in the best interest of the corporation and doesn’t have any intended bias included.

Ready for the fun part? The condo manager doesn’t make the ultimate decision. All the decisions that end up in your inbox all come from the board of directors, using your condo manager as the go-between and messenger.

I can hear you thinking, “What if I don’t like the way the board is running the building? Is there anything I can do about it?” Good news: There is. Every year, the corporation has to hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) where the board of directors is elected for the coming year. It’s done on a completely voluntary basis, so don’t expect to receive Jay-Z or Beyonce level cash for your willingness to take on an often thankless job.

And please — try and aim your arrows elsewhere, rather than towards your condo manager. While they have embraced the “Duck Dodge Dive Dip and Dodge” mentality that is often necessary to stay afloat, they’d rather not dodge the proverbial wrenches being thrown their direction.